A Challenge to the Frustrated Worship Leader

A Challenge to the Frustrated Worship Leader

On a scale of 1 to 10, how frustrated are you?

I suppose that’s a sad way to open an article. I’m sorry.

But if I’m honest, not a week goes by where I don’t hear from a frustrated worship leader. That frustration centers around these issues.

Musicians who:

• Show up late.

• Have bad attitudes.

• Don’t know the music.

I understand the struggle. You have a burning desire to see God move. You want to build a great team. You want to be unified and foster a unique, healthy kingdom culture. But Daisey the Drama Queen is on your team and it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier.

I’ve been there. I remember leading a worship team when I was in high school where the percussionist (yea, remember congas?) would lay down on the ground, mumbling and complaining about everything he disagreed with (which was everything). Sometimes he would even leave rehearsal early he was so frustrated. But we let him play because we didn’t have anyone else.

I remember a musician who used to make people on the team cry because of his attitude. He was rude, negative and unhappy.

I remember rehearsal times where no one knew what was going on. Rehearsal felt like a nursery—spoon-feeding everyone the chords and lyrics.

I remember coming home so discouraged because nothing was going well. You’re not alone.

And there’s hope. Today, I enjoy a wonderful team with some of my best friends and very minimal drama. Sure, we’re not perfect. I’m not perfect. But there’s a culture of excellence that makes doing ministry enjoyable.

Here’s my encouragement to you: Enjoy your present as you work to build the future.

We all need to improve. We all need to go to the “next level.” But there’s something you can’t forget: Your goal isn’t to build a team that outsiders are impressed with. Your goal is to build people. Your people. The people you have right in front of you.

Like this:

• Pastor and love your current team…as you seek to recruit more drummers.

Lead with compassion your current congregation…as you seek to break the 500 barrier.

• Engage and encourage the older members of your team…as you seek to raise up the next generation.

Don’t wish you had someone else’s team. Start to build the culture you want to see happen.

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David Santistevan
David is a Worship Pastor at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh, PA.