The Bible is littered with passages of protection. We see how those who call on God will also have His hand of protection upon them. We find that those who protect wisdom have life. We also see word pictures of shepherds protecting their flocks.
As pastors of the church, one of our chief responsibilities is to protect our flock. More specifically, to protect your worship team.
We’ve all seen it before haven’t we? Church folks can be critical, opinionated and quite honestly rude. I’ve seen team members leave churches because they were being criticized week in and week out by church members, and even at times, church leaders.
Perhaps you’ve dealt with comments like these:
- The drums are way too loud!
- The lights are too bright.
- The lights are too dark.
- I prefer hymns. I prefer modern songs.
- The motion backgrounds are too busy.
- We need better motion backgrounds.
- The music’s too loud …
And the list could go on and on. We have a somewhat simple yet complex job to perform don’t we?
People pleasers and iron fists
So what’s the proper response to some of the above situations? How should the pastors and leaders of the church react to these criticisms?
One danger that will always be present is the tendency to try to please the people. Of course, we all know that this is an impossible thing to do because as soon as you concede to one person’s opinion, you immediately cross the person standing right behind them.
Our ministries, our churches, cannot effectively and faithfully be led by attempting to please the people. Of course we should stop, listen and try to understand their concerns, we absolutely should because most of the time they are just needing to be heard. *I said most of the time, not all of the time! They really just want to know that you are listening.
Now, on the flip side are those who lead without any care or concern for the people. They have an agenda, they know what’s best and they simply don’t have time to hear the critics. And while I understand, we cannot simply just run over people. We are called to love, pastor and listen to our congregations.
The balance between
There is a balance between the two. We can listen to the concerns and criticisms of our people without running them over and without bowing to their every desire. I believe I learned this at one time in a college counseling class and it goes something like this:
Listen > Empathize > Communicate
Or that’s at least my adaptation. As I mentioned earlier, most of our people just want to be heard. They want to know that they have a voice and that you care. So take a moment to listen to them, repeat back to them their concern, and then communicate your next steps or why (vision) you are leading the way you are.
For instance, if someone is concerned about the overall volume of your worship team, you have a great opportunity to explain and share the vision of the church and ministry. You could explain that your team and sound person are always measuring the decibel level and are actively making adjustments. And you can take it even further and explain that we’re trying to create a level where those who are somewhat timid to sing feel comfortable blending in while simultaneously keeping it at a decent level where folks can hear themselves.
The main point here is that you should always have a reason for the things you do. You should always be able to answer the ‘why’ of your vision. “Because we’ve always done it this way” is never a valid reason …
Our people are our main resource. They are the backbone of the church. The people, through God’s grace, are what keeps the church moving. Without these committed servants, the church would fold.
So as a pastor speaking to other pastors and worship leaders…protect your team. Pray for your team. And listen to your people.
This article originally appeared here.