Handling Worship Team Problems

How should I deal with problems within our worship team?

There are numerous types of “problems” that may be encountered in your situation. I will attempt to address a few of them.

The first priority in dealing with any type of problem is to avoid having the problem in the first place. This may seem obvious, but many people often overlook the obvious. Specifically, having guidelines for the members of your team will give parameters within which they are expected to function. Without written guidelines they don’t know what is and is not acceptable. (For more information about his idea, click here.)

When you do encounter problems, it is very important to address them as soon as possible. Although very few people enjoy confrontation, it is important to not allow the problems to grow and fester. For example, if there is a continual problem with tardiness by one or more individuals within the group it should be addressed as soon as it is obvious. If you let it continue it will only get worse.

Sometimes a competitive spirit can creep in. This is especially true among musicians, and even Christian musicians. One person will begin to have an “I’m better than you” attitude, and soon this can permeate the entire group. Here again, prompt action is essential. First, be careful to check your heart and motivation. Then privately discuss the problem with the person. Let them know what you have observed and what change you would like to see. If change does not occur and a further confrontation is necessary, consider disciplinary action (i.e. “probation,” temporary or permanent dismissal from the team, etc.).

Another common problem is lack of commitment (i.e. missing rehearsals, poor attitude, not learning songs, etc). There can be several reasons for this including: increasing home and/or work pressures, spiritual laziness, etc. The root of the problem should be determined first. If it is a temporary dilemma (i.e. increased workload during a particular time of year) this should be dealt with in a less drastic way. Maybe a temporary leave of absence from the team would be in order. Other reasons may require different solutions.

In all of these situations, the problem must be dealt with as soon as possible. An immediate loving confrontation is the best way to keep it from becoming worse.

Let me add one more thought. When I have taught these ideas, I have sometimes had people respond, “But we’re dealing with volunteers. We can’t expect the same level of commitment we would from someone who is being paid.”

My answer is always the same: “Why not?” I don’t find anything in Scripture that would suggest that faithfulness should be based on pay. Servanthood, diligence, and faithful stewardship are qualities that every believer should be growing in, regardless of any sort of monetary compensation—or lack of it. And church leadership has a responsibility to help people along those paths.