Team Check!

Healthy teaming is so important to model well in worship and it impacts more than we realize. A dysfunctional team can permeate the whole atmosphere of worship. Just because we end up on stage with a group of people to lead worship doesn’t guarantee that we’re functioning as a team. God really does care a great deal about the tensions, offenses, criticisms, and sins that we bring with us to the stage.

Being married I have learned that I do not want to be at odds with my wife. When we find ourselves there we both make every effort to reconcile before we do anything else. No other relationship on earth is so important that I would just keep on going with a plan or agenda at its expense. If either of us did it would shock the other, because we’ve learned the hard way through our own divorce and remarriage to each other that WE are first after the Lord! That’s His plan and idea, and how it works best!

Honoring relationships over everything else is always a good move. As much as we aim to be humble, there’s more ego on a stage than all the cables connecting the sound system.

Honoring relationships over everything else is always a good move. As much as we aim to be humble, there’s more ego on a stage than all the cables connecting the sound system. Though we pray, “Holy Spirit have your way,” we are still fully human and care about having it our way. As in marriage, if the relationship is sour, we operate on less than a full tank. Sadly, many carry on this way, never getting to the heart of issues, concerns, offenses, etc.; rolling right along with the plan and program. Rest assured that God will allow our very best noble Christian plans to wind to a screeching halt in order to deal with the stuff that counts.

Rather than waiting for the breakdowns, let’s work to head off the problems before they happen. Here are some suggestions.

  1. For starters, taming the tongue solves a host of relational issues. There is power in our words, we can speak life or death—it’s our choice. We can cut, jab, wound, berate, shame, and bully or affirm, bless, encourage, build up, and inspire. A good rule is to listen and fully understand situations before adding our two cents. Just try waiting as long as you can to give an opinion or take the reigns in a rehearsal or meeting, it’s harder than you think!
  1. Going straight to the source of a problem is another must, and you’d think it’s as simple as that. Passive aggressive behavior helps no one, and there are times when we have to confront others no matter how hard it is. When there’s conflict, give others the benefit of fully explaining themselves before we become offended and irritated. When we go to other people first, even with our good intensions, we muddy the waters and start a trail of a mess. Communicating honestly and humbly is how to keep the enemy out of the mix of our relationships and the spiritual air clean. He’s notorious for stirring up trouble.

Hold on loosely! We don’t own the Church; it doesn’t belong to us, but to God. It’s not a territory or domain to protect and control, though we try hard to sometimes.

  1. Hold on loosely! We don’t own the Church; it doesn’t belong to us, but to God. It’s not a territory or domain to protect and control, though we try hard to sometimes. There’s zero room or reason for competing in the Kingdom of God. Guess what? It doesn’t matter who gets to sing, play, or lead more than we do. Nor how much we’ve done that seems to go unnoticed or unappreciated, right? Truth is, it really matters more to us than it should. In my opinion, we are wrong when we act and believe that we have a right to use our gifts in whatever area we feel the most excited to serve. It’s not the job of a worship ministry or church to make sure everyone has equal playtime or opportunity. It’s not a playground, so let’s not take our toys and run off in a huff when we don’t get what we want. It’s also not about getting our creative fix every week.
  1. Everything we do in ministry is about serving and building up the body, not finding our comfortable place in the world or affirmation and identity. When we strive to create our own places we’ll always be disappointed and let down over something. It’s important to discern and be honest when our own insecurities and issues are our real motivation. Confessing the blind side and walking in healing is the pathway to healthy living and teaming. Oddly, it’s when we finally don’t have the driving NEED to use or display our gifts that we begin finding opportunities to serve. Let it go, and you’ll find it!
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Tom and his wife Patty live in Nashville, TN. Worship Pastor of Belmont Church, a member of Blues Counsel band. He's traveled to over 35 countries; leading worship, teaching, recording and performing.

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