We were recently holding a group class before one of our worship events and noticed tension in the band between 2 students. We didn’t say anything, or address it that night, but it really took us back, because our students are like family with each other and we have an extremely healthy team. We had never experienced tension like that between students before. What we didn’t know is that this had actually been brewing for months. We found out later that whatever was going on between the 2 students was so hurtful, that one of the students that had been with us for 4 years was ready to quit the worship team.
When each student came for their individual class that week, I started by reading this scripture:
Philippians 2:1-11 (Imitating Christ’s Humility)
“Therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”
Then I addressed the fact that I noticed the tension between them and the other student, and that I didn’t want to even know what the argument or dispute was about. I went back and read through various parts of the scripture again, emphasizing how we are to be of one mind, one heart, and one team, in unity – humbly serving each other. I pointed out that verses 5-8 of the passage states that Christ was never wrong in any situation, but He humbled Himself, even to the point of death on the cross, because of His love for us. I explained to them, “Maybe the other person was wrong, and you are the one in the right, or vice versa – but it doesn’t matter. Because Christ was humble, God gave Him the Name above all Names, and that if you want to see God really move in your life, and raise you to a higher calling, then humble yourself as Christ did and let God lift you up – watch what He’ll do in your life.”
I encouraged each student to go to the other and tell them “I’m sorry if I have ever offended you, or done something to hurt you. How can we get back to where we were once good friends?”
We also noticed that the conflict between the 2 students was causing division between the parents of the students. I asked the parents that if their child came to them with a problem with another student on the team, for them to have their child go to that person directly, and have a conversation with them. I asked the parents to encourage the students to work it out one on one, without their interference, because bringing more people into the conflict causes more division. This will be a life lesson well learned for the students at an early age.
That Sunday during church, after their opening worship set, the 2 girls were sitting together during the message, and spent time together that day. The parents told us that they were texting back and forth, and that their relationship was being restored because of their open communication, and each of them humbling themselves before the other.
Lincoln Brewster made this statement: “Ministry is a series of uncomfortable conversations.” And that pretty much sums it up. To maintain a healthy team, we have to address issues head on and be okay with having those crucial one on one conversations.
May you be blessed as you pour into the next generation of worshipers!