Category Archives: Worship Leaders Community

The Worship Leaders Community is a local group meeting monthly for encouragement, prayer, sharing as well as mentoring and developing younger leaders

Being Available: a life coaching journey

2015 has been a challenging year. Part of Atlanta Arts Network is a fundamental commitment to be involved in the lives of others.  I get the privilege to be engaged in “Life Coaching” worship leaders.  I meet with a variety of men, some more frequently than others. This part of ministry to leaders is significant as it provides a way for me to see God speak into the lives and situations and see practical results.

The challenging part in discipling another person, it is often that you get the most out of the process. Life Coaching isn’t just a one sided event. It is often that I learn and grow along with the person I am coaching.  Many times God reveals something or some area I need to grow in just by showing up.  For example, when I listen to a leader share a story about their church, I am many times in the midst of a inner struggle to connect with them. Honestly the struggle is there because I am mostly a self focused, prideful, and distracted person.

Let me create a scene for you. Imagine a table at a local BBQ restaurant, where a worship leader is sharing the latest in a drawn out story of church disfunction and pain. I’m sitting there listening to them share how painful it has been this past week. Buzzzzz. My iPhone vibrates and my mind wonders if there is a problem at home? Are my children ok? Is my wife in a tough work situation? Do my I need to help my parents with a computer problem? I wonder who it is?
Buzzzzz.

I refocus my mind and think…. I wonder what they just said. I figure out a way to get them to explain more. “Tell me more about how that made you feel.” ….. Whew, dodged that embarrassing moment.  My friend continues to share more about the situation and I listen on. After about an hour, we both realize it is time to head back to work. I’m wondering how long its gonna take me to get back to my home office through Atlanta Traffic.

This is exactly what many conversations are like, for me as a Life Coach. I battle to stay present and help. I don’t know if you find yourself in situations where after meeting with a friend you ask yourself, I wonder if I did any good at all? I wonder all the time. Exactly what are they getting from our time?

As I think about the last year,  the different appointments I’ve had, the situations that I have learned about, and the relationships that have been built, I am realizing there is something to showing up. Just being available.

I would like to think that every appointment is a homer, that every problem is solved, that I am able to get my Life Coaching Notebook out and design a clear plan of action for each person. I would love to see the clear progress and change: Needs getting met, Goals set and Plans put in motion.

But the truth is…. I’m just happy that God has been faithful to use me as a Life Coach. I am grateful that by just being available, I have seen friends encouraged, tough situations get better, and God is using our time together to make us both like Christ.

Getting results from a Life Coaching appointment isn’t as important as us leaving seeing God at work. I desire that we leave a little more hopeful and committed to pray faithfully for each other. I hope that just by being faithful to connect we continue to move forward on the journey.

We both grow, imperfectly yes, but toward a better understanding of God’s will and purpose for our lives.

May the next year be a time of continued growth toward Christlikeness in you and in all those you care for.  Yes God is excited that you have just been available!

Buddy

Conflict-photo

Facing Conflict at work? 6 Skills to help you through

One of the hardest things, I deal with is helping worship leaders work through conflict and brokenness in their churches.  If you have spent any time around the church you will realize that conflict resolution skills and experience are a must for a team.  People will hurt you! People will disagree with you! People will sin!

The challenge for the worship leader is to develop and maintain a healthy relationships with all the staff that he works with regularly as well as the others in leadership at his church.  Whether you serve at a church of 100 or 4,000, the skills that will help you survive the certainty of conflict are essential.

Here is my short list.

Meet regularly with a colleague outside your situation. Don’t do this alone!  If you have opportunity to meet with other like minded leaders do it.  Don’t meet with an opposite sex leader, recipe for disaster there.  You don’t need to confide in you co-worker or assistant.  The best place to begin isn’t your wife either!  Take time to find another worship leader or person you trust and begin to talk regularly about the stresses and challenges of your work.

 

Humble Yourself! Remember The enemy is roaring lion!  You are a target! Don’t ever forget that!  The evil one wants to make you completely unfruitful and unproductive, angry, hurt, bitter and toxic.  Remember and memorize this verse.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:6-11 ESV)

Learn about conflict  read a few good books and take a class or two!

The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
Related Article from Peacemaker Ministries: Accountability: The Mark of a Wise and Protected Leader

 

Develop good boundaries No one needs to be taken advantage of.  If you find yourself, in a hurtful and abusive situation you need to know how to recognize it and deal with it.

Boundaries: Henry Cloud and John Townsen

Safe People: 

Necessary Endings

 

Remember Sin and conflict is not always intentional!  One of the most important things I have learned over the years is that people are sinners!  People and leadership teams don’t think! People and leadership teams are unwise  and sometimes People and leadership teams are intentionally sinful!

One of the best books to read about his concept is Bold Love by Dan Allender.

 

Choose Joy! You will grow to be like Christ!  I hate it when i grumble to my wife about some issue that is bothering me. (yes I’m also prone to talk to my wife)  She looks at me and says, “you’re gonna be so shiny.”  As much as it bothers me, she is right!

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4 ESV)

It is my prayer that you never have to encounter a situation at your church and ministry that causes conflict and pain, but you will!  Don’t despair!

Jesus hasn’t left his throne! He is praying for you! You are not alone!

 

The Idol of Perfection in Worship Arts

Worship-Leading-630x419Every Artist and Creative must struggle with the tension between perfection and process!

Perfection,

  • the creative moments in worship where music and text fit together and connect with the worshippers;
  • the times when playing music flows from the heart and its more than notes and verse;
  • when everything falls into place.

Process,

  • when you realize that you have just sung through an entire set of music,
  • including readings and prayers to find that you have been thinking about something else entirely;
  • those times where frustration over the people you work with sours the whole experience of music;
  • that time when that worship service you plan gets pushed aside for another idea that you really think is void of all creativity.

I don’t know about you but I’ve been realizing that most of my time as a worship leader is process.  I have been thinking about the times when I pursue a different goal than Jesus. My commitment isn’t to the team of people God has given me to work with but rather I pursue ways to get my own needs met!   When I consider how often I struggle for approval from others, looking for value in my work, or seeking security and safety through doing a great job I see how often I try to get these needs met in my job and thru people rather than learning that my needs are ultimately met by Christ.  I have acceptance, value and security because of what He thinks of me and what he has done for me.

Developing a Team approach to Worship Arts is important for the worship leader as it directly addresses our tendency to hold all the responsibility for worship on our shoulders.  When I realize that I am better when I have a team, I am then able to see the process of creating and producing worship services as the result of what we do together.  I no longer take criticism as a personal affront but approach feedback as a way to help us work better together.

Perfection is something I see as an idol connected to my need for acceptance. Instead of seeking acceptance from my performance, I see that Jesus and He alone is the perfection I need.  In his perfect life and obedience to His heavenly father, he gained merit that I can’t attain.  For perfection is needed to be able to live in harmony with God.  I also can’t make up for my mistakes before God.  Just as a note played can never be recovered, my sinful worship, my love of self, my obsession with approval with others shows me my heart loves those things more than I love God.  That is sin.

So by realizing that Jesus lived a life of perfection and is perfectly accepted by His Father, never sinning and perfectly doing everything right I see the answer.

When I become a Christian by embracing the message of the gospel, I find that Jesus Himself died so I would not be punished for my sin.  He also lived perfectly so I would not have to do everything perfectly to have credit and acceptance before God.  The gospel not only frees me from punishment of sin, but I also am freely given all of Jesus goodness.  So as I am “In Christ” I am not only forgiven I am blessed! The father looks at me now and sees my work, and sees it as a father looks toward his son.  He can say “good job, lets work on that, and maybe you can try it like this.”

By believing these two things and living by faith each moment, I can stay in the process! I can leave perfection to Jesus.  To allow myself and others room to fail.  To offer forgiveness to myself and to others by the same grace I get from Jesus and my Father!

Maybe this will help you as you continue on the journey!

Buddy