worship leading essentials 09 – Band Conflict

“Worship Wars.” Most of the time worship wars are discussed, they are in the context of traditional music people warring against a the peeps who prefer a more culturally relevant form of music. They lob grenades back and forth until one finally gives up.

Like it or not, conflict also makes it’s way into the worship team. It crops up announced and can take us by surprise. So, how do we deal with band conflict?

  1. Nip it. Nip it. Like Barney Fife used to say, “Nip it. Nip it in the bud.” Conflict must be dealt with right away. I have hoped that conflict would go away and realized that I was living in a dream world. Conflict’s natural course is to destroy. Take immediate action.
  2. Talk it out. If the conflict is with two other team members, get them together and talk it out. You will need to act as a third party; a counselor of sorts. If the conflict is with you, recruit a third party to mediate.
  3. Don’t call out in public what you can discuss in private. The middle of band rehearsal is the wrong time to say “Dave, seems like you and Chris are not getting along. Let’s talk about it.”
  4. Refer to the expectations. Most conflict comes from frustration. Frustration comes from unmet expectations. If you have not set the expectations for the team, you may be in trouble. Try to keep your expectations clear when you bring people on the team and keep them in front of everyone by living them out (not by making them read them on a list only). Many times your conflict will find it’s way to unmet expectations. One you get to the expectations, you have something to work with and can gently correct people back to the unity.
  5. Foster an environment of honesty. When people are free to express themselves, they will not keep their concerns locked up inside of them. Lock them up long enough and they come busting out looking ugly.

How important is all of this? Your response to conflict can make or break your team. Conflict can bring some healthy results. I’m not sure I would try to squelch conflict, but it needs to be correctly handled.

Conflict will come. When it does, you can say “We have been expecting you. We didn’t know when you were coming, or exactly how, but we knew you we coming.”

“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” – Psalm 133:1 (NIV)

What has been your experience with handling conflict?

[tags]worship leading, conflict, frustrations, fighting, church splits, musicians, Barney Fife, worship wars, band, worship team[/tags]

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4 thoughts on “worship leading essentials 09 – Band Conflict

  1. People wait until they’ve had it…stuff it, stuff it, stuff it, talk about it to everyone except the offending person, then quit because it was “just too much stress”.

    No wonder.

    I don’t get it. Conflict is only healthy if it’s not the leader managing it. As leaders (meaning everyone on a public platform), we have to do more than say, “you know I’m a person who just doesn’t like conflict”.

    Leadership is about longevity, selflessness, meeting goals, and trying to move up and on together. By “examine expectations”, it almost places it on the leader’s shoulders to keep everyone happy.

    I guess I place it on each person’s shoulders, too…to make sure they are evaluating personal goals and taking them to God and leaders sensitively.

    I appreciate leaders like this…I just think we could wear you out babysitting us.

    Surely we can somewhat get beyond dealing with leaders who need that kind of babysitting? I have used my leader to go over how I’m dealing with a relational problem, and asked for feedback. It’s healthy. Many times he says, “I think he’s feeling _______” or “You are doing the right thing”, or he may just be more sensitive.

    He never blames…always builds people up and doesn’t make us feel like what we are doing is impossible. Artists are moody. Often, it’s swimming mood tides with people together and “not letting them” go until things settle for them again…and they often do without a huge hash out.

    I used to be more big on the “lets just hash this out” talks, but sometimes those validate moods and expectations that don’t really need to be validated, but endured.

    A tender balance…one I’m glad leaders like you are set on finding!

    Great thoughts here. Keep on!