Have you ever considered how unified your worship leaders are? Do you ever find that conversation among your team members exposes areas where you disagree?
When I was young, I think I just assumed that everyone in my church felt the same way about controversial issues as me. Since we agreed on fundamental elements of the Christians faith—the gospel, the omnipotence of God, the virgin birth, the inherency of Scripture, I just assumed that we felt the same way about political issues and cultural topics as well. As I’ve grown older, I’ve obviously realized this is not the case. While there are certainly primary issues where we agree, there are secondary issues where we contrast. And the more you spend time with people, the more your conversation exposes your differences.
We live in a day and age when people are taking sides. You can no longer assume that everyone you lead with feels the same way that you do about every issue.
As I spend time with my leaders, I’ve noticed that we actually disagree about a number of things. When it comes to our favorite kind of peanut butter, our favorite music or our favorite burger joint, we can probably agree to disagree and move on without a problem! But what about stronger, more divisive issues? What about politics? What about theological issues? This is where leadership gets messy because whether we like it or not, we measure our unity by the number of times we disagree and disagreement is almost always the beginning of division.
So how do you lead, grow, and manage a group of people who disagree? On my team, we recently changed the way we approach our disagreements, and I think it’s helped us to navigate the potentially murky waters of conflict among our leaders.
We spent some time forming a document called “The 10 Agreements.” These are 10 statements that we believe everyone serving on our worship teams should be able rally behind if they are going to be a part of us. These statements deal with the importance of our relationship with Jesus, our commitment to honesty, prayer, and even our commitment to be prepared and on time.
Here they are:
- We agree to walk wisely knowing that our relationship with Jesus determines our character and our character determines our response.
- We agree to respect each other by making preparedness and promptness a high priority.
- We agree to love each other and be honest even when it’s difficult.
- We agree to support each other and our church.
- We agree to receive constructive criticism from other people knowing that it’s intended to make us better.
- We agree to lead well off the stage understanding that our platform of influence extends past our association with our Church and into our public lives including time on social media.
- We agree to be honest with the worship staff about personal struggles that may affect our leadership.
- We agree to continually support each other in prayer.
- We agree to be grateful for where we are and hopeful of where we will one day be, knowing that God isn’t finished with us.
- We agree that the central aim of what we do is to glorify God and lift high the name of Jesus. Although musicianship is important and excellence is vital, everything leans up to support our central aim.
Jordan, is that all?
Well, yes and no. We do feel like these statements cover a lot of ground, and we think simplifying our agreements for the sake of easy digestion and memory is important. However, there are always other things to talk about that don’t fit within these statements. As you know, conversation and a cup of coffee can heal and unify opposition as long as they are done with love at the forefront. I’m always surprised to notice where our conversation goes, and I’m always delighted to see how respectful our team members are.
If you don’t already have something like this written for your team, I would encourage you to begin thinking about it. If you find these statements helpful, feel free to use them “as is” or reword them to fit the context of your team.
Jordan Lloyd has been writing music and leading worship for over 15 years. He serves as Worship Pastor at TrueNorth Church in North Augusta, SC. He spends his time developing leaders and consulting for church worship ministries across the country. He can be found on Twitter, Facebook and jordanlloydmusic.com.