Worship Teams: 5 Things to Remember When Your Worship Pastor Rejects Your Ideas

Worship Teams: 5 Things to Remember When Your Worship Pastor Rejects Your Ideas

by Jacob Shaughnessy

Imagine it: Your worship team in total sync with each other…living in perfect harmony…accepting all of each other’s ideas...everyone on the same page. Reality check: that world doesn’t exist. The fact is, music isn't like a formal language such as English, where we can perfectly articulate the point we're trying to get across to the listener. Yes, we know where we're going as a worship team; but everyone has a different idea on how to get there. And everyone believes they know the right path. And when our ideas don't line up with the ideas of church leadership, conflict can occur.

So here are 5 things that you, as a worship team member should remember when your Worship Pastor rejects your musical ideas:

1. This is Not a Band. In bands, it’s typically a democracy. Each person getting a vote on every idea. On a worship team however, not only is your Worship Pastor (or head Worship Leader) in charge, but your Senior Pastor can even trump the Worship Pastor. Think of it like a pro sports team: Your Worship Pastor is the coach, and your Senior Pastor the General Manager. And the owner? That would be God; who often communicates with both the Senior Pastor and Worship Pastor what He wants done within the worship team.

2. Count the Cost Before Going Up the Chain of Command. Your idea was rejected, so you think you should go to your Senior Pastor? Before you schedule that meeting, remember that your Senior Pastor is looking for those who have the fruit of the Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (see Gal. 5:22-23). Your Senior Pastor already knows if you’re walking in this fruit. If you are, go ahead and set the meeting. If not, be warned: you may just come off as looking pushy and self-serving.

3. Having a Track Record of Submissiveness Will Help Plead Your Case. Are you someone who knows how to take “No” for an answer, or are you more like a bull in a china shop when your musical ideas are rejected? The bible tells us in Hebrews 13:17 that we are to, “Obey (our) spiritual leaders and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.” (NLT)

4. Choose Your Battles Wisely. You have a lot of great ideas for your worship team and feel your Worship Leader needs to know about them all? Take it from me: it’s best not to tell your Worship Leader about every single idea you have as it occurs to you. Why? It can be overwhelming; not to mention that they have lots of other factors to consider that you may not be aware of. When you have ideas that you believe could benefit the worship team, pray about which one you should present to your Worship Pastor; sleep on it, and present that one idea with humility and respect. To quote my grandfather, "You can catch more bees with honey than with vinegar."

5. Don’t Take the Rejection So Personal. When your musical ideas are rejected—and trust me—they will be, don’t take it so personal. If you allow yourself to think about how great your idea is over and over in your mind, it becomes a no-brainer, to you, that it’s a great idea that must be implemented immediately, or the world will come to an end. When you do this, you’re setting yourself up for a fall. If you’re rejected, don’t take it personal. And whatever you do, don’t become offended. Offense is a choice…a trap of satan, if you will.


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