Interpersonal Relationships affect Worship

 “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.”  (Romans 12:10)

After the worship service one of the Praise Team members was discouraged.  “Those comments that the sound tech made before the service were very discouraging.  I had a really hard time worshiping this morning.”  I could tell she was disappointed and frustrated.

By her own admission, she took everything people said very personally – even if the comments were not directly to her.  The comments the sound tech made were meant to help, but inadvertently caused the opposite reaction.

It reminded me of the reality of interpersonal relationships and that our ministry together is full of potential.  A potential for great things, as well as a potential for problems.  We must navigate through the mist of relationships, often wondering why people do what they do, or say what they say.  In my case, I needed to help this team member work through what she was feeling and to think clearly about what happened.

My first thought was to help her to understand the context of the comments and acknowledge that they weren’t directed at her specifically.  The Sound Tech hears, out in the auditorium, what we cannot hear on stage.  He is doing his best to prepare for a positive experience for the whole congregation.  Muddy words, drums that are too loud, or instruments that are being lost in the mix are his concerns.  He is trying to listen holistically and get the best sound for the whole group.

In conjunction with that, we can consider the idea of our serving the congregation.  As a musician or leader, we have a role to play and are concerned at doing that to the best of our ability.  We want to serve well.  So do our Sound and Multimedia personnel.  They serve, often unnoticed and with little thanks, until something goes wrong.  By dealing with issues during rehearsal, these men and women are also “rehearsing” to serve with their best efforts.  Let’s believe the best about them and their desire to serve well.

Another thought I shared was that we must enter into the life of the Sound Tech to understand why his comments may have not been worded well, or were said harshly.  We both know this person and his own life struggles.  As we talked through the tensions in his life, the frustration from the morning began to soften.  When we considered the other person, compassion was built and God’s Spirit moved us toward a loving response.  We knew that there were greater pressures in his life than simply fixing something in the mix, and by recognizing that we were able to put his mood and his comments into context.

Finally, I pointed out that musicians and worship leaders often look for some elusive feeling of “worship” that will confirm that they have, indeed, worshiped.  However, when we rely on our feelings to validate our life and our experience, we will often be disappointed.  Worship is an obedient response to the work of God in our lives, and is manifested by serving others (see Romans 12:1-21).  We serve our faith community by playing instruments, singing, and planning worship.  If God has gifted us for those things, and we are obedient in doing them, sometimes the “feeling” we look for may come lagging along later – or not at all.  We must assess our loving response of obedience in serving others as that which God expects from His servants (see Colossians 3:23).

Next time you get a sense of frustration as the result of an interpersonal conflict, use one or all of these ideas to think more clearly about the situation.  “Be devoted to each other,” as our Scripture verse states, and think the best thoughts about your fellow-servants.

Father, thank You for Your love which can flow through us to others.  Thank You for each of my fellow-servants as we seek to lead Your people in worship.  Give us hearts of love for one another.  In Jesus name, Amen.

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Posted on July 28, 2015, in Content of Worship, Corporate Worship, Leadership, theology, Worship Leader and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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