Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An Example of Ministry Frustration

Monday night we had a board meeting. It was an excellent meeting, and we made plans totally change the way we run our meetings. I was really pleased with the plans we made and am excited about the focus of our future meetings.


Under new business an issue was raised that demonstrates some of the frustrations I mentioned here. First, some background. We have "singspiration" toward the beginning of each worship service. A song leader gets up and leads two contemporary praise songs. A couple of months ago, there were complaints that we weren't singing the right songs. I asked what was wanted. Recognizing my repertoire of contemporary praise music is limited, Administrative Assistant and I began selecting them together, looking for music that fit the theme of each week's worship. Many of the songs we've sung recently are new to me.


Monday night a concern about singspiration was raised. There are complaints about the music we're singing. It's not contemporary praise music. Someone else immediately chimed in to say she didn't like the songs we were singing because they were too repetitive (that's part of what makes it contemporary praise music). So I now have a complaint that it isn't praise music and a complaint that it is. I can deal with this.


I asked two questions: What songs have we sung that you didn't like? What songs do you want to sing? No one named a single song in response to either question. I asked that a list of song requests be given to me. Do I expect to get it? No. I will continue to ask for it, though. So what will I do? I will continue to look for contemporary praise songs that go with the theme of the service. I will continue to choose more general, well-loved praise songs when I can't find something specific to the theme. I will give the singspiration leaders a short introduction to the songs. For example, this Sunday the focus is on the man born blind. We will sing two songs that talk about opening eyes. The intro will talk about how we all have blind spots, and all need to ask God to help us see better. This will be an ongoing issue, and it's not one that can be solved. I will hear the complaints, invite constructive action, and continue to choose the music for worship with integrity. I won't stress out over it. That ability not to stress out about it comes from years of experience. When I was younger, it was much harder.


Miz Kizzle said...

Sounds annoying. If they can't or won't say what they want they shouldn't criticize the songs you're doing.
As for Singspiration, it would never happen in my church. It's an old money type of Presbyterian church that doesn't do praise songs and if a guitar or a guy doing a voice over as Satan were ever introduced into the worship service the gothic style 1880s building would probably collapse in shock.

Reverend Mom said...

This is a young church-- our building was built in two phases in the 80's and 90's. Of course, we laugh because their idea of contemporary music is things written 15-40 years ago. We're working on it.