When I Disagree with My Pastor
It happens! For some of us more than we care to admit. We don’t mean for it to happen. And it’s nothing personal, but sometimes we just…
…Disagree with our pastors!
Maybe it’s a decision about the worship service for Sunday, or a project that we just see differently. But disagreements will arise between pastor and worship pastor. So how do you handle it?
When I first started in ministry I wasn’t sure that it was Biblical to disagree with my pastor. But the longer we have worked together, the more I’ve learned that a little disagreement here and there actually shows how engaged we both are in the important ministry decisions being made.
(Note that there’s a difference between disagreeing and being disagreeable.)
We can see a decision from different points of view and still have each others best interest at heart. Patrick Lencioni in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team says that you don’t really have a good meeting unless there’s some sort of debate.
The problem with disagreements, however, most often come in what happens after the meeting. Many times you will walk out of a meeting where your idea was shot down, or your opinion on how a decision should go isn’t the direction the pastor (or the team) want to go.
At this point YOU have a choice to make: support the pastor’s call, or go your own way and undermine the pastor and the team.
You know what you need to do, now here is HOW you do it:
#1 – Speak up (in the meeting): If you have a different point of view on a decision you should speak up . . . but only behind closed doors!
Too many worship leaders walk away from a meeting where they disagree with the direction of the team, but they kept quiet in the meeting because they didn’t want to ruffle feathers . . . only to leave the meeting and complain about it to their spouse, staff, or (worse) team members.
If you disagree with a decision, speak up about it in the meeting. You may win; you may lose. But at least you said what you felt needed to be said.
#2 – Be respectful in your disagreements: It’s always OK to disagree behind closed doors, but it’s never OK to be disrespectful when you do. Use some tact. Don’t just disagree; give reasons why your idea is better. And then let it go. Don’t make the disagreement personal. Let it be about the idea or the decision only, and then move on.
#3 – Own the decision: Your ideas won’t always prevail, but even if they don’t you still need to walk out of that meeting 100% committed to the decision of the pastor and the team. You need to own it just like it was your idea to start with.
#4 – Never, ever, ever break the vow of confidence with your pastor by walking out of a meeting and then publicly stating (to anyone) that you don’t agree with the decision. Own it. That’s what being a leader is about.
#5 – And finally, don’t send the responsibility for the decision “up-line”. Sometimes when a decision is made that isn’t popular with some members of your team, there is a temptation to say, “The pastor made the call.” Never do that! When you do, two things happen:
a) You remove yourself from the position of leadership in that person’s mind. They no longer see you with pastoral authority. You’re just doing what you’ve been told. That’s a bad place to be in leadership. Even if it wasn’t the choice you fought for in the meeting, you have to stand with your pastor and communicate it like it WAS your choice.
b) You lose the real advantage of having up-line support later. If a decision has been made that a member of your team doesn’t like, AND they won’t get past it, you will need the ability to go up-line to your pastor later. Your pastor can step in and back you up. But if you sell responsibility for the decision straight up to your pastor and take no personal ownership for it, you remove the opportunity for an outside person to come in and resolve the issue.
I don’t know about you . . . but I didn’t learn ANYTHING about leadership issues like this in my Sacred Music program in College. Yet these are the leadership challenges that we face in the real world of ministry.
And these are the types of issues that I tackle every month in my Worship Leader Gold Network. Each month I will invest in you the same “gold” that so many worship leaders have poured into me over the last 12+ years of ministry at The Journey Church!
…My latest learnings about time management and life-ministry balance. During each briefing, I’ll share what I’m learning about how to be a good steward of your time and how to honor God as a spouse, parent, friend and relative.
…Your worship ministry’s systems and what might be the missing link. Often one or two missing elements mean the difference between mediocre and excellent results. Each month I’ll point out a “fatal flaw” that churches make and how you can avoid it.
…The seasons of the year. Just like all of God’s creation, there are different seasons in life and ministry. I’ll help you learn to recognize these seasons, predict their effect on you and your worship ministry, and prepare to maximize each for the cause of Christ.
…How we can support one another in prayer. Every month, we’ll include a time where we can lift up our churches, families, personal lives and one another up in prayer. (As Worship Leaders we need to plan, prepare and work like everything depends on us, and pray like everything depends on God.)
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With the Worship Leader Gold Monthly Update and Briefing, you’ll always be one step ahead in your planning and fully inspired and equipped to lead your worship ministry at the highest level ($199.00 per month value).
2) Monthly Equipping Interview/Conference Call – with me, Nelson Searcy, one of our mentors, a noted author or ministry leader – previous interviews include Steve Stroope, Larry Osborne, Patrick Lencioni, Tim Stevens and more. Listen live when you can, and you’ll receive an MP3 recording each month ($195.00 per month value).
3) Two practical, nuts-and-bolts CD’s sent directly to your mailbox each month. Even if you can’t make the live briefing or equipping calls – we’ll be sure you don’t miss a thing each month.
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10) Continually Updated WORSHIP LEADER GOLD RESOURCE DOCUMENTS AND DIRECTORY ($399.00 per month value). If there’s a document that we use at The Journey or that is shared by someone else in the network (and I think its helpful) I’ll share it with you.
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16) $813.20 in FREE Resources when you join today! These resources will be waiting for you in your Worship Leader Gold Online Hub within two hours of the time you join – you can start taking advantage of these resources immediately!
Total value of resources and training you receive in this network exceed $2,072.00 per month.
But the network is far more than just the resources you receive. The focus this network provides for your ministry and the ideas and insights in your life are simply priceless.
Are you ready to become a member of this exclusive Worship Leader Gold mentoring network?
** Yes Jason, let me in NOW. I’m ready to join Worship Leader Gold for only $99 per month (that’s less than ONE THIRD the monthly investment of a regular coaching network). But hurry, this is a limited time offer. Join today! **