Be honest, Worship Leaders, who is your favorite (yes, I said it) person on your team to work with? The most talented musician? Your best singer? I would bet no.
It’s probably your team member who handles your instruction and criticism best. It’s most likely the person who hops on board when you bring up a new idea. My guess is, the person who is coming to your mind is a team member who is teachable and has a willing attitude.
AM I RIGHT?
If you’re still with me here, I want you to think about your church staff (include yourself). What’s the atmosphere and vibe like? Are you amongst a group of people with willing spirits and teachable hearts? More importantly, are you one of them?
Maybe your first instinct is to instantly say, “Yes!” I know from my own experience that I started out as a worship leader who was ready to learn and grow and I was willing to try anything to help my team further the church’s vision. Over time, church life can really take a toll on our hearts. Disappointment and heartache affect our approach to leadership and our outlook (*cough* *cough* I mean ATTITUDE) on the inner workings of church. In walks pride along with a sort of jadedness that slowly pulls us away from that eager, teachable worship leader we started out as.
If you’re on the fence, take a look at this list to see if you’ve lost some of your teachable spirit. Here are three warning signs:
- Your pastor, supervisor, or co-workers have stopped bringing you ideas. What’s your response when someone offers up an idea for your team? Maybe it’s, “We’ve tried that. It doesn’t work.” Or maybe in your head you’ve thought, “My pastor doesn’t know anything about music so I’m not listening to his ideas.” Leaders, I’m not asking you to use every single idea someone brings to you. I’m asking about the attitude and posture behind your response. Think about your team members again. We all have a couple people who are harder to critique, right? It’s the look on their face, their closed posture, their short, clipped response that tell you they are not open to your instruction or idea. It’s self-evaluation time. If your pastor or co-workers have stopped giving you new ideas or even suggestions for your team, it’s time for you to check your teachable attitude.
- You’re currently not learning anything new. How did you feel at your first few guitar or piano lessons? There’s an overwhelming feeling that occurs at the beginning stages of learning something new. You feel humbled by your inability to play the instrument instantly. You come to understand the dedication it takes to learn how to play it. Worship leaders, it’s a good thing to keep putting yourself in the position of “beginner”. Continuing to learn will help us squash our pride and remind us that we don’t know everything, we haven’t been everywhere, and we are not done growing. Pick anything! An instrument, a language, an interesting subject… just learn! When we stop looking for new things to learn, we miss out on humbling experiences that keep our teachable spirit intact.
- You go to a conference just to “network” and don’t sit in the classes. OR you don’t sit in a service to hear the message on Sunday (I know, ouch). How does this happen to us? Is it that we’ve become so great that we don’t need to hear our pastor’s message? Now that you’re all shouting, “Of course not!” at me, let me break it to you. That’s what it looks like. And that is for sure what it looks like to your pastor. I get it. Sunday mornings are crazy and there’s a million people to talk to and little things to get done. But it’s so important for us to be taught. It’s important for us to listen and learn from God’s word. Being on staff does not make us exempt from “going to church” too. If every time there’s a conference class or sermon and you opt out, that’s a major red flag that you’ve stopped being teachable.
Take some time over the next few days and give yourself an evaluation. Maybe even approach your pastor and ask him what he thinks of your teachable attitude. But be ready. Go into that conversation with prayer and ask God to keep your heart open and your defenses down. Tackle something new or take a class. I assure you, it will help take that pride down a notch or two. Let’s be intentional about our teachable hearts!