117 – Responding to Worship Criticism, Part 2
What’s in this Episode?
In this episode of the Church Tips Podcast, Jeff Deyo (former lead singer of Sonicflood) continues the discussion about dealing with worship criticism.
Be notified when the Worship Leadership Track by Jeff Deyo is live!
The Pastors Guide to Navigating Generational and Cultural Worship Gaps
The Worship Pastors Guide to Honoring The Lead Pastor
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Read the Transcript
Dick Hardy 0:06
Hey, we want to welcome you to the Church Tips Podcast, Dick and Jonathan Hardy here. We’re glad to have you with us today, as we’re talking about how to respond to criticism that people give as it relates to the worship music that’s happening in the church.
Jonathan Hardy 0:21
And so if you’re a worship pastor, you face criticism. If you’re a lead pastor, you might be facing criticism as it relates to the worship music that’s happening. And so we want to be continuing our discussion from Episode 116, where we’re talking about five specific ways to respond and navigate this criticism that pastors so often can face.
Dick Hardy 0:42
Right. You know, the first two items that Jeff talked about, by the way, this is produced by Jeff Deyo, the former lead singer for Sonicflood back in the day, you’ll remember that group. And he’s a professor at North Central University now and just doing a masterful job, helping worship leaders and pastors navigate these things that come up, and the criticism.
Dick Hardy 1:05
Hey, Jonathan and I have been around ministry a long time, you have, and criticism is going to be there. Everybody’s got an opinion. And everybody really has an opinion about music.
Dick Hardy 1:15
The first two things Jeff talked about in the previous episode was to be proactive about resolving issues before they arise. And then number two, that the worship pastor and the lead pastor need to meet to establish their stance on these issues, and it will be driven by the lead pastor. So the worship pastor really needs to be in sync with the lead pastor on that.
Dick Hardy 1:37
So we’re going to talk about three more things that Jeff says we need to be factoring, as we jump into defusing the criticism that comes our way.
Jonathan Hardy 1:49
Yep, yep. So these are going to be really helpful for you. So again, as Dick mentioned, feel free to jump back to Episode 116 to get the get the full detail of all that Jeff was talking about in that episode. But now we’re going to cut to this next clip of Jeff, where he’s talking about the next three pieces of dealing with this criticism. And then we’ll come back with a final summary.
Dick Hardy 2:10
You bet. See you in the little bit.
Jeff Deyo 2:12
All right, number three, I want you to be careful with your response to your congregation. This is really important because there can be tension there, as we’ve already talked about, but it’s important for you to let the congregation be heard. People need to be able to feel that, hey, I can talk to this person, and maybe even disagree with this person, without there being a problem with our relationship.
Jeff Deyo 2:36
But I encourage you to be a listener. Listen, before you speak, we know this is a biblical concept. You’ve heard your kindergarten, preschool teacher, talking about you got two ears, one mouth, so it’s more important to listen, right. So it’s important for your congregation to be heard.
Jeff Deyo 2:52
And one thing I want to encourage you about this, too, is don’t take criticism personally. I know people sometimes directed at you personally, they’ll even say you did this, or you did that. Those types of things. But I encourage you not to take this personally. Right? This is difficult to do. But this is ministry, and as part of what you need to be able to deal with as a worship leader or worship pastor.
Jeff Deyo 3:15
Now another part of this is I want you to be careful with emails and texts. Gosh, I think this is becoming a big problem. I’m still a part of a generation that didn’t have email or text at one point in my life. But there’s a lot of people now-a-days that have grown up and this is all I’ve ever known. So they’ve learned to communicate with email and text.
Jeff Deyo 3:35
Well, the last thing you want to do is to debate over text or email. Honestly, we’ve got to move these conversations to in-person, so we can see each other face to face. I’ll tell you, a lot of people will say things over email that they would never say in-person. And we need to call each other to accountability, and make sure that we get together and talk face-to-face.
Jeff Deyo 3:58
We also need to make sure that we’re responding with kindness. And sometimes what that means is be slow to respond. Don’t just knee jerk, don’t just throw out a response and out of anger or frustration. And this is tough. It’s tough for me, I know I deal with some of this as well. But I’m going to encourage you to respond with kindness, and let them know that they’re being heard.
Jeff Deyo 4:19
And then I would, as I said, I would invite you to invite them to meet with you to discuss these issues in depth, if necessary. If you can solve things after church on a Sunday, that’s great. But if you need to get together, then I would encourage you to do that.
Jeff Deyo 4:38
One last thing here I encourage you is I would encourage you to never ever engage with anyone, from your church, on social media about these issues. This is something that we see all the time. It’s hard for me to believe because people will say well, I can’t believe we’re doing this song or I can’t believe the volume, blah, blah, blah, all this stuff.
Jeff Deyo 5:01
And I would really encourage you not to respond. But to reach out to that person, maybe message them directly and say, Hey, I noticed that you made this comment, I would love to know your heart behind that. Number one that’s going to call them to accountability.
Jeff Deyo 5:09
They might go, Oh, I didn’t even realize the pastor was watching, you know, and listening. Maybe they’ll just stop their moaning and complaining, or maybe you’ve unearthed a real concern. And you can get together and talk about it. But whatever you do, do not engage, do not argue over on social media that is going to make your church look bad, that’s going to make you look bad, and it’s not going to help the situation.
Jeff Deyo 5:43
And again, I would encourage you to lean on your pastor, if he or she has given you this freedom. You know, for example, you say, Well, I have discussed this issue with the pastor, and he has approved us doing it this way. So if you do have a problem with that, you know, I’m just going to need to ask you to talk with him. You know, obviously be nice about that. But that is something that you can do if your pastor is giving you the freedom to do that.
Jeff Deyo 6:10
Alright, so number four, I want you to make sure your team gets out of the green room. Come on somebody. We got to get to know people. We’ve already been talking about how so many people think we’re rock stars and, you know, we just sit in the green room and wait till we sing. And that’s all we care about. I would encourage you to engage in at least, and all of your team members to engage in at least, one service per week. You need to be engaged.
Jeff Deyo 6:35
If your church has three services on a Sunday morning, just make sure that everyone is involved in at least one of those services. Now, this is important for you and for others to see you engaged.
Jeff Deyo 6:47
I would encourage you to send the volunteers, send your team, out to the lobby, right, to get to know people. Show that you are a real person, show them that you really do care. And I think that will help solve some of these issues.
Jeff Deyo 7:02
And I want to encourage you to participate in other church events, right, not just the worship nights. If we see if we see you passionate about worship, but you’re not passionate about other things, then that’s going to throw up red flags for people. I want to encourage you because this is going to build trust. And it’s going to allow you to have a voice in their life as well.
Jeff Deyo 7:24
You want to do that by going to events like some of the serve events or services where you are not leading worship. Can you imagine being in a church service where you’re not leading worship? Well, if you’re the worship pastor, you’re probably never in that situation. But there could be a possibility where you are in that situation. But you know, showing up at the men’s events, showing up at the women’s event, if you’re a woman worship pastor, showing up with your family, those types of things go a long way.
Jeff Deyo 7:51
Alright, so as we kind of wrap up this idea of receiving criticism from your congregation, there’s a takeaway I want to give you. We’ve got to understand that we can’t please everyone, but that we can serve everyone. We can’t please everyone, nor are we supposed to, but we can serve and love everyone.
Jeff Deyo 8:14
You want to remind people in your congregation that the main goal is connection with God. But the conditions, now listen to this, the conditions for connecting with God will never be perfect.
Jeff Deyo 8:26
We really need to train our congregations with this type of concept. Because if they’re looking for perfect conditions, the right songs, the right keys, the right everything, the right style, they’re never going to be able to worship God. So we got to help people understand those conditions are never going to be perfect and we should worship God, regardless.
Dick Hardy 8:44
Hey. Was that great stuff or what?
Jonathan Hardy 8:48
Dick Hardy 8:47
I’m just telling you.
Jonathan Hardy 8:48
Yeah, that is good.
Dick Hardy 8:48
That is just absolutely powerful. Right to the point of dealing with criticism in ministry.
Jonathan Hardy 9:18
Dick Hardy 8:54
Hey, let me give you a little recap of the three things that Jeff just talked about. Remember, in the previous episode, there were two things he talked about. But here’s items three, four, and five.
Dick Hardy 9:04
Number three was, be careful with your response to your congregation. So true.
Dick Hardy 9:09
Number four, make sure your team gets out of the green room. Another words thay can’t be these, as he says divas in there.
Jonathan Hardy 9:17
Just hanging out back.
Dick Hardy 9:18
They gotta in with the body.
Dick Hardy 9:20
And then number five, we can’t please everybody, but we can serve everybody.
Jonathan Hardy 9:26
Yeah, so good. Yeah, man it’s really good.
Jonathan Hardy 9:29
And you know, one of the things I wanted to let you know about is as it relates to trying to bridge this gap that we have. I mean, because there’s different generations, like different styles of music. Different cultures have a framework of what that style of music looks like. And so there’s this divide that takes place in all of our churches.
Jonathan Hardy 9:47
And so one of the resources that we wanted to make you aware of is a free PDF guide that’s going to help you bridge this gap among the different generations the different cultures as it relates to people’s worship style, their music preferences.
Jonathan Hardy 10:01
And so if you would like to bridge this gap, and you’d like to figure out how can I put some of this into practice right now, I want to encourage you to go to Leaders.Church/Gaps, Leaders.Church/Gaps (gaps). And that’s going to help you to bridge the gap and be able to get people unified together as it relates to our worship of the Lord.
Jonathan Hardy 10:22
Because ultimately, that’s what it’s about, right?
Dick Hardy 10:50
Jonathan Hardy 10:24
It’s not about the style, it’s not about how many instruments are playing or no instruments? Not, you know, I like how Jeff and some of the course material talks about, you know, what key are you on and all that. It’s like, ultimately, that doesn’t matter. It’s all about are we making a joyful noise, and worshiping and connecting with God?
Dick Hardy 11:09
Jonathan Hardy 10:44
Because that’s ultimately what it’s about, is to worship and honor Him. And so I hope this free PDF will be of value to you. And then be sure to save the date for February 16th. When this course that Jeff has put together releases. You are going to love it. This is just a small snippet, just a tiny little snippet, of all that we have produced with Jeff. And you want to make sure to jump in and capitalize on this when it comes out on February 16th. So, save the date there.
Dick Hardy 11:14
In fact, if you want to be notified of that, you just go to Leaders.Church, do I have this right? Leaders.Church/Worship. And you’ll get on a notification list that boom, we’ll get that out to you right away, so you’ll know.
Jonathan Hardy 11:30
You’ll be first to be notified.
Dick Hardy 11:31
Jonathan Hardy 11:32
Jonathan Hardy 11:32
So all right. Well, hey, we want to thank you so much for being with us on the Church Tips Podcast today. We’ll look forward to seeing you next time. Take care.