Monday, September 23, 2013

Getting over it

...sort of...

Rejection sucks. I know. It's one of my things. A lifetime of rejection has left me feeling...uhm, rejected? (I'm a really good writer.) It's affected my relationships and my friendships and my internal dialogue. It's affected the way I think and the way I react and ultimately the way I worship. 

So imagine my reaction when my friend and worship team compatriot decided to leave the church over theology issues. I was...nonplussed. I was insulted. I was angry.

(See what I did there?)

I have father issues, in case you didn't read any of the eight years of posts on my old blog, and one of the biggest was rejection. So now, I (incorrectly) see it in every sideways look, every non-response, every negative answer. Anytime I'm left out of a conversation or joke, anytime I miss out on anything, anytime someone gets a job instead of me, my old insecurities flare up. In my mind, these people are willingly making a decision about who I am as a person or worker or leader, or they are making choices about my life based what they think about me personally. In my mind.

My problem is, I do annoy people. Not all the time, but it's there. And I'm so insecure that I notice the eyerolls and the head shakes because I'm constantly looking for them. Which makes it worse. I don't know how to not care. 

So anyway, this guy decided that his "theological concerns" were more important than the relationships he had cultivated over the past five years and left to find a church that would tell him exactly what he wanted to hear. (Can you tell I'm a little upset about it?) And actually, I get it. That's kinda the point of denominations. Worship with like-minded people, with people who like to worship the way you like to worship. Only, this guy likes to rock out and his new church doesn't do that. And this guy is a total nut who likes to goof off, and his new church is very serious. I don't know these things about his church, mind you. I'm just speculating. To make myself feel better.

What I know is that, relationships were very serious to my friend and he just...dropped them. Well, not exactly. Actually he spent the first five months after he left calling all of us every night to hang out. Until his wedding, where five guys from our church were his groomsmen. After his wedding, we've not really heard from him. 

What would I say to him if I were able to handle confrontation? I'd say, "dude you were wrong. Your theology is flawed but that's not even the worst part. The worst part is you let your theology become more important than your friends and your community. You constantly seek out arguments under the guise of theological debate. You left for a bad reason. You're a great guy and you've done a bad thing badly and left a lot of people in your wake.

And I'm no different."

My stuff has consequences, too. People are affected by what I do. Especially for someone in my position, who has a lot of influence and a lot of visibility in the church. Someone who has the opportunity to make things happen. My choices, my mistakes, affect people. I'm a staff worship leader, a band leader, a home group leader, partial leader of a second home group, and I'm in a relationship. There is no chance that my dumb choices don't hurt at least one person on any given day. Maybe mine aren't so visible as leaving the church, but are affective nonetheless. (Yes, I made up affective.) (Or DID I?)

So, I've had to learn to put down my feelings of rejection and hurt, of anger and resentment and my need for some sort of emotional vengeance and realize that my friend was trying to make the best decision for him and his fiance, and despite thinking he made the wrong decision, I know he prayed about it and talked about it with multiple people, and did his best. And he loves the Lord and the Lord loves him, and in the paraphrased words of John Wimber, we'll get to heaven and realize all of our theology was wrong somehow and just laugh. 

In the meantime, when he finally calls me up and tells me he wants to hang out and watch Fringe, I will gladly accept and go pick up some pizza and spend time with my friend. And it will be alright. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Dealing with jerkholes and praising the Lord

Being a leader blows chunks. Seriously.

The end.

Oh. Well. I guess I'll write some more.

It really wouldn't be so bad if I weren't leading people. They* are the issue. They have all these "problems" and "needs" and "desires" and "children." Why can't they all just do everything I want and be at my beck and call? BLURG!

Well, okay, it's really not that bad. I love my team. I LOVE them. They are a great bunch of people that love and serve and live their lives. Yeah, sometimes they show up late and ignore my emails and do things incorrectly and break equipment and badmouth me and complain and forget they are supposed to be playing or running sound that morning, but so what! Ugh. Okay. Maybe I need to work through some of this.

There are some folks that are constantly late. And I get frustrated. I mean, I am the "Angry Worship Leader." But also, I'm very passive-aggressive. Instead of saying something, I just don't talk or make snide remarks. I'm a real gem, I know. I print them out a schedule and email them a schedule, and most weeks I also send an email to the team for the week. Ususally, when I send the weekly email, they are there. On time. Hmm.

Another thing that drives me insane is when people never respond to my emails. I mean ever. I try to plan the schedule out ahead of time, and they never respond and then ask to change the schedule all around after I've already published it. Ugh. I mean, I'm usually doing the schedule at the last minute, so they have PLENTY of time to let me know when they can sing or play. Ohp. Wait. That's me again. I just heard it. Moving on.

I especially love it when people complain. I mean, most everyone on the team (sound and visual folks included) only have to serve 1-2 times per month, but they act like I'm making them work 9-5, 6 days a week. I mean, I NEVER complain. Ever. Never ever...ever...


So, between my inconsistency and my bad attitude and my lack of communication, I'm creating an environment that is breeding inconsistency and bad attitudes and lack of communication. It's almost like being a good leader is crucial to creating a healthy atmosphere that invites worship. Who knew THAT?

I try so hard to be organized and patient and communicatey. But I let my emotions have control. When I don't spend enough time giving it to the Lord in prayer or praying for my people, or working on my communication and leadership, it shows. It also shows when I am doing those things, because usually when I do those things well, then I almost never have a problem. Good lesson, self!

Bottom line, it's hard for my worship and service team to serve and praise the Lord when they have to deal with a jerkhole leader. Get it together, Steed!

*Note: I embellished some of my issues for the sake of this blog post. My team is awesome and could most likely beat your team at anything. Except Cornhole. They suck at Cornhole.