By Gabriel Allred
In Part 1, we established the challenges inherent to confrontation and identified to two major categories of issues: sin issues and character issues. We also spent some time considering how best to confront difficulties related to sin. Today, we’ll dig into those character-related challenges and discuss options for addressing them.
These are by far the most prevalent and perhaps the trickiest issues we face. On one hand, these people are not going to go to hell over their issues, but on the other hand…“Ahhhh! They’re driving me nuts”!
Dealing with a character issue is like having a close conversation with someone’s bad breath. The person with the bad breath almost never knows they have it, but wonder why no one ever wants to be close to them. Kinda sad. Before I ever deal with these types of issues, I always try to find out if there’s a redemptive gift buried within the issue. And very, very often there is.
“What does that mean, Gabriel?”
For example, I had a guy on my team once who, during worship practice, would mock anyone’s idea, tear it down, then present his own. He wasn’t a jerk, but came across as one whenever it was time to be creative. His idea was better and everyone else’s was stupid – at least in his own eyes. Another thing that complicated things was that he was usually right. His ideas were usually always better than everyone else’s. (A weak leader would typically ignore that issue because they don’t want to upset the talent. Well, I’m here to upset the talent and strengthen the character and so are you!)
So let’s break it down. The issue was simply that he was a domineering jerk during practice. The redemptive gift was that he was a strong and natural leader! So how should you address it? Here’s what I did:
I pulled him aside one day and said, “Hey, I just wanted to thank you for your creativity. You bring so much color to the music and you’re a natural leader…” At this point he feels really good about himself, because I’m truthfully and honestly qualifying his giftings. “…in fact you’re so gifted that you don’t need to tear other people’s ideas before you give your own.”
Now reality has set in. He’s recalling his attitude in all those practices… “You have a habit of making other people feel stupid about their creations, because you haven’t believed that your ideas were good enough to stand on their own. But the fact is they are. And so are you!”
At this point he’s encouraged, yet vulnerable because I have disciplined him. But we’re not done yet. Now he needs an action plan. “From now on, I want you to take the time to listen when people give their ideas. Be kind and encouraging. When they’re done presenting theirs, you are free to present yours …without added jerkendom.”
He was different from that point on. He had moments of regression, as we all do, but that’s how we break habits. One healthy choice at a time. This kind of discipleship is like continually reminding someone to use a breath mint. A breath mint for their soul. Because everyone loves a minty fresh soul.
I hope this is helpful for you and your team. Healthy worship comes best from healthy teams and you cannot have a healthy team without healthy individuals to build it.