When one of my team members brings an issue with another team member to my attention in a healthy and humble way, it’s not wrong. Honestly, for a lot of people, doing this is a feat. Many just keep their complaints inside and never tell them to anyone, or they end up venting and complaining to another team member or friend.

But while I honor the person for bringing the issue to my attention, there is a better option.

I’ve found that more times than not, the issue would have been solved a lot more quickly and easily if they had just gone to the person in question and raised the issue with them directly.

Open, direct, and timely communication is key to the long-term health of your team. Click To Tweet

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had band members on my team come to me wanting to talk about how someone else on the team was frustrating them.

I used to feel so burdened by this. I felt like it was my responsibility to have a conversation with the person in question about how they could “change,” in the hopes that it would make the other team member happy.

Over time, I came to realize that when someone comes to me with a complaint about someone else, my first question needs to be, “Have you shared this with that person yet?”

The juggling act where you're the one trying to keep everyone on your team happy is not sustainable. Open and honest communication from all team members is what makes a healthy team. Click To Tweet

If they say ‘no,’ most of the time I’ll encourage them to talk to that person about their issue and then let me know how the conversation goes. It’s critical to learn how to delegate this responsibility back to the person with the complaint. This relieves you from carrying all of the burdens of the team and it also fosters good, healthy communication between your team members.

I let them know that if the conflict escalates to the point where they feel they need me to step in and help in the situation, I am happy to do so, but that I really feel that most of the time they can handle it without my involvement. Some people just need to be given permission to address the conflict on their own. Others may be reluctant to initiate a discussion or may fear confrontation. Sometimes this is personality related. Other times it’s because people are passive aggressive and have a fear of conflict.

Help your team grow in their communication skills by affirming that you trust them to handle the situation with grace and humility and encouraging them to talk out challenges that arise with one another. Click To Tweet

You can help these team members grow in their communication skills by affirming that you trust them to handle the situation with grace and humility and encouraging them to go and talk it out. If they seem especially hesitant, you may even want to suggest ways to broach the topic gently. Sometimes an opening line is all they need to get the conversation rolling.

Tell them to check back in with you on this in a few weeks to see if they’ve brought up the challenge with the person in question.

Open, direct, and timely communication is so key to the long-term health of your worship team. If you get caught in the middle, trying to referee and moderate your team members to keep them all happy, it becomes a juggling act you won’t be able to sustain. Your role is to delegate responsibility, give guidance and suggestions when needed, and to step back and let your team members work out as many issues as possible amongst themselves.

Encouraging face to face discussions between team members who have issues to work through with each other will not only keep you from being the perpetual peacemaker but will build invaluable interpersonal skills on your team. Click To Tweet
Open and honest communication between all team members is what makes a healthy team. It's your job as the leader to instill this value into your team. Click To Tweet

Huge thanks to my friend Jordan Vanderplate for letting me use this photo of Ludington, MI. Check out more of his work here.


I’m Justin Rizzo. I’m a worship leader, songwriter, and recording artist. I want to help you achieve your highest potential and walk out with confidence everything you’ve been made for.









2 comments

  1. Dan williams

    GOLD!
    So good. This should be the team 101 curriculum in all worship schools. Could save many team relationships and prevent some really crazy misunderstandings. Thank you Justin Rizzo.