As a leader, my biggest pet peeve is lateness. Being able to be on time is part of what it means to be a responsible adult. I ESPECIALLY hate lateness if the musicians are paid. A side note here… We will occasionally pay musicians – but only if they make their living by playing music. For a paid player, unless there’s a REALLY good reason (ie. hospitalization), a no show/no call means 1 strike and you’re out. Lateness will get a warning, and then the 2nd time, suspension from the team. With volunteers, we’ll be slightly more lenient, but not much. That may seem harsh, but here’s why…

There are too many people depending on the players being there to allow lateness. If 25 other tech and worship team members manage to be on time, it’s not fair to them to hold the whole process for someone who regularly forgets to set their alarm. Being late basically says to everyone that “My time and issues are important, and yours aren’t.” We have 4500-5000 people in our church on any given weekend – multiply those people by an hour and 15 minutes each of time in the service, and lateness has the potential to mess things up in a big way.

The trick is determining what the Christ-like response is. If someone has a spotless record, but then has an issue because they have a sick child, or something like that, I’m not going to go ballistic. As long, that is, as there’s a call so that we can make changes if they are needed. Only the most severe emergencies prevent a phone call…

What I’ve found is that a problem with lateness is usually tied to a sense of entitlement. Some folks would love to be a part of the worship team, as long as it doesn’t cramp their lifestyle. It’s up to me as a leader to help these folks see that there really is a lot riding on what they do as team members – and to protect the other members of the team (and the congregation) from those that would abuse their time and trust.

Everyone has a choice – we don’t force anything on anyone. People can be late. That’s OK. They just can’t be consistently late and be on our worship team…

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