One of the key characteristics that I see in great church leaders is politeness. They show patience, kindness, compassion and consideration for those who they lead and serve alongside – basically, they treat people the way they would like to be treated. This is opposed to aggressive domination, micromanagement, etc… or even straight up arrogance – a trait that is sometimes confused in our culture for confidence [some even redefine blatant rudeness as “authenticity” to excuse their bad behavior].
Don’t misunderstand me here – I am not saying to do everything within your power to avoid offending people [an almost impossible task in 2021]. As a leader, you will need to make choices, and choices – by their nature – sometimes cause people to become upset. For example, let’s say that you are a production director, and your church has decided to start using haze in your worship services. After a weekend service, a congregational member angrily approaches you, with a combination of complaints and accusations ranging from health concerns to the inappropriateness of “putting on a show.” Rather than ignoring, arguing or trying to “school” the individual, listen – and then let them know that you’ll discuss it. And then discuss it. Don’t cave or make promises that you can’t keep – the decision probably won’t change – but you’ve at least honored them by patiently hearing them and considering their position, rather than simply blowing off their concerns.
Another example that I’ve seen one time too many… Sometimes I’ll visit churches and see worship team members treating the production team with profound disrespect, particularly about monitors. They will “ask” for changes a very demanding way, sometimes all at once. Interestingly, I see this in smaller churches more often than larger ones – it may be the “big fish in a small pond” syndrome. Regardless, it’s not acceptable behavior for church teams, or any team. Politeness – particularly from the church platform – should be a given. No snide, snarky tones of voice. Sorry – no divas allowed.