More and more women are getting hired as worship leaders, and we think that’s a good thing! But female leadership in the church can be a tricky thing to navigate, depending on which side of the “conservative” aisle you fall on. This month we talk with Krissy Nordhoff and Maribeth Dodd (of Brave Worship) about the unique challenges female worship leaders face, as well as the positive things women bring to the table in worship leadership. To all our female listeners out there, thanks for all you do to advance the Kingdom of God! Send this episode onto another sister in the battle!
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Alex Enfiedjian 00:16 Hello and welcome back to another episode of the worship ministry training podcast. This is Alex Enfiedjian your host. On today’s episode I am talking with Chrissy nordoff and Marybeth Dodd about being a woman in worship leadership. Chrissy is an award winning songwriter, and Mary Beth is a worship leader and leadership coach out in Nashville, Tennessee. They are full of wisdom and great gals. And I had them speak to two young and up and coming worship leader gals, here in Los Angeles about the challenges of being a female worship leader, the upsides and everything in between. And so if you are a woman worship leader, I hope this episode super encourages you in your role and in your calling, and that you walk out just feeling empowered to be the best worship leader that you can be. I had a little trouble with the audio on the very beginning of the interview portion. But thankfully I had a backup copy, just the quality is not as high but it’ll kick into high quality about a minute or two into the interview. So looking forward to sharing that with you. Today, we want to encourage you to check out our recommended product which is core sound pads, the absolute best backing pad for worship. It’s that ethereal soft sound that sits underneath your worship band and helps fill in the gaps smooth out the transitions and avoids that awkward dead silence. So wanna encourage you to check out core sound pads comm they also have a free app that you can download and you can try all their pads for free, amazing product if you decide to buy a pads bundle you can use the promo code WM t podcast at checkout and that will save you 20% off your purchase. So check all of that out at core sound pads calm I can’t recommend them highly enough. I use them every single song set. Alright, let’s jump into our interview with Chrissy nordoff and Marybeth thought about being a female worship leader.
Unknown Speaker 02:10 Hey everybody, I
Alex Enfiedjian 02:11 am here with a bunch of wonderful female worship leaders. Hello, ladies. Let me quickly try to introduce everyone. We have Marybeth Dodd, who is a worship leader and her sister Chrissy nordoff, who is a songwriter for integrity, right music, awesome. And they have a ministry to female worship leaders called brave worship, which they do mentorships and gatherings and songwriting things and stuff. And then on this side of the microphone here in California, I have pearl bots, and Jasmine who are two newer, not newer worship leaders. But you recently both took positions in churches as like the primary worship leader role. So Hello, ladies. So I thought it’d be great to connect these two wiser worship leaders with these two, I won’t call you not wise, younger. And I’m gonna try to guide the conversation with some questions. But as you know, as the Lord leads the conversation, just let it go where it goes. But I wanted to start by asking you to Marybeth and Chrissy, just like, in general, when we’re talking about women worship leaders, do you think there’s really a difference between male and female worship leaders? Like besides the obvious things like physical and emotional differences? Like, is there a different spirit or authority that you feel that women worship leaders carry? And how does that differ from what a man carries? If at all?
Krissy Nordhoff 03:29 Wow, we’re gonna just dive right in there. I love it. That’s a good, deep question. Um, just to give you a little bit of background, I started as a worship pastor at 21 years old, I interviewed for that. And so I don’t know, I don’t know that I ever even knew that I could be a worship pastor, especially at that young age as a single female. But God called me into it, you know. And so when I really I first moved to that church, I just rolled over to being 22 years old. And I remember even during the interview process that being like, just I had my own insecurities as a young, single female, but I think so did you know, the elder board that I interviewed with and the team that was interviewing me just like, what does this look like? And how does this work? And I will tell you, to answer your question. Yes, absolutely. There are differences between a male and a female. But what I found was that in practicing good leadership skills that I was learning along the way, and bringing what I had brought and learning from my mistakes along the way, too, I found that I gained a lot of respect just as a leader in general, not because I was a female or because, you know, or if I was not, it was because I was practicing pastoral skills and leadership skills and gaining the respect of those people that maybe had doubts, you know, because I was female, but just being able to bring what I bring as an individual, you know, to the table, and that was a good thing in that season. And it was, I don’t know so I do think not to give you a really long answer for this, but I do think there are some differences and I’ve had positions where people have reached out to me and said, we’re looking for a female worship leader because we love what a female brings to a ministry like that. We love the the aspects of just being able to take people on this journey spiritually and emotionally and, and some of those kinds of things, you know, but just leadership in general is good leadership and his anointed leadership, whether you’re male or female. Yeah.
Marybeth Dodd 05:25 And I would add just one thing, like, as far as just from the perspective of having a female voice, I know. It’s from research, not too long gone, over 75% of Protestant members attending church goers in America are females. And so I think just having a female voice, just a connecting point, for other females in the congregation that brings something different to those that are listening or participating. Just having someone like them that they can connect with
Alex Enfiedjian 06:00 Marybeth, you had kind of said there are differences. Do you have any like specific examples of what those differences are?
Krissy Nordhoff 06:07 I think like just to generalize from what I see, just working with other churches and other people’s teams, like the females, so many times are great gathers of team. They’re the ones that are really like glue that are able to create a really neat culture, I feel like it’s a little more rare to see a guy that naturally comes with those kind of skills, sometimes that’s something that’s more learned. But in my opinion, what’s ideal because I’ve always, until the last, I guess, three years since we’ve lived here, I’ve always been the primary worship pastor, every situation we’ve been in. But on a weekend, I would almost always have a guy next to me, that’s exercising leadership from the platform, and behind the scenes, when we’re gathering as a team, because I think it’s that important that, like you’re saying, Krissy, when someone from the congregation looks up there, I want them to see somebody that they can sort of watch and maybe identify with a little bit. And it might not be the person that looks or acts like them, but give different perspectives, you know, so that they can see just the strengths that come from the male and the female, you know, so that gathering pieces a difference, I think, in general guys seem to be really good at leading the charge when it comes to getting that big moment, you know, that that hype that we want that excitement, where we’re like, Hello, we’re in the presence of God, you know, I think that’s for me, as a female, that was a thing, I had to learn through the process of really feedback of people saying, Hey, we really miss those big moments, because I was going too far down the route of like, Oh, my gosh, let’s just get to that really intimate worship moment, you know, because like, comfortable place for many of us as women. So it’s just, it’s awesome to be able to have both of those perspectives. And even you guys, the way that music is written, most great fast worship songs are keyed for a guy, they sound great with a guy’s voice. So hard to find female lead great, fast, you know, upbeat type songs. So it’s kind of fun to be able to have both there to fill those places.
Alex Enfiedjian 08:00 One part of that I think, is 80% of songs. Or worship songs are written by males, so they naturally write in their own piece. And that’s where you come in Chrissy, and you got to change the game. Awesome. So it seems like, you know, you said 80% of worship songs are written by men or something like that. It seems like in general, the space is dominated kind of by men. What would you say are the unique challenges of being a worship leader in today’s current evangelical landscape? As a female specifically, as Yeah, sorry, as a woman worship leader, um,
Krissy Nordhoff 08:38 I would just say some of its, gosh, it’s so dependent on the individual culture of each church, you know, and I feel really blessed that in going on 20 years in ministry, I have not had a ton of challenges with being a female, I really haven’t. There’s been little things. But I have had a few situations where you walk into the culture of the church is just that they haven’t had strong female leadership. They haven’t seen females that have really stepped into the moment and lead people or if they did, it was kept quiet behind closed doors, or it was only with women or only in the kids ministry and those kinds of things. So those challenges are for sure out there. And I think the best way when you’re in a situation, that to combat that is not by feeling like you have to constantly prove yourself or constantly speak up on behalf of women and try you know, it’s not necessarily that as much as for me, it’s been just this like, quiet, moving forward and leadership and just proving yourself over time that you continue to be a great leader over and over and over. And for me, that’s even to people who have expressed concern about like, Oh my gosh, here’s this, this girl that’s 21 years old, and how are you going to run a budget for your ministry? How are you going to do that? Like I had some tough questions in some of my interviews and stuff. But just being able to like win those people through great leadership through great people skills through showing them what it looks like assistance Yeah, and live that life of worship on and off the stage, you can’t not prove your leadership in that way. And, and so many seasons where it was like people wanted to see a certain color of people on stage, they wanted to see a certain gender, obviously, and things have changed so much in general. But the church is still behind in some of these areas, unfortunately.
Marybeth Dodd 10:17 Yeah, I think overall, culturally, that’s always the case, which is hard. Because, I mean, if we really think about it, we should be leading the charge. And we’ve had a lot of conversations about even geographically. That’s another thing that we’ve noticed just comparing, you know, our experiences. So I think there’s more openness to female leadership, you said, on the coasts, on both coasts, you’ve seen a lot, then there is in the south, necessarily, yeah,
Krissy Nordhoff 10:46 just in more traditional areas, you know, we like to call it the Bible Belt. Yeah. And it’s funny you guys, even if you go and you look through like job openings that are posted, you know, for ministry positions, and stuff like that, it’s so interesting, some of them are so like, careful to slip, we’re the man we’re looking for is, you know, and there’s other different things that they try to sneak in there too. But just it’s funny to see you can very clearly in a lot of instances tell exactly what somebody’s looking for, in that regard. So
Marybeth Dodd 11:15 well. And I think a lot has happened culturally where you know, all these things have been exposed, as far as where there were issues with male and female working together, or, you know, in certain denominations and certain churches. So I think it’s caused, in some ways and awareness right now that things do need to change. But in some ways, it’s also caused a hypersensitivity, because people don’t know how to do healthy male female relationships. And I think that’s part of our heart is brave worship, we feel like we need both. We need male leadership, and we need female leadership. We feel like we’re just in this sort of weird place right now, in the time of the church, where we’re figuring out what does that look like? What does that look like? Because we haven’t all been able to see that modeled. And to sort of find new ways of explaining that or defining what that looks like.
Alex Enfiedjian 12:15 Yeah, maybe I was planning on asking this later. But since you brought it up, maybe you could share with us these two young ladies here sitting with me. You guys work with male pastors? Right? Is that right? So what would you say to a young female worship leader who’s working with a male senior pastor? Like, what should that relationship look like? And is it any different than how it would look like with a male worship leader in that same pastor?
Krissy Nordhoff 12:34 Yeah, great question. I do think it looks different than two males. You know, anytime you have a male and a female, specifically, I think you just really, you want to put boundaries in place before you need them. You know, always. And I know, that was one thing I learned very early on that, you know, I worked with an amazing married couple. And they really kind of lead as equals, he was the lead pastor, she was a lot of other, you know, associate pastor roles during different seasons. But they lead together so well. And I’m so thankful for getting to see that example. But they had rules where like, they would not ride in the car alone with someone of the opposite sex, period, even if it was ridiculous. And me and the senior pastor, were both going to the same lunch meeting, we would drive our own cars, you know, just as a protection, and not because there was like, some kind of weird temptation, or like, No, it wasn’t bad. It’s just why not just always protect yourself. And I think, you know, the in person stuff is huge. That’s why you’ll see most churches will have glass on their office doors, if they’re going to be closed at all, a lot of lead pastors will make sure their assistant or somebody is there if they’re meeting with a female or with a staff person alone. Those kind of safeguards are huge, but I think now we’ve got to be so careful even with the online relationships. So I think accountability is huge with that. And I think that goes for you know, a lot of churches are already doing like Internet accountability and those kinds of things. But you can also have an accountability partner that maybe looks through your text messages maybe makes sure that things are never getting too friendly, never getting too familiar you know, those kind of things can be really key because there’s a lot of ways we communicate now it’s no longer in person or ringing a phone where anybody can pick up it’s you know, so those all those things have to be really guarded against but I think wouldn’t the enemy love it? If we thought Oh, we can’t work together at all? Because we’re male and female. Wouldn’t you love that if we could say let’s just stick with all male leadership here so that we don’t have to worry about tiptoeing? No, let’s just do it healthy. Let’s get it right. So that we can function is about a Christ.
Alex Enfiedjian 14:35 Yeah, crazy. I don’t know if you remember this. But like maybe two years ago, you were on our podcast for as a roundtable for Like wise boundaries with the opposite sex and you said something that was really stuck with me. You said the only thing more dangerous, then interacting inappropriately with the opposite sex is to stop interacting at all. And meaning like we shouldn’t take away the beauty of the combination of the genders. Just be Cuz we’re so afraid of falling. But like Marybeth, you’re saying, when you have wise boundaries, which is like I told my wife, okay, I’m doing a podcast, there’s two young females coming over the office doors open and the windows are open. And it’s just like, you know, and I text them in a group text, not individually. So those things are just, they’re wise. So anything else you’d like to add Chrissy?
Marybeth Dodd 15:19 Um, I think that’s good. I think having a plan ahead of time is important. Having an openness, like you just mentioned, being open with your spouse about what’s happening. And, you know, my husband, and I share calendars, we have this life 360 app, so we can see where each other is all the time and our kids, which, honestly, is awesome, that’s been great. Just, you know, it’s just constant, you feel like they’re with you sort of in some way they can see where you are. But yeah, I think planning ahead. And then also, I think a big piece of it is our own hearts. And I think sometimes that’s overlooked, because you can put all the rules in place that you want to put in place. But if you’re not checking your heart, and if you’re not spending time with God, and if you’re feeling tempted in some way, or if you’re feeling vulnerable in any way, you need to also be taking care of your heart side of things. And that means accountability. And that means time with the Lord. And so I almost feel like yes, we can put all these roles in place, but But honestly, it does come down to heart, really, because if your heart wants to connect with someone from the opposite sex, you will find a way for that to happen, no matter how many rules you have in place, or you know, people go around those things all the time. Well, those are good and important, and we need those. I think hearts are more important.
Alex Enfiedjian 16:45 It’s good. You girls have been really quiet this whole time. Are there are questions?
Unknown Speaker 16:51 I have a question. It’s kind of like shifting from the topic. But you describe or Marybeth you described your position as a worship pastor. I guess I’m wondering like, does the rhetoric of your position change what you do or how you think of yourself like worship leader, worship director, worship pastor? And like the different expectations that come with that? And like, what is it like to be a female worship pastor, I guess?
Krissy Nordhoff 17:21 I’ve only been a worship pastor, I’ve not been in a situation where they’ve called me a worship director. And obviously, worship leader comes with it. Right. So I have not experienced that. Exactly. I personally, I should say, I think that I’ve definitely been associated with some churches. Where is that what you’re asking? Like, we’re females are called directors specifically? And if they just happened to be male, they would be called a pastor.
Unknown Speaker 17:45 Yes. Like the word pastors exclusively male, I guess in a trash? Yeah, I
Krissy Nordhoff 17:51 haven’t had, you know, I have not faced that exactly. I think it would be it’d be hard for me to take a position, you know, knowing that just because I’ve, I’ve literally lived a life and ministry for so long. And I’ve seen many, many, like lay people that I would describe as a pastor. So I don’t know, I’ve certainly seen, in my opinion, many, many females who are pastoring. And so I would not call them anything else. But all that said, you guys, it is just a term, it’s a label, it’s full, it’s a term. And think about it. There’s somebody who just because I happen to walk into situations where it was not an issue several times, someone did that somebody laid that foundation, because in the you know, United States church culture, we’ve made it that way. And a lot of cultures, it’s not that way. But somebody came before us. The last, you know, I’ve even seen tons of transitions in female leadership, even in my time, you know, coming in as a worship pastor, and really seeing like, Darlene check the first like female I could ever look to that I’d ever seen that had done the roll, you know, and now there’s definitely plenty more, but somebody’s got to get us there too. And I think certain people are called for sure into those situations where it’s like, Hey, I’m gonna come in, and you might want to call me something else. Or you might not allow me to attend certain meetings, right within the church or whatever. Right. But you’re still called the ministry, you’re still called to those moments, you know, even if it doesn’t look the same. I will say this, I’ve been in two ministry roles where they had no female eldership they had only male, you know, and somewhere it was like, absolutely male and female. And that’s what I really that’s what I kind of came up under and was used to. So that was an adjustment for me too. But it didn’t change what I was called to in those moments, you know, so you want to add to that,
Marybeth Dodd 19:37 you know, I’m, I’m just thinking about like, you know, taking the spiritual gifts test and all of that and, and yeah, my spiritual gifts. Is that what it’s called the fivefold ministry test. So I tested as a pastor, like, that’s what I got with that test. And ultimately, if you look at it as gifts from a spiritual perspective, you will character’s spiritual gifts, the Lord gets to pick who gets what. And it’s not really man that picks who gets what. And so I think I agree with Marybeth, like, you have to carry out what God has created you to do, no matter what anybody says to you, and in any situation, but I know that there have been times when I’ve wet because I’ve watched girls that I’ve mentored be prayed for by strange men, because I couldn’t go up and pray for them because I wasn’t an elder. I’ve been in that position. It’s not easy. It’s not easy. So I’ve found other ways, you know, in those situations, I found other ways to pastor. So I think the Lord provides a way, if he gives you the gift, he provides a way for that gift.
Alex Enfiedjian 20:47 Yeah. And it’s interesting that like they, you know, I come from a lot of conservative churches where that there has never been a female pastor at any church that I’ve been at. And even in this current church, our senior pastor says, hey, my wife, she is a pastor, like, she’s, she’s not on staff, as a pastor, but she is a pastor. But even in our own board of directors, like I think it’s all male. And I was sitting with one of our team members yesterday, who’s a female, and she’s like, an incredibly gifted, business minded woman, just so wise, when it comes to like businesses and running business. And I’m like, we should have you around the table of leadership at this church, we need what you bring, you know, and so I’m actually gonna bring it up to our pastor. But I think what what they’re saying to you, Pearl and Jasmine is like, just because the role is called director doesn’t mean, it’s weird, because we call it director, but we expect them to pastor because we’re like, we’re expecting everything that a pastor would do. But we’re calling it a director. So it’s, it’s kind of strange,
Krissy Nordhoff 21:40 I think we have to ask ourselves, was I called by man or was I called by God? You know, when we’re called by God into something, it’s okay. Because you’re always I don’t care what your title is, you will always come up against opposition, you know, no matter if you’re male, or female, or whatever you will always and so it goes back to like, why did God call me to do what I asked me to do here, you know, and he knows your unique gifts, he knows exactly how he made you, and that he was going to raise you up into these moments in this season. And he also made you female on purpose. You know, it’s all those things together. And Alex, I just love what you were saying about bringing that female leader to the table, because I think one of the things we can learn in the church world from what fortune 500 and really successful businesses are doing right now. It’s trying to get as much diversity around their leadership table as possible. Yeah. Because when when we get all those perspectives, you know,
Alex Enfiedjian 22:33 yeah, that’s huge. Can you guys maybe share some more of the and I love to hear from you, too, as well, on my side of the table? Like, what are some of the unique challenges of being a female leader? And what are some of the maybe upsides, the positive aspects of being a female worship leader, if you know, if it’s different than being a male at all?
Marybeth Dodd 22:51 I would say probably that nurturing heart comes very easily. And like you were saying earlier, the whole gathering thing, like, I see that the community building side of things, and then yeah, just being able to hear in a different way, the still small voice, I think that’s something that people are hungry for, that they’re not necessarily always getting to hear, even in worship, just the sweetness that a female’s spirit a female’s voice can bring into a congregation,
Krissy Nordhoff 23:24 I would say, one challenge is getting lipstick on your microphone. Like female, even when it comes to like, how you dress and how you look and making sure that you’re wanting to be trendy, but you’re also wanting to be conservative, you know, to the degree and like just balancing all those things where it’s like, yeah, we want to be a unique female voice. But at the same time, we also don’t want to be a distraction, either, you know, and I hate that we even have to think that way. But it’s just the world we do, we have to think that way. And so I think that’s something that’s, you know, a challenge and something to always look at. And I think that’s a fear, honestly, for a lot of pastors, when they look at who they’re going to hire, whether they don’t trust themselves or congregation members. And it just goes back to us wanting to make sure we do a good job was setting boundaries and keeping hearts right and surrounding ourselves with the right people that will speak life and truth to us. And having babies I mean, that’s another thing that completely
Marybeth Dodd 24:25 go through that whole thing of you, you know, you lose a lot of vocal support when you’re pregnant. And then going through the process of like, not sleeping with a newborn. And if you’re nursing nursing is actually a big deal trying to time that. I mean, we’ve talked about that before in the past. Yeah,
Krissy Nordhoff 24:41 I could tell hours of one of mine I always lead worship, right until I had four babies right until I had the baby and then with the first one I took about six weeks off, but after that it was like one or two weeks and I was just back up there ready to go. Just because I loved it. You know, but I mean, I remember like my tech guys coming up and saying, Please don’t jump on stage, you’re making us nervous. I mean, there’s definitely challenges with that that are unique. Because even the guys whose wives go out to have a baby, it’s not quite the same recovery that you have when you’ve actually been the one getting up with the baby and having the baby and all that kind of stuff. So I never thought about that. I got another note on my upper range of my chest voice after having a baby. So that was good. Wow,
Marybeth Dodd 25:32 your voice can change. That’s true. Yeah, the more babies I had, the higher my voice got. Yeah. Wow, that’s a good, I have an increased range. Especially. Sherry has a beautiful high range. So
Alex Enfiedjian 25:49 what about you guys? Like what challenges are you facing in your new ministries that, you know, that are unique to being a worship director? Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 26:01 I have one, go for it. Um, well, I grew up in the church my whole life and was in, like, worship ministry since high school and all this stuff. And I kind of feel like growing up in the church, it was always like, conservative. And I was kind of told like, that the qualities that are, I guess, valued in a woman are like, humility, and like a quiet and gentle spirit and things like that. And I remember, like, being a part of a lot of leadership and being, I guess, feeling that conflict within me like, Oh, do I need to be quiet or like, quieter, you know, but like, as I’ve grown, and I guess, believed it more in the gifts that God’s given me that’s been less of an issue, as far as like my own life. But I do kind of feel like specifically in worship leading kind of like back to the conversation we’re talking about with having authority while you’re leading worship, and growing in those like leading the charge songs and stuff like that, like, as I’ve transitioned into, like, being the worship leader at a church, I feel like, I don’t know, I feel like that’s a way for me to grow in that way. And I’m wondering if there are any, like practical tips or things of like, how to grow more pastorelli because that hasn’t been like, primed in me, I guess, in my Christian life growing up. And it’s been something I’ve had to like, kind of fight against, but still, I don’t feel like, that’s a big strength of mine. And like, during my six month review, on my church, that was kind of a thing that was brought up. But I think the encouragement was be more authoritative. And I’m like, oh, like, I don’t know how to do that, you know, besides just like, thinking it, you know, so I guess. Yeah, I don’t know. Do you have any? Anyone have any insights on any? Oh, my gosh,
Krissy Nordhoff 27:45 I like love this question. This is like my favorite question ever. So um, we at least where we grew up to, and we grew up in a pretty conservative church and a conservative home. And our parents roles were like, very traditional, in a lot of ways. And I was naturally a leader from the time I was tiny. And my mom is like, the meekest most humble servant, beautiful, you know, thing you’ve ever met. And so I remember growing up going always, how can I be more like that, and it was definitely valued, that meekness, that humbleness, that quietness, that service kind of attitude was very valued in our home. And I think specifically with women, and I think there’s some great things I learned from that. And I’m thankful for that. Because compared to what comes natural, to me, that was the other side of the coin. And so I’m thankful for that. But at the same time, I think so many times, Satan will see a gift in you from the time you are a little girl, and he will start to pick at it. And he will use that as a thing that people will say, for me, it was like, why are you talking so much? Why are you so loud? Why are you being so bossy? Why can’t you just comply all the time, like, it was just those voices. I’m not saying my parents were always saying that to me, but those kind of things, those kind of voices, that were what I heard, but in reality, now, here we are all these years removed. And my greatest strengths that I’ve had to fight hard to get back in some ways, because I had dumb them down or whatever, are, you know, people pay me to come and talk about leadership. And I talk a lot and every I almost lose my voice sometimes. Because that’s what I’m asked to do. That’s a strength of mine, speaking into that leadership, growing teams, casting vision for teams, creating culture, those are all things from the time that I was young that I was like, pushing aside. And so there is that conflict, absolutely of all this time, you’ve been taught to like come under leadership and, and do all these things. And then somebody says, Well, now it’s your turn, step up and do all these things that you have been not developing for all these years. But the cool thing is, they’re not that far under your surface. You know, you can tap into those things and you can start to grow those things and step into those moments. And I think past early, some of it, it’s just your logging time and your every conversation, every difficult situation you deal with as a pastor, those are all helping to grow your leadership with people But I would also highly recommend developing yourself through, there’s some great podcasts out there. There’s so many great books, there’s so many free resources that you constantly are growing your leadership, and it’s going to give you more and more confidence so that as you step more into those roles, you’re going to come by that because it’s a skill that you can sharpen that you can.
Alex Enfiedjian 30:19 What about on the stage that authority? Because that sounds like part of what you’re asking?
Marybeth Dodd 30:23 Yeah, definitely. I would think that if you are off the stage, practicing that authority, I would say even daily basis, and I know that’s a lot of what I do, but it’s a little different perspective. But if you’re practicing, singing, worship stuff with authority, every day, spend your time with the Lord, have him show you ask him to show you how to unlock that door and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you through that process. But I would say if you give him time and space to show you, he’ll show you better than anybody else could. And then when you get up on stage on Sunday, it’s not going to feel any different than what you’ve already experienced yourself with the Lord that week. And I think that is the secret to leading worship wealth, in my opinion is that you are exactly the same person every single day. So you’re well prepared. And we’ve talked to Darlene check on one of our podcasts, and she said worship should be a well worn path. And that’s something that rang true for both of us. So basically, if you’re doing that daily, you get up on stage, and you just go back to that place, it just becomes like, immediately, you know, easy routine for you. It’s not anything different. That’s what I would probably say, thing with authority every day. And so when you get to Sunday, it’s not gonna
Krissy Nordhoff 31:48 throw you off. And I would just add to from the perspective of leading your team, both on and off stage, part of leadership is decision making. And that’s something I’ve really had to grow the last couple years where it’s like, sometimes you just have to make a decision, and you’re not even sure which way and that happens on the stage. When you’re like, is the pastor coming up? And are we closing out? Or should I sing this one more time, you know, obviously, Holy Spirit guiding that, you know, going with your gut sometimes, like that part is there. But there’s also the piece where you have a will, and you get the decision is yours because you’re the leader. And so sometimes you just have to strongly tell your team, here’s the direction we’re going. And if it’s a mistake, make a big one, you know, make, let it be and learn from it. And let your leadership the one that’s telling you, hey, I want you to have more authority, let them have to sometime pull you back a little bit and say, Hey, I didn’t want to do that in that moment. But they’re also going to recognize that you just made a decision with your team. And you guys went for it. You know, and just even when you’re shepherding that team behind the stage, and it’s time to pray, and it’s time to step into that next song, always being willing to say, guys, I need us to pray right now, this is you know, let’s move into this. Because sometimes it’s hard to even do that, where you’re like, they’re my friends. And they’re my team. And how do I like, but no, you’ve got to be able to be their pastor and the person that loves them through the difficult stuff, but also the one that says, Stop talking guys, we have a job to do here. Today, we’re going to prep our hearts, hey, we’re gonna go to this song. Next, you know, just being able to give even little feedback throughout rehearsals and throughout morning prep, where they start to see you having an opinion about their instrument, having an opinion about the feel of the song, you know, casting a vision for how you want that service to go. And even the way you talk about it can make a big difference and just say, Hey, guys, what I’d really like to see here is, and just the way you even talk about stuff, they will start to see Oh, she’s owning this wanting to take us somewhere with this. And it’s not just happening, accident, you know, that can go along with your team.
Alex Enfiedjian 33:42 That’s right. You talk a little bit about team leading and Jasmine, like you’ve come into a role and you have another part time staff member now that you’re trying to lead and having difficulty with I shouldn’t probably say that online but and then you have like a couple musicians. And I think maybe one or two of them may be paid or whatever. But like you’re having to leave them what are some of the challenges you’re finding that you could ask these two for advice about?
Unknown Speaker 34:10 No, definitely something I was going to ask you, I hear you say, you know, growing in leadership, because I’m kind of like you my birth where leadership or me taking charge, I’m the oldest sibling and I’m kind of that’s just kind of how I am authority I kind of you know, have a big voice when I sing. So those things I’ve kind of learned over time because I’ve grown up in church. I’ve been in church and leading worship since I was in high school. But I think I’m really interested in the growing and leadership part that you’re talking about. Because I do find myself at a loss sometimes where like, I don’t know what to say, I don’t know where to go. I don’t know who to talk to or how to talk to you especially because I’m the only female in my department. So I’m definitely having some challenges communicating and how to get people. I don’t want to say they’re not on my side, but like how to do You want to kind of, like motivate them in ways? And I don’t know, where did you’re talking about leadership? So I guess what books I guess what podcasts? What Where did you grow your leadership? How did you go your leadership? And how would you encourage me to be seeking after that?
Krissy Nordhoff 35:14 I think I very first at about 20 years old started learning about leadership books. And the first thing I think I read was by john Maxwell, the 21 irrefutable laws of leadership. It’s a great place to start. There’s so much out there now. But that is a great place to start. Craig Groeschel leadership podcast is like my favorite podcast right now. Excellent. And that is actually one where he has started. I think he’s been doing it for almost two years now. But he has an outline for that podcast. And you can actually go through it with your team. Like, you can encourage your team to listen to the same one. And then there’s like an outline and questions, and you can walk through it together. So that’s something to put on your radar. But I would say go back to the beginning of when he started that podcast, and just start listening through even while you’re driving or doing whatever, because I really do like Christie was alluding to this earlier, I think when you grow your leadership, in general, that’s going to transfer to all areas. You know, I live half my life in the ministry world and half my life in the business world. And I’m so thankful for what I’ve learned in the business world as far as leadership, because it all transfers not just to leading my team, but even on stage, it transfers to the confidence that I feel stepping into moments. So it really does all transfer. So that’s a great place to start, you know, when your church will let you go to conferences. And even like, if you have like writing media, or some of those kind of resources, just get on there and start pouring as much into your brain as you possibly can. Because that information is going to compound and help to grow you as a person, even sometimes when it feels like it’s too much, or like I better just listen to one book this month, you know, just pour it in and ask God to help you to retain what you need to retain. And even I’m listening through the Bible right now, in the message version, and I’m constantly taking leadership notes from what I read in the message is really cool, especially the Old Testament, just to hear it kind of in that verbiage all over again. And just where I’m like, Oh my gosh, that’s delegation, you know, that’s delegation leadership. That’s exactly what that was. And just even going back to Scripture, and remembering how much God taught us about leading and taking care of people there,
Alex Enfiedjian 37:16 too. That’s awesome. Um, maybe, could you ladies talk to the men who are listening today? What would you say? What would you like to say, to the men listening how we can make space for the females on our teams or females in our staff teams? What would you say to the men,
Marybeth Dodd 37:34 I’d say, look at gifting first, that gender leave room for gifts.
Krissy Nordhoff 37:40 I agree, I think that that is so important. You know, I see ministries that are thriving, when they’re really empowering people in their gifts of both genders, you know, and they’re retaining people, because they’re putting them in those right places, and they’re growing in the churches growing. Because of that. I would also say, we actually said this at our last conference, our brave worship conference, two men, specifically, we want your leadership, we see your leadership skills, we identify that we never even though we’re a female kind of geared ministry, we never want to minimize what God’s called men to do. You know, and so it’s really our desire to see men and women working well together. And I’ll just go back to what I shared earlier, when I’m planning a worship set, my desire is that they see strong male leadership from the stage, and strong female leadership from the stage. And that should just simply be a picture of what’s already happening behind the scenes. We had a great podcast not too long ago, where we were talking about even diversity of different nationalities and different people. And just this, like, you know, what you see on stage should not be something that’s fabricated, like, Hey, we better make sure we get a girl up there this weekend. So let’s go find somebody and put you know, it’s not that but it’s really like an expression of who we are, which is God’s family wanting, we want to know other perspectives, we want to see other people’s strengths. And when we’re doing that, right, it’s gonna look like what happens gonna look like which is a sea of people that all look very different. But it’s beautiful, you know?
Alex Enfiedjian 39:05 And it’s stronger, right? It’s stronger when we see both, you know, in the Bible is that God says, Let us make man in our image, male and female, he created them. So when you see the man and the woman coming together as one team leading together, it actually is the full representation of all of God’s attributes. And so like, I think that’s why when you see a set led by both men and women, interchangeably, it seems like a much stronger time of worship because you get kind of the full spectrum of, you know, emotional experience, you know, all of it, just whatever. And so, I love that as a great exhortation.
Unknown Speaker 39:42 So at my church, we don’t have a ton of male people upfront, I have a lot of male musicians, but not vocalists. And so it’s mainly me singing or leading the songs. I do have one other Male Vocalist, but he’s still kind of in the learning process. He’s just started a So he’s a little bit more timid sometimes than I want him to be. We’re working on that I’m working alongside him. But like, for me, personally, I’m at a church that doesn’t have a Male Vocalist, like, what do you what do you do? situation? If it’s just you? And like you’re saying it’s important to have both male and female? Do I go look for somebody? Do I try to, you know, raise somebody up? Or do I take on both roles? And I guess that’s another challenge for me because I get asked to do those upbeat, crazy songs, and then also do the nurturing. And so I don’t know what what would you do in that situation? If you don’t really have
Krissy Nordhoff 40:32 both? a great question. And I think there’s a lot of people listening that are probably going, that’s their exact situation. I have had seasons where Yeah, I was really the only one that was gifted to shepherd the whole entire service. And it can be exhausting. Sometimes it’s really nice to have a break from leading every dog, you know, to be able to he or she’s got this one. And I can just like be in the moment. But sometimes you are, you are the guy, right? That gets to do or the girl that gets to shepherd that whole service. And that’s a season, I’ve had seasons where we had excellent band, but all of a sudden, we didn’t have a bass player, we lost the bass player. And what do you do? Do you go get desperate and hire somebody sometimes. But other times, you just go without it. And you’re keyboard players playing the bass parts, right? And it’s not always going to look exactly beautifully perfect. How we think it’s going to look in heaven, I’m aware of that. I think that’s a goal, right? Hashtag goals is what we want that to be. But it’s always a process when you’re building a team to it’s a process. Like there was seasons, we were with an electric guitar player, and all the stuff we were doing really needed it. And this was before tracks were a thing, you know, but we just we made a way and made it as excellent as we could, as diverse and as inclusive as we could. And then over time, God would bring people and it was like, as our excellence grew, it seems like more excellent musicians and worshipers were just attracted to that. And then they would come in and that would grow. I would also say, though, from having a male perspective, I’m assuming is your pastor a male? Yes. Okay. So they’re, they’re certainly able to get those perspectives, and especially in a smaller situation that makes a lot of sense. You have a male pastor, you have a female worship leader. Great. You got that going for you, you know that, you know, you have at least a little bit of both. Right?
Marybeth Dodd 42:14 I would just add to that. And I know, you’ve done a lot of this to Mary Beth. But I think it’s awesome. When people do invest in up and coming, like, maybe they’re not quite there yet. But yeah, I think it’s worth the investment and time to pour into somebody, your knowledge, your wisdom, and help raise them up. I think that’s very valuable.
Alex Enfiedjian 42:37 And I always say excellence is doing the best you can with what God’s given you, you know, and so it’s not like you have to be like the church down the road, or like the ideal situation, you just have to do the best you can with the playdough that he’s put in your hands, you know, alright, what can I make out of this? Okay, so you have these two here, but let’s just pretend you also have 100, brand new female worship leaders. They’re all just getting started, kind of as a way to wrap this conversation up, like, what would you encourage them with? What are the kind of key things you see over and over that, that you just want to speak into young female worship leaders, just time after time?
Marybeth Dodd 43:14 I think, you know, we get a lot of phone calls with great worship, we get a lot of questions. And I think, really, a lot of them walk in wanting to change things. And I think that’s a good thing. I think change is good in a lot of those situations. But, but I almost think shining a light. In those situations. If you look at it from the opposite perspective, like sort of what you were talking about earlier, Mary Beth, just being a light in that situation, bringing health to the body through being maybe the first healthy part in that congregation, you know, maintaining the health of your soul, despite the situation you’re put in, it’s never gonna be probably a perfect situation. We know that. But just shining the light, focusing on sharing love sharing God’s light, instead of focusing immediately on change. And I think that’ll take you a long way. And also, I would say, make sure you’re worshiping. If you’re going to be leading worship, you need to make sure you’re worshiping outside of church, Marybeth, how
Alex Enfiedjian 44:21 would you encourage new young female worship leaders who are just kind of getting started?
Krissy Nordhoff 44:27 I would say, you know, anybody getting started in leadership, pick up the book, three kings, for one thing, and really, it talks about good leadership and bad leadership, but that God puts leadership in place. And so many times you step into a new position, and you’re like, wow, this leader over me is awful, or they’re really unfair, or they’re doing this and I wish they were doing this. And there’s so many times you guys I’ve been under some crazy leadership, and I’ve been under some amazing leaders, but God puts those people in place. And so us being the best leader we can possibly Be in spite of that, or sometimes it’s a benefit, right? Is that’s what we can do. We are responsible for us, you know, and sometimes we do what’s called leading up like you’re saying, you might be the only healthy person in the in the place that you’re in, or that feels like that, you know, you’re the one shining that light to everybody, but you’re also leading up so that those over you are seeing what strong leadership looks like when you’re really called to something and, and just passed orally to, I would say, God’s called you into that God’s put you in that place where you wouldn’t be there. So step into that with the full authority of what he’s asked you to do. Don’t get so bogged down with your own insecurities, or other people’s insecurities, or the negative things that people can say, but instead be the absolute best you can be with what he’s called you to do. And that means growing yourself. That means When’s the last time you you know, took a vocal lesson or an instrumental lesson? When’s the last time you watched a YouTube video on how sounds are changing? When’s the last time you like we talked about grew your own leadership grew your spiritual life took a day to just pray and meditate with the Lord. So just being the best, best best that you can be? Because I tell you what, if you outgrow the place that you’re in, God’s gonna provide something whether it’s a new opportunity where you are or something else, but you’re being as responsible as you can with what he’s given to you.
Alex Enfiedjian 46:12 Amen. So you to do this all the time, what we’re doing right now you mentor young female worship leaders, you have a conference, you have a podcast, can you tell our listeners about all those resources and how they can kind of connect with you? Maybe they’re feeling encouraged? And they want to take it a step further?
Krissy Nordhoff 46:28 Yeah, absolutely. So you can find us at brave worship on Instagram, Facebook, and brave worship, calm on the net. But really, our desire is just to encourage female songwriters, worship leaders, anybody within worship ministries, we’ve had girls that are in charge of tech teams, and just you know, you name it, that have been a part of us. We’ve also had other writers who have been poets or, you know, it’s a really it’s super inclusive, but our desire is just to help mentor people along and encourage them in what they’re doing and what God’s called them to do. So we’ve seen some amazing things. We have a community on Facebook as well that you can become a part of brave worship community, I believe is the name of that group. And once you talk about the songwriting mentorship a little bit.
Marybeth Dodd 47:09 Yeah, so this year, we launched worship, songwriter, mentorship, it’s a course. And so through the course, we teach the basics about how to write worship, because as you all know, like culturally, that’s becoming more and more a need, as worship is really opened up. And it’s gone back into the churches as far as where it’s being birthed, which is beautiful, but we have a whole generation waiting for wisdom, tools, encouragement, all of that. So we’re trying to bridge that gap as well. And this is male or female. And we just relaunched it for the spring. And you can find that at great worship.com. It’s called worship songwriter, mentorship, it approaches writing worship, from a two way approach, really all the basic tools and lots of hands on things, but also it approaches it from a heart perspective, which I feel like is even more important. So sort of feels like a Bible study mashed up with songwriting, and there’s co writing in small groups. So check that out. If you’re interested, we just want to pour it into the next generation. That’s awesome. I would love it. If
Alex Enfiedjian 48:11 you wouldn’t mind closing this episode out just by praying for maybe these two and all the other female worship leaders that are out there doing their thing in their churches, one of you, one wants to pray for them, that’d be great. But the pastor
Krissy Nordhoff 48:27 God, thank you so much for this time. And I’m just, it’s so exciting and encouraging to see jasmine and Pearl stepping into these roles and just for what the future looks like, God, I know there are so many churches that are looking for strong female leadership out there. And there are others that are starting to see that rise up even within their own churches. And God I pray that you’d make us a people that are so respectful of each gender that we really want to males encouraged females and females encouraged males and that together, we would do amazing ministry, God as you lead. So I just pray for all of those that are listening to this podcast, whether they’re listening right after it’s launched, or even a couple years from now God that you would assure them that you have them here at this place for this time, and that you are the one who calls to ministry God you are the one who anoints and gives authority for ministry and God so may we be so close to you and so plugged in with you, Lord, that you guide each and every step that we make, in your name Jesus, amen. Amen. Thank
Alex Enfiedjian 49:27 you pastor Mary Beth. Chrissy Thank you, Mary Beth, thank you guys for your wisdom and I know the listeners will be blessed. Alright, that’s all we have time for today. I want to encourage you guys to check out brave worship comm Check out all their resources, check out their podcast. They really do desire to equip and encourage young women worship leaders. Also check out our recommended product this month core sound pads, use the promo code w mt podcast at checkout you To get 20% off your purchase. Alright, that’s it for this month. I will see you guys next month for another helpful episode. God bless you