Last month we talked with specialist Zack Carter about Wise Boundaries with the Opposite Sex in Ministry. This month we talk to five worship leaders from across the U.S. about how they practically maintain wise boundaries with the opposite gender in their ministries.
We should treat the females on our team as sisters, not strangers. – Tweet That!
The only thing more dangerous than potentially inappropriate interactions is if we stop interacting at all. – Tweet That!
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Alex Enfiedjian 00:11 Hello, and welcome back to another episode of the worship leader training podcast, a monthly podcast for worship leaders with practical training to help you excel musically, theologically and pastorelli. Today is part two of a two part series on wise boundaries with the opposite sex and ministry. Last month, we had Dr. Zack Carter on to discuss wise boundaries with the opposite sex from a scientific perspective and an academic perspective. And it’s already one of our most downloaded episodes to date, which tells me that there is a huge need and a huge desire for people to discuss these things in the church. Well, we’re going to continue that discussion today. In our second ever worship leader Roundtable, we’ve got five worship leaders discussing what it practically looks like to have wise boundaries with the opposite sex in our ministries, and how it plays out in our day to day interactions with them. But first, our recommended product of the month, we’ve got core sound pads, core sound pads is a new company making the best sounding worship pads on the market. These aren’t the types of pads that your keyboard player has to play. These are pads that sit in the background of the song in the root keys, and you can add them to Ableton Live or even just add them to an iPhone playlist and they sit beneath your mix and create beautiful atmospheres for your songs. The amazing thing about core sound pads that I love is that they’ve created eight unique sounding sets of pads. So each pad set comes in every key. So you just find the sound that best matches the feeling of your song and you drop it into Ableton or to your iPhone playlist, and hit play and go. Unlike other pads that can overwhelm your mix. These pads were painstakingly cued to stay out of the way of the main elements of your mix like your vocals, and so they just sit perfectly there and add this nice texture and ambience. You can hear how the pads create the perfect atmosphere for the quiet parts of your songs. And in between songs. As you transition or as you pray. You can check out core sound pads for free. And if you decide to buy them, you can use the promo code WL t podcast at checkout to save 20% off any pad bundle. Again w lt podcast to save 20% and all the links are in the show notes of your podcast app. Alright, let’s get into our discussion with our five worship leaders on wise boundaries with the opposite sex. Hey, everybody, I am here with several worship leaders from across the United States. I have Brenton Collier, who is the worship pastor at Calvary Monterrey in California, and he’s also the founder of the Restore worship conference. Hey, Brenton. Hey Alex. And I have Justin calama, who is a worship pastor at hope chapel and also a songwriter and producer in Hermosa Beach, California. Hey, Justin. Hey, Alex. Got another Justin Justin Bell, who is the worship pastor at Calvary Nexus in Cambria, California. And then representing the ladies, we’ve got the female perspective from Chrissy nordoff. Christie is an award winning songwriter and worship leader from Franklin, Tennessee. And you also have the brave worship podcast and conference, right Chrissy, which is a worship leader, female resource, right, aiming at the female worship leaders out there. Absolutely. So thank you guys all for being here and giving of your time. I know you’re all very busy. And I just I know you’re here because you care about worship leaders and you care about people having long lasting healthy ministries. And, you know, last month, we talked to a specialist who studies marriages and affairs and how that all plays out, particularly among those in ministry. And now, you know, learning from the academic side was great, but now I want to ask you guys, how does this actually unfold and play out in your respective ministries? And so I think the first question I would like to ask is, just so that our listeners have a little bit of perspective on where you’re coming from, I’d like you to kind of rate yourself in terms of how conscientious Are you in your interactions with the opposite sex? Like, from a one to a 10? Are you a 10? extremely careful and you’re constantly limiting your interactions with the opposite sex? Or are you a one which would be like you never think about it at all. And you just treat everyone the same? Or are you like somewhere in the middle? How would you rate yourself let’s just start with Brenton
Unknown Speaker 04:41 Okay. Um,
Brenton Collyer 04:44 I’d say I’m probably tend towards being a little bit more conscientious, so maybe like a six or a seven. But at the same time, it’s still really important for me to interact with the women in our worship ministry, and on You know, appropriate levels, but I try not to push the push the extreme too far where they feel disconnected or discluded. So in appropriate ways, even though I’m conscientious of it, there’s still a decent, you know, level of interaction and conversation and encouragement and participation. From me, cool. How about you? Justin Bell?
Unknown Speaker 05:22 Yeah, I would say, I would call myself a recovering 10. I’m probably now more towards like an maybe like a seven or an eight. When would you know, before I got married, I mean, I was just, you know, really, really, I mean, really afraid that I would ever, you know, do something. And I still think it’s really good to have really firm boundaries. But I think I’ve softened up a little bit over the years, you know, to conversing with the opposite sex rather than just being super awkward. Nice. Let’s go Chrissy, where would you rate yourself?
Krissy Nordhoff 06:00 I would say probably about a seven. And so, you know, I work a lot of times with a lot of guys. So it’s just, it’s something that is necessary for me to be able to know how to navigate through and I’m honestly, I’m not, I don’t fear it. But at the same time, we’ve put boundaries in place and try to be wise, just kind of wading through, you know, those situations. And we have talked through things and established boundaries with our marriage. Yeah. Awesome. And Justin Colombo, where do you rate yourself,
Unknown Speaker 06:38 you know, I probably say, play it safe and say, a safe number, like a six or seven, maybe desiring to be eight or nine, my personal experience I came from, I’ve been working for the church for two and a half years. But before that, I worked in the architectural and design world. And so that in that, you know, through school, you’re constantly working in teams, with men and women, and those, those go long hours. And then in the office, you’re working side by side with women. So at that time, it was nothing to you know, be sitting and having lunch with a co worker, because you’re talking about work and things like that. But as I’ve come here, I mean, I’ve just become so much more sensitive, it’s such a different environment, that I’ve just become way more aware of it. And thankfully, on staff at something we we do talk about, especially between our co male pastors, we hold each other accountable. And it’s something we talk about. So I’ve been moving towards a seven or eight, I would say, That’s really good.
Alex Enfiedjian 07:37 It’s great to hear that your church is talking about it, because I don’t think many churches do. And I’ll just say, where I’m coming from, I used to be like a one, I literally never thought about treating men and women differently. I was, you know, texting females, I was calling them encouraging them, you know, praying for them meeting with them. I never like took them to lunch or anything. But you know, I was totally meet with girls in my office if I needed to talk with them, or they need to talk to me but but after realizing like that, that’s just not a good idea. In the last maybe two or three years, I’ve swung almost to the opposite end of the spectrum, where I’m probably like an eight, maybe a nine people would say I’m probably really stiff around females who aren’t my wife and and so that’s just kind of helpful for our listeners to hear where we’re coming from. And so now that we kind of know, where you rate on the scale, let’s just kind of ask the question, do any of you have any rules like hard rules that you hold yourself to, in your interactions with the opposite sex? Like, you know, Billy Graham used to never meet with females alone? Or he would never be alone with females? Do you? Do any of you have any rules like that?
Brenton Collyer 08:45 I mean, I can I can jump in on that. I mean, that’s definitely a rule. You know, not just for myself personally, and between my wife and I, but you know, for the the men and the pastor’s at our church, yeah, we just don’t just aren’t in an environment alone with women. So, you know, and that’s just like, real clearly communicated elements. That’s definitely a hard and fast rule. So although there have been several times I’ve connected with women in our team, and if we need to talk, we usually just sit like in the sanctuary after service, you know, there are people around but it’s still like a private conversation. And I remember one particular night, there was wonderful gal on our team was just sharing all kinds of things with me after a service. We were talking for a while, and a lot of people had cleared out, but I was aware that one of our other pastors, and he was he, you know, saw us talking. And so he just hung out and stuck around, you know, they’re just kind of doing his thing and just kind of his his presence there in the room. And it was a big room. So it wasn’t like, right in the next row or anything that just kind of, he was aware like, Hey, I’m not going to go ahead and head home with the chance that Brandon’s gonna end up here all alone at nine o’clock at night with this woman. So that was that was you know, a great kind of kind of safety and kind of having having accountability with one And having each other’s back in that scenario. And I’m glad he did, because it was a great conversation just really helpful, really fruitful. So cool. Anyone else have any rules, hard rules,
Unknown Speaker 10:09 I’ll go I have a I have a couple. One of them for, you know, for us at our church, I was really agreeing with Dr. Carter on the last episode talking about counseling, that’s a big one for us is we generally speaking, won’t have like an ongoing, you know, counseling or mentoring between a man and a woman, our counseling department will usually try to set up a female with one of our female counselors, and vice versa. The only exception is like the first meeting, you know, we may have one of our female, you know, a female person needing counseling, meet with one of our male pastors, and then referring them out to a female to be able to counsel them. Another thing for me is, you know, I really identified when I was a lot younger with kind of that Billy Graham, you know, I mean, he was famous for, he wouldn’t even go in an elevator alone with with a woman. And, you know, like, for me, personally, I just try to never be alone with a woman never give a woman a car ride home. I mean, you know, make exceptions, you know, here, here and there. But that’s something I really try to hold fast to. I’m a big fan of, I think friendships with the opposite gender are great. But I think that there do need to be firm boundaries. So for me personally, I won’t I won’t carry in like an ongoing like, text texting relationship with somebody of the opposite sex, I’ll you know, you know, a couple texts back and forth talking about, you know, logistics, or, you know, if they need prayer, yes, I’ll pray for you. But if it keeps going, then it’s like, you know, we need to move this into, you know, a group setting or, you know, maybe let me help you get connected with a mentor, who can help you with what’s going on that for me personally, those are a couple boundaries.
Unknown Speaker 11:59 Yeah, Alex, for a lot of what Justin Bell just said is, is sounds a lot how we do it here. But we try and focus kind of like Brenton said earlier is we have mostly male pastors, we do have some women pastors, but they are outnumbered by men. So the last thing we ever want is for a female congregant, to feel like she doesn’t have access to pastoral guidance. And so remembering that that’s our role. And so if a woman does come, making sure that that she feels cared for, and that we’re directing her and shepherding her, at the same time, maintaining these wise boundaries, you know, and having these these rules, and some of it, I think is, is it might be their first time, even if it’s awkward that you say, you know, I’d like to go sit over here, or let’s keep the door open or whatever. And I’d rather err on the side of it being awkward. So it might be the first time that they ever realize that, hey, you know, it’s actually I should, I should be careful, I shouldn’t be going into a closed room with with another man at church or anywhere else. The the ongoing counseling, we don’t, we don’t do that, either. So after we, you know, we might want to get context to someone’s situation. And again, make them know that we care, but then again, just like Justin Bell said, try and direct them to a leader in the church and, and give those other people in church an opportunity to minister to them and, and kind of partner with them with whatever they’re going through.
Alex Enfiedjian 13:24 Christy, I’d like to hear from you, you know, you’re in an interesting context, because you’re a professional songwriter. And you’re writing songs with males all the time, males and females, obviously, but many of the best songs that are coming out for the church are co written. And so you’ll probably be paired up with a guy or a girl or, you know, but let’s say a guy in this case, and your do they close you off in a room together, or how does that work?
Krissy Nordhoff 13:49 Yeah, a lot of times, that is how it works. So in all honesty, you know, I work with integrity music, specifically. But there’s no real as far as the corporate side of things. There’s no real, you know, hard and fast rules. As far as all that’s handled, it’s more of an individual basis. But yeah, a lot of times, you know, I’ll get a text or a phone call that so and so’s looking for a song and they want to write and here’s the date, time and place. And, you know, for my husband and I personally, what we’ve tried to do as far as handling that is, well, first of all, we have all access to each other’s phones, Facebook, emails, whatever we want to access at any time, we have all access. And then second of all, I try to always write in a public place, even though a lot of times it’s me and another guy that are writing. Now sometimes you know, adding a third person in is a great idea. But in this profession, that is not always an option. And if you want to stay in this profession, then you have to be able to write one on one with a male. That’s just how it is. Not only that, but sometimes I’m sent out to a home that I don’t know, for instance. And so I try to write always in a public place. If that is not possible, if I need to head out to the producers house to write, for instance, we’ve set up a password system. So for me, if I, if I ever feel weird, or if I feel, you know, whatever I’m feeling, I know that my husband and my publisher both know my password. And if I text them my password, I know that they’re on the way to wherever I am. So I make sure every time two people know where I am, the address and the time I’m going to be there. And then I’ve already, you know, pre setup that I have this password system. So that’s kind of the way that we have figured out to navigate through the system.
Alex Enfiedjian 15:53 Yeah, that’s really interesting. What about the ongoing writing process? Because I know for a lot for me, like a lot of times I’ll write a song, or we’ll start a song. And then it’s like, we’re texting back and forth non stop, like ideas or voice memos, like, hey, do you like this? And it’s just like it can go on for weeks and weeks and weeks? How do you and your husband kind of just make sure that that stays above board,
Krissy Nordhoff 16:15 really, most of the time I complete the songs within the writing session anymore. But I have one specific co writer, that he’s a real processor, and I can get that way too. And it takes us months to write a song. So with that person in particular, we’ve never really discussed, hey, here’s how we’re going to do it. But what we’ve done is we’ve just emailed back and forth, which again, is all access. So if I have an idea, I’ll put my voice memo on the email, type in my little note, send it to him, and then he’ll do the same and send it back. There’s really no chit chat. No, like, you know, personal kind of conversation really all I mean, it’s pretty much business, you know, and that particular person is, is really one of my favorite people to write with. And we’ve somehow made it work and he’s not here in town. So that’s another, you know, obstacle to overcome. So you have to then figure out how are you going to make it work distance wise, but, but that’s been the best thing. Just doing email back and forth. However, I have done some Skype sessions, too.
Alex Enfiedjian 17:30 Yeah. Aren’t you guys jealous that she finishes songs in one session? That’s why she’s a pro. Yeah. I mean, isn’t it interesting to also how email seems to have some some more emotional distance than texting for some reason? I don’t know why. But I do the same thing. As you Chrissy were like, even this morning, a girl on my team texted me and said, Hey, I have to work till seven. And I’ll be there as soon as I can to rehearsal tonight. And instead of texting her back, I just sent her an email. I said, got your text. Thanks. No problem. See you tonight. And I, I know, that seems like weird to like, go out of your way. But it also says something, you know, like, I’m going to stick to email just because it’s, it’s less personal. For some reason. I’m not sure why.
Krissy Nordhoff 18:11 Yeah. And I like how you responded that way. Because it’s subtle, and you know, it’s not offensive to her in any way.
Alex Enfiedjian 18:18 Sure. Anybody else have any thoughts on boundaries?
Unknown Speaker 18:22 Yeah, I want to I want to jump in on what I love what Chrissy was saying, just about, you know, the, the idea that her husband, you know, and her producer know, like, where she is at all times. And that’s one of the things that, you know, my wife and I do that we started when we first got married, I mean, kind of out of convenience, but we sync our, our calendars, you know, on iCal. And so at all times, my wife knows, like, where I am, who I’m meeting with, in some of those things. And, and, I mean, it’s a benefit just when you’re married, because then she’s like, you know, can ask me, hey, how did counseling go with so and so during the day, and I think just kind of that principle of having that openness in your relationship, when you’re like, going to meet with someone or talk with somebody and you don’t want to tell your spouse like, something’s up with your heart. And that’s something that you may need to look into a little bit more like why like, why would I not want to openly share this information with my spouse that I’m going to be with this person. So I think kind of maintaining that openness within your marriage really kind of protects a lot of things and it kind of has that built in accountability.
Alex Enfiedjian 19:33 Yeah, you can also sync or not sync but you can share your location on your iPhones. Right so like, yeah, if people don’t know about that, I don’t know where it is in the settings but figure it out and sync that with your your spouse so they know where you are all the time. And Christy I like what you said to is that you and the person that you co write with over email, you said that you never really just chit chat, you kind of stick to business, but that’s that’s something that you had to Choose to do, right. It’s, it’s like both you and him are choosing to keep it very professional. And I think I think that’s kind of the key here for worship pastors is like, we do have to, obviously work with females or the opposite gender, and we have to show care for those people. But we also have to, like, keep it professional and kind of limit our amount of care. And yeah, I have a feeling that some people listening would would say that we’re being prudish, but I don’t know. What do you guys think?
Unknown Speaker 20:27 You know, I like I like to Dr. Carter said on the last episode, he’s, you know, he said, I’d rather somebody be offended with my boundaries with them then offending my wife? Yeah. Yeah, I think that’s a good way to look at it.
Brenton Collyer 20:41 I think it’s, you know, something that I think about a lot is my wife is a worship leader. And, and so she, you know, is here at our church and interacts a lot. And she also does events and conferences and things. And so I think about her perspective, as a woman a lot of times, you know, I believe that, that women absolutely can and should have just as much, you know, opportunity, responsibility, leadership, as you know, if the Lord has anointed them and call them into that, you know, my my doctrines in theology says in, in worship leading specifically that that’s okay, I believe that that’s all right. And so what I don’t want to do is put myself in a position where I’m keeping all of the women in our team at such an arm’s length, that there’s just a wall, like, they’re never going to get the leadership opportunities that men in our team will, or they’re never going to be able to be involved in the songwriting processes, or the recording processes that we’re doing for albums, or the planning processes for events or things like that, or whatever it may be. And so I’m kind of, you know, kind of always having this dialogue, in my mind and with other pastors and with my wife, like, man, how can I be, you know, so transparent, so accountable, but also just be like, friendly, you know, and be available, because the last thing I want to do is to alienate women, I don’t mind if they feel a little bit uncomfortable or awkward, because in a moment where I’m in a situation that I don’t like, I just call it out, you know, that’s fine. I don’t mind that at all. But just over time, and, and as the months and years go by, and as someone gets involved with our team, it’s just, and I don’t know if you guys want to speak into that, and maybe even give some insight into that. But that’s just something that I’m just it’s kind of this tension, you know what I mean? Because I think on one hand, it would be easier just to say like, I’m just not, I’m going to talk to the women on my team as little as possible. And then I’ll be, you know, good to go. But I just don’t think I don’t think that’s right, either, you know, so just kind of finding that balance between being friendly, connecting with them in appropriate ways in transparent ways. I just, you know, I just think it’s really important also,
Alex Enfiedjian 22:55 yeah, I can maybe we can talk about that a little bit. You guys have any insights on how to care for the females or the opposite gender on your team?
Krissy Nordhoff 23:01 I have a few thoughts. Well, first of all, the first thing in my head that I’m thinking about right now is, you know, women have been hurt in the past because of being left out of things only because they’re female. And that’s the only reason. Sometimes that is still happening. I was at a, I think for a general assembly locally here for a certain denomination this summer, and was really surprised that the female pastors were still not allowed to vote for you know, making all the bylaws and, and things for the denomination. So there is still some of that that is going on, that’s totally unrelated to this issue. But I think because some women women have experienced that, you know, coming into a situation like this, it may feel exactly the same, that they’re being shut down, because they’re a woman. So I think it’s important to support them, like you’re just saying, with wise boundaries. And really, in my heart, I feel like if it crosses a point where you feel like it’s not healthy for you to shepherd that person, then the best thing for you to do is to offer them another resource that will be very valuable to them and help pour into them from a different place. And, and honestly, my sister and I just recently, in the last year have launched a ministry specifically because of that, because of that dynamic. We know that there’s worship pastors that can’t mentor up some of these younger girls that just does cross some lines and, and we’ve kind of stood up and said, Hey, guys, you can send you can send your girls to us if they need some mentoring, we’ll help you know. So we’ve see that need, we see that need and Yeah, and I think outsourcing is is really valuable. If you find the right thing,
Unknown Speaker 24:56 Christy that’s really helpful to hear and I’m actually really excited to look into Your ministries in which you’re working on in those, those resources that are available. For me, what comes to mind is, once I point that person to that resource, one way I can still show them that I care is is continuously following up, you know, Hey, have you talked to that person, you know, how’s it going. And so that’s a way to show that continuous care for their life in their spiritual state without, you know, them needing to necessarily pour out all of their emotions, or what they’re going through, you know, on you on a continual basis. So you gain context, you show you care, point them towards those resources, and then maintain that relationship. And it’s really helpful to hear your point of view Krissy.
Alex Enfiedjian 25:44 Anyone else? How do you show care to the opposite gender?
Unknown Speaker 25:49 Well, you know, I mean, you know, for me, I said, in the beginning of the episode, you know, I described myself as a recovering 10, you know, just kind of extreme, I think, when I was a little bit, you know, younger, in ministry, and a lot of a lot of that changes kind of come from my wife, you know, my wife mentioned to me, a couple of years ago, she was observing me in a group setting, we had a bunch of couples over at her house, and she said, like, you know, it’s okay for you to talk to my friends, right? Like, you know, it’s okay for you to like, be friends with like, the girl, like the wives of the, you know, of your friends, and, you know, you don’t have to be like, ignoring them and not, you know, not talking to them. And it really just kind of learning that, that, I think really biblical way of how the Bible describes how we should view relationships with the opposite gender, you know, the scriptures, say that other women are to be looked at as sisters, you know, in the faith. And I, I’ve been blessed, I have a younger sister who’s three and a half years younger than me. And, you know, I love my sister, you know, we talk, we have a friendship, we have a relationship, I care about her, I want to make sure that that she’s okay, but because, you know, she’s my sister, it’s that strictly that, you know, that friendship and that familial type of relationships. So I think that’s really what the Scriptures teach. And, and it seems that, you know, people tend to be at the extremes of that scale, that either they have like, no healthy boundaries whatsoever, or they have like, so many boundaries, that they’re not treating the person, like they’re a sister, but they’re treating them like they’re a stranger. And I think that we need to kind of look at what the Scriptures teach about those relationships. And we should be, you know, women looking at men as brothers in Christ, or older men as fathers in you know, in Christ and, and vice versa for men. So that’s been huge for me, just looking at that biblical mandate for how we should interact in relationships.
Alex Enfiedjian 27:49 I’m kind of thinking about the last month or so and, and my interactions with the girls on my team. And I’m thinking, most of the time that I’m showing care for them is in a group setting, and it’s at rehearsal or before rehearsal. And so a couple just examples come to mind. So there’s one girl on my team who she’s she wants to start a blog and a YouTube channel for like holistic living, and like, I love entrepreneurial people. So I’m kind of like, I encourage her, I’m like, Hey, I know you have a lot of good advice to give to people. And I want to encourage you to do it. And I’ll ask her every so often, Hey, how’s it going? Are you working on it? How can I help? And then there’s a another girl, like, I could tell she wasn’t doing well that day. And I said, Are you okay? She said, No. And I said, What’s going on? And she told me and so I said, Let’s pray. And so right outside my office, you know, everyone’s walking around the sanctuary, I put my hand on her shoulder, and I prayed for her, you know, and so I think just like Justin kolomna, you said, you know, just kind of checking in with them and asking them, but I tend to do it. I don’t go out of my way to do it, like over text or over email over phone call. I try to do it when they’re already here. So they don’t get any wrong ideas about, you know, my motives. So
Unknown Speaker 29:03 yeah, I think what we want to be aware of and work against is them feeling like they don’t have access. So I could imagine a scenario where a girl might be, you know, in conversation, something comes up and we kind of talk about it for a moment. And like Chrissy suggesting, maybe eventually you move on to a resource, but if I never asked her again, and she’s at rehearsal, and she’s leading with me on service, and I just say, Hey, you know, great job in that harmony and she leaves the stage, you know, and that goes on for three months, and I never want say, you know, hey, how’s that difficult situation going? You know, she’s absolutely going to feel closed off because my actions are showing that I just pushed her off and all she’s good for right now is just filling her role as a singer, musician, and that’s the last thing you would want one of your congregants feeling.
Alex Enfiedjian 29:52 It sounds like I’ve heard several comments so far about you guys saying stuff like you’ll actually say out loud To the person, hey, maybe we should move over there. And so you’ll you’ll bring, you know, hey, I don’t feel comfortable meeting alone in my office. So that’s great that you guys are actually saying these things for them to hear and think about. But I want to ask you guys, how about with your spouse? As all of you have the conversation with your spouse of like, Hey, what’s appropriate for me? What’s not? or How did it come up? Did it come up? Because someone your spouse got angry because you treated someone a certain way? Or I just love to hear about a little bit into that how open communication goes with your spouse about this topic? Yeah, I’d
Unknown Speaker 30:32 like to speak on that. Your your first podcast, I mean, stimulated a more direct conversation with my wife, as you guys talked about transparency with your with your spouse, and being intentional about these things. And then, you know, anticipating this conversation we’re having now I was able to kind of sit with my wife and say, Hey, here’s kind of what I think about these things. What do you think, and it was great. It was it was a great conversation. And I’ve just learned to I’m learning more to rely on her and to really trust her judgment. One experience I had was, there was a young woman who was a part of the worship ministry for a few years and just kind of slowly drifted away kind of just slowly disappeared. And I know that other women on the team had reached out to her said, Hey, you know, and her actions made it clear that she just wasn’t interested in coming back to church. So many months went by, and I just felt like, I didn’t feel like I did everything I could to invite her back. So I drafted a letter. And right before I click Send, I’m like, I’m going to send this to my wife. And I send this letter to my wife, hey, you know, can you just look at this, make sure there’s nothing weird in it. And, you know, she came back very alarmed, saying you cannot send that letter. Share it with her mom. And, you know, at first, I was really defensive, because I thought I was, you know, I felt like this was something I needed to do. And, but then I realized, you know, I need to trust their judgment and not send this letter. And so yeah, I’m just learning more and more that that transparency and involving her to an appropriate level is super important thing to do.
Alex Enfiedjian 32:08 I really like what you said, Justin, about trusting our spouses, because I think my wife is like one of the most intuitive people I’ve ever met. And so if she says to me, Hey, I don’t really like the way that girl’s interacting with you. You know, at first the first time she said that, I was like, I don’t see it. I don’t know what you’re talking about. And, and then with time, I started to realize, man, women are really, really wise. Right, Chris?
Krissy Nordhoff 32:36 And another sixth sense about each other.
Alex Enfiedjian 32:39 Yeah, totally. So let’s, let’s move on. I don’t want to get bogged down here. We’ve kind of talked a little bit about communication. It seems like most of you guys are very cognizant about how you’re communicating via text and via email. Let’s talk maybe now about like physical interactions, right? Like the Bible says, greet each other with a holy kiss. Should we go around kissing each other? What are the physical boundaries that you guys have sitting set in place? I’d love to hear Chrissy from a female perspective.
Krissy Nordhoff 33:08 Yeah, okay. Um, well, it’s a little bit more, the whole songwriting world is a little bit more casual. So I do give hugs, you know, like, that’s, that’s kind of normal in that setting. And so but not obviously not unless I’ve known someone for a long time. And like, I’m thinking of specifically my worship pastor who I call my brother, and he calls me sister so we call each other that you know what I mean? And I do see him as my big brother. I’ll give him a hug on Sunday mornings. But if it’s a first time call, right and and not a, you know, what I know to be yet as a safe relationship, then I probably won’t.
Alex Enfiedjian 33:53 I love how you call them brother and sister. I mean, I think that I do that too. And it actually helps kind of set sort of a like, Hey, I’m your brother. I’m you know, yes. sets a boundary. Exactly.
Krissy Nordhoff 34:04 And, and when I think in my mind, like, that happens when it’s been a long standing relationship, obviously, it’s you know, it feels like family. But yet you’re still saying that word and so it’s still throwing it out there. That that’s how I see you. I see you as my brother, you know? Yeah, that’s good. Anyone else physical interaction
Unknown Speaker 34:25 I’m hearing Christie describe that is it’s kind of how I function in our ministry. But I try and take it a case by case basis. Like I don’t have a hard rule that says, I think last week last episode, Alex, you said you know, fist bumps and high fives. I don’t have a rule like that. There’s times where you know someone on the team is great to see you or congratulations on this thing, you know, in a hug happens. But it’s a case by case basis, you know, and some of the women are are a lot older, you know, and There’s, there’s maybe some safety in that, you know, and there’s a different relationship there then with the the young girl, you know, right out of high school or something that’s learning how to play piano, I’m not gonna go in and give her a hug on Sunday morning. And, you know, I guess we’ll have to just make those judgments.
Brenton Collyer 35:18 Yeah, that’s interesting, as you’re saying that, Justin, I’m trying to think through, you know, it seems like, the hug is like the level, you know, the barometer here. But, you know, as I’m thinking about that, and the women on my team, you know, kind of my interaction is kind of a combination of the two of you, like, if there’s someone I’m just meeting, you know, usually what I’ll do in my posture is I’ll just make it really clear, because that because again, I’m just, I want women to be comfortable and welcomed. And so I’ll just make it really clear, like what’s happening? So, if I see them, I’ll just put my hand out if this is going to be like a handshake kind of moment. You know, or sometimes, as I’m greeting someone, and someone comes by, I’ll just have my hands in my pockets and stand still and just smile, Good Mornings, you know, it’s wonderful to see you glad you’re here. And even help you with, I’m just standing there. So it’s like, not coming in nothing. You know what I mean? And I think that just hopefully puts women at ease, like, okay, that’s what we’re doing. All right. Forget about that. But yeah, as I’m thinking about the, because there are some some guys on our team that I’ve known for a long time, and, you know, it’s not like every time I see them, but from time to time, I’ll give them a hug a side hug, you know, and just say, you know, whatever it is, thanks for serving today. But I’m actually realizing I don’t do that with any of the, like younger women. And I and we don’t have a lot of older women on our team, but I don’t, I’d more do that with like with peers. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. I’m just like, getting that out there. I actually don’t really feel comfortable doing that with like, younger girls, you know, but if it’s someone you know, a friend of my wife and i’s are something that I know really well, then it’s kind of like it just like a handshake. It’s like a handshake feels weird. Like, I’m definitely put I’m literally putting you at arm’s length here with this handshake. So, yeah, I feel like in public, you know, that’s, that’s fine to encourage them that way a little bit. I’m all about hugging the old ladies. All right, let’s let Alex on. So
Unknown Speaker 37:14 real quick on this topic is I’ve always been encouraged by our senior pastor to have, you know, a female leader within the worship ministry that I’m have confidence in, where she’s like, the boss of that, like, she keeps her eyes on you and has, you know, like, like Chrissy said, she’s gonna pick up on on things that I’m not aware of. And so she’s the one who has 100% access to say, Hey, that was weird. Or like, Hey, you know, you shouldn’t do that, or whatever. Right? And so, says an old lady. Yeah, could be, could be, and and that’s why I say I said, Well, then, you know, now you need another set of eyes protecting you and that close female leader that you’re interested in yourself, you know, so how far does it go, but just keeping it a part of your culture, you know, not making it a weird thing, where, hey, I noticed your your skin touch that person’s skin, you know, those things get weird. It’s a case by case having discernment and being wise, and working as a team to protect each other.
Alex Enfiedjian 38:19 Yeah, working as a team to protect each other is a huge phrase. And also just kind of it seems like the real issue here is just being aware of, of your own heart and how your interactions are with people. I want to ask one last question. Can I say
Unknown Speaker 38:33 one more thing about that? I’m sorry. I, you know, I think it’s important to know your own heart. And I think it’s also important to be sensitive to other people, as well, you know, there. I mean, there was that recent statistic that came out that, you know, one in four women have been assaulted sexually in some way. And, you know, and there’s been debates on how accurate that statistic may or may not be, but the reality is, is that I mean, like, I know, women in my church that have literally told me like, I don’t feel comfortable hugging people, and you know, you can look at their body language, and it’s something that you never want to, you know, make people feel, you know, uncomfortable. And, you know, also say that I’m a big fan of using the term chronologically mature, as opposed to old.
Alex Enfiedjian 39:21 Okay, well, I want to ask one last question, and then give a couple of like real life scenarios and see how you would handle them. So here’s the last question and then we’ll get into some scenarios. Do you guys think we should impose our convictions on our team members, so I’ve been a part of some larger churches that have like a green room, and I’ve seen you know, two members of the opposite sex, having a conversation during one one of the services when they’re like they finished playing and they’ll carry that conversation, just the two of them through all three services or whatever. And all the other musicians are kind of in and out of the room and they’re in there alone sometimes should we as Leaders help them be aware of how this looks, should we encourage them to not be alone in the green room? Like, should we impose our convictions?
Unknown Speaker 40:08 Question mark, I do to a certain extent, you know, we have a rehearsal room or a studio in the, in the far back of our church behind a storage area. And you know, I’ll get a text from someone saying, hey, me, and this girl, we’re going to work on a song. And I’ll tell him, like, that’s fine, but I want you to keep the door open. And so, you know, again, it might be his first time hearing something like that, but it’s to protect both of them, but it’s also to protect him, you know? So, to a certain extent, yeah, you know, if we’re responsible for those spaces in our church, and how they’re being used and responsible for our people as congregants, I think we have to impose our convictions to it to an appropriate level.
Unknown Speaker 40:54 Yeah, and I think the nature of you know, overseeing a ministry is there, you know, there’s times where you need to have, you know, certain standards or, or maybe guidelines, you know, within your ministry. But generally speaking, I would say that, when it comes to, you know, more of a gray area, something that is a conviction. General, generally, rather than mandating that other people share your conviction, I think it’s probably healthier to encourage people to wrestle through that dynamic for themselves. So, you know, when the two people are alone in a room, you know, rather than telling them that they’re not allowed to be alone in a room, maybe talking to one of them, and or both of them and encouraging them, you know, hey, just encourage you to wrestle through this. And here, here’s why. And I know that you want to, you know, live above reproach, and you want to honor the Lord and protect yourself from, you know, possible pitfalls, it’s, it’s a lot better for people to wrestle through those things than to have this, you know, convictions be mandated to them, in my opinion, but there are places like this, but I mean, I used to be in youth ministry, and we had a firm leader that, you know, there was never to be a leader alone with any of the students. And you know, you couldn’t have you know, a guy, leader giving a 14 year old girl, you know, a ride home, after youth driven, there’s a time where, you know, in certain contexts, you do have to mandate, things like that.
Alex Enfiedjian 42:22 Yeah. Okay. So I’ve got five real life scenarios. And instead of having each of you answer each one, I’m just going to ask each one of you one real life scenario, and you tell us what you would do. If any of you feel really strongly about one that I asked someone else you can tag on the end of it. So here are some real life scenarios I want, I want you to tell me what you would do in this situation. Okay. It’s after rehearsal, and you’re shutting down, and someone from the opposite sex keeps hanging around and lingering. What do you do, Justin?
Unknown Speaker 42:52 What I do is, if I noticed that and I know we’re gonna have a conversation, I catch the eyes of one of my co leaders. And I say, Hey, you know, you’re not leaving yet. Right? I needed to talk to you about something. And they just, they stick around, you know, so their safety in that and we can have the conversation we need to. And that person, you know, pretends to roll cables, 50 feet away, for 20 minutes. Awesome.
Alex Enfiedjian 43:20 Okay, how about this one? This one’s really tricky. There’s someone you find very physically attractive, and they want to be part of your team. And to make matters worse, they’re actually very talented. What do you do? Brenton?
Brenton Collyer 43:33 Okay. So what is it? They’re really attractive, but unfortunately, they’re really talented. That’s, this is
Alex Enfiedjian 43:42 Yeah, to make to make matters worse, yeah. So they’re, they’re very good looking. You find yourself physically attracted to them. And they’re very talented. And they want to be part of your team. What do you do? That’s a hard one.
Brenton Collyer 43:53 Yeah, that is pretty hard. Man. Well, I think, I guess, physically attractive is subjective. But if you really like finding yourself attracted to someone, gosh, I feel like you’ve probably got to be honest and say, it’s just probably not wise for me to put myself like around this person all the time. Yeah, I don’t even know how you’d handle that. But I think that’s probably like a conversation you need to have with a couple of people and get some wisdom on, you know, if it’s not like a major physical attraction, you know, because lots of people are, you know, everybody’s Good luck in then. I mean, generally, you would hope that you have the maturity to allow those people to be on the team. And since you’ve got these safeguards, we’ll be in good shape. But yeah, that’s tricky. Because maybe get some counsel on that. And like, like, what Justin doe was saying, just know your own heart, like where you tend towards and like, the pitfalls your you know, my, my lean towards, and just have some wisdom that
Alex Enfiedjian 44:51 Yeah, anyone want to jump in on that one? Because it is a tricky one.
Krissy Nordhoff 44:54 I have a thought about that a little bit. You know, I I feel like in a lot of these conversations we’re having today, you know, sometimes we think the greatest danger is the possibility of the inappropriate reaction interactions between a man and a woman basically, in the congregation. But really, as a woman, I feel like and what the history of the church and woven through even a situation like that, like, the greatest danger could be the fear of interacting at all. Because if we stop all interaction, we could be shutting down the voice of God that he put in that woman that she has something specific and different from his heart to share with the congregation that may be life changing for that congregation. So I think I know it’s complicated, but I feel like, you know, I don’t know, sometimes we can get in the way to of what God’s wanting to do. And sometimes, you know, a lot of times in situations like that it’s the voice of the woman that gets shut down first. Mm hmm. That’s it. That’s a great perspective. That’s why you’re here. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 46:04 I want to support Chrissy in that in that, I think it’d be a sad disqualification for being considered attractive by a co definitely. So adding to that, practically speaking is, is like our co leaders, we just tell each other, hey, this person caught my eye. If you ever see me interacting with them, like, you know, watch, come and ask me, hey, what was that conversation about? Is, are you on the up and up? You know, is everything okay? And keeping it out on the forefront the elephant in the room, not hiding it? And letting it go on and on? You know, but I but I would hate to disqualify a woman for that reason only.
Unknown Speaker 46:47 Yeah. And let me just say two, it’s, you know, it’s kind of the what that dynamic of you don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I mean, you know, I mean, let’s, let’s be honest, like every worship leader, probably at some point struggles with pride, right? Like, I’m tempted towards thinking on something because I’m on the stage. But that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t lead worship, because I might be tempted to being prideful. When I’m on the stage, I need to repent and work through and confess that pride. And if it’s getting out of control, and it’s really causing me to stumble, then yes, maybe I need to, you know, take take a season where I would take a break from, you know, leading worship just to kind of use that as an analogy. And you know, I think with somebody who maybe you find attractive, you want to just seek to walk through that and a holy way, if it becomes an issue, then then you deal with it. In my opinion,
Alex Enfiedjian 47:39 that’s good. That’s really good. Well, I don’t want to take any more of your time or the listeners time. But I do want to ask if you guys have any final words for the listeners today?
Krissy Nordhoff 47:49 I think my one last thought would be that we get a clearer picture of the Lord when we get more pieces of his heart. And that just comes through more people. And so I just want to encourage people to work together. And that gives us the clearest picture of who Jesus is.
Brenton Collyer 48:07 Yeah, I love that second thought and just, you know, for the men who are listening, I would just say, you know, I loved what Chrissy said about there are women that absolutely have a voice in the church. And, you know, if you’ve got to bend over backwards and go out of your way to simultaneously have wise boundaries, but also have women in positions of, you know, leadership and in positions where they can really be involved and interject what the Lord is doing in their life, then do it, you know, figure out a way to do it. Yeah, I
Unknown Speaker 48:42 would say, I guess, in closing that, you know, boundaries are super important. It’s something that we need to have, you know, in all areas of our life, but at the end of the day, I think to really win the battle, in this area is constantly knowing your heart, and, you know, realizing that if in my heart, I’m wanting to get close with somebody of the opposite sex, there’s a root issue in that, you know, maybe I’m not satisfied it in Christ. And maybe I’m not satisfied in my marriage, and I need to ask deeper questions, to reflect Why am I going to this place, you know, in my heart, and there might be something there. And I think that there can be sort of this legalism where we just looked at boundaries, to solve all those problems for us, but it’s really we need all of us. We need that ongoing, you know, relationship with the Holy Spirit revealing, you know, what’s going on inside of us,
Unknown Speaker 49:38 just in Colombia, anything. You know, our job as, as worship leaders and pastors is to equip the saints for ministry. And so God is, you know, sprinkling these spiritual gifts throughout his body, to men and women and, and their to build up and, you know, advanced the kingdom by functioning in those gifts. And so the last thing we want to do is stand in the way of that. And so the whole ministry is not about protecting other people from me doing something wrong with them. It’s also being able to equip people effectively, and having a ministry and a structure and accountability. So that my own pride or my own wrestling with the flesh doesn’t get in the way of another young woman or young man to be able to be equipped for ministry.
Alex Enfiedjian 50:30 Thank you guys so much for all of your wisdom. It’s, I’ve learned a lot just sitting here and listening. And I’m really thankful to each of you. And I will link in the show notes of this episode, links to all of your different websites and projects and things like that. But I’m really thankful for each of you and the way that you have wrestled through this thoughtfully and prayerfully. And now are sharing your wisdom with our listeners. Thank you guys so much. Thank you, Alex.
Alex Enfiedjian 51:02 Wow, some great wisdom in there. Thank you so much, Justin, Justin Brenton and Chrissy for sharing with us this month. And thanks also to our sponsor of the month core sound pads, be sure to check them out. You can try them for free. And if you decide to buy them enter w lt podcast at checkout to save 20% on your purchase. Thanks for listening this month. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode. You can email me at Alex at worship leader training comm or by clicking the email link in the show notes of your podcast app. If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future episode, you can actually leave us a voicemail by calling 831607 w l t one or just click the number in the show notes. If this episode helped you please help us by forwarding it on to a friend or by sharing it on social media. And we made that very easy for you, you can just click the appropriate link in the show notes of your podcast app. We’ll see you next month for another great episode. And in the meantime, visit worship leader training calm for training materials resources, reviews and podcasts for worship leaders.