March 2, 2012 - submitted by Martin, Costa Rica

I play bass and drums in my church and was one of the youth leaders. There was a main youth leader who was going to give me many chances, like to preach, organise stuff, etc. I had a great freedom and opportunities. However, some people arrived to the leadership who changed everything according to their will. They even changed the main leader and then my participation was obsolete. Now, in music, one of the persons who cut my wings has it against me. If I say something, that person contradicts me. I don't know if the other people notice that and some times in the past I spoke about it and people thought I was a rebel. What can I do? I really love my church and love playing music in it, but I don't want my wings to be cut anymore. Thanks for responding me. Martin, Costa Rica.

The Oracle replies:

It's such a shame you were all set up for great things at your church that now have been lost with the changes. It must be difficult to accept but sadly that can happen at any time in all walks of life; personal and professional. I think the key here is to try and get the new people to see the real you but have a look at yourself first. It may be that you actually are giving off some negativity that you're unaware of. I wouldn't be surprised if you were subconsciously acting differently because of your disappointment. The first thing I'd propose is no matter how much it pains you, be nice to the new people. I hate it when situations sometimes dictate how to behave if it involves changing to almost pretend to be someone you're not but I'm suggesting compromise. It may take time for them to settle in and see your talents but it will help if you stay on side rather than be confrontational. Make your voice heard by all means but I will assume you don't want to leave this church so it's about not making waves and keeping the peace. In time, hopefully you'll be able to speak your mind without people thinking you're a rebel - sometimes it's about how you say things rather than what you're saying so choose your words carefully.
Maybe there are other ways you can express yourself through music outside of the church in the meantime. If not, could you possibly go where your previous leader has gone?
Over to you...

Recently I went through the same kind of thing that your describing. My wings were being cut too in a situation that i enjoyed a lot and it seemed like I was alone and that no one else cared. At first I snapped back and got angry. But then gradually I realised that I didn't need to. I found that if was good enough at music and that if I just did what I came to do, then my music would speak for itself. You don't need to tell people that your good if you are, it will definitely show, if not immediately. So let your talent and awesomeness speak for itself, and people will see how cool you are. And also, right now it may seem like you are alone in the situation. I felt that too. But everyone else who is going through or went through that is pulling for you, even if they don't know you. All you have to do is ignore the overpowering new leaders let people enjoy your music any way you can.
Your Friend, Max M., USA.

Well I think your best bet is that you should go the the main youth leader and tell them that you have been in there for awhile and could really help the band in performances for the church plus I've been playing for a while and it hurts that they are neglecting you... since your in a church they should be very inclusive but If they still decline its there loss! I'm sure there are many churches where you live that would more then welcome your drums/bass talents! plus its always good to meet new people! So get out there and rock! Carson.

I'm always surprised at how I can relate to a lot of these questions. About 2 years ago, I played the drums for my church, and while this happened the church hired a new head to the music department, and he did NOT like me. At first I thought he just didn't like how I played the drums, but then I was ten minutes late to a practice, on my birthday, and he kicked me out of the band, and told the whole church that I got mad at him and quit. I wasn't mad, so I didn't really protest, and, ironically enough, I started playing the drums for another church.
Now my advice would be to hold back, and do some "research." If this guy is contradicting everything you say, then I would try to calmly return the favor, or make sure you are completely certain with what you're about to say. Now if the you want to do something about it, find someone who has been at the church before these new leaders, and see if they agree with you about how limiting they are, when you voice your concerns, having people to agree with you can strengthen the cause, tenfold. Best wishes, Bradley H.

I think it's really cool that you play music for your church. And I'm sorry to hear that you are having troubles with your band and the people in your church. I think reasonable solution for this issue is to maybe have a meeting with the people you're having trouble with. I know it seems as if no one listens, but I think that people just ignore you on purpose because they're afraid that your ideas will be better than theirs. If they refuse to come to the meeting, just go up to the people that are cutting your wings or that you have problems with. That way they can't prepare what they are going to say to you. And they will tell the truth of what they actually feel towards you and your band. What you should give them in return is also the truth. If they don't like it then that's their problem. The truth always hurts, but it helps resolve problems like these. Secondly, if people think that you're a rebel, maybe you should talk to those people too. It helps to maybe ask why they think that you're a rebel. If you explain why to them afterwards they might even understand why you are so upset. Good luck with your music and I hope this helped you! From a fellow Coldplayer. Silke, Barcelona.

You need to say something - again and again, if that's what it takes. You seem to love playing your music, and if that's what makes you happy, you should fight for it. I completely understand if you are hesitant to say anything due to what has happened in the past, but it's still worth a try! You will have fought for your wishes, and that is very important and will hopefully give you peace of mind. As long as you address the matter to the people in a nice, proper way, I don't see any problems. No one deserves to take your wings away from you without good reason. I think that no matter what happens, one should never give up on the things that they love, so I hope that you continue to pursue music (and whatever else brings you joy), regardless of what happens at your church. Good luck! Sincerely, Medina.

It's absolutely terrible you feel so unwelcome in your own church. Does anyone else feel the same? It's possible there might be others who are afraid to speak up. Since you have already expressed your concerns alone, try finding others in the church who feel the same way you do. Organize a meeting with your group and the new leaders and explain your position. Perhaps you can reach a compromise regarding preaching and/or music that you can all agree on. Another route you could take would be to find a new church with new people. If the original leader was relocated, perhaps you can find their new location and follow. If you choose to stay, stick with your friends in the church and help each other through this rough patch. I'm sure once you get to know the new people, they won't be as harsh as they seem. Hope this helps,Blake.

I'm sorry you are having problems but as the cliche goes "change is a part of life". It sounds like the more you protest the farther you are from having what you want. Stop fighting the changes, even if you don't agree with them. Remember, you can't change anyone else but yourself. Start by being accountable for your part in this. When we push people to get what we want, usually they push back and toughen their stance. Many times what we want is not what we need. There are lessons in everything in life, especially when things are tough. That is when you need to examine your actions and reactions and learn and grow. I have a friend that has a fairly new job and seems to be always complaining and fighting, especially when she doesn't get her way or someone has something she wants. Everything she complains about others, she does herself, but can't seem to see that part. What are you contributing to this situation? This is a church, so are you being loving or angry because you don't have your way? When you say that "your wings are cut", I'm sorry but that sounds like drama to me. Your wings are only cut by the limitations you put on yourself. Focus on what you like about your church, let the rest go and then find other opportunities for playing your music, etc. elsewhere. Open yourself up to other possibilities and shine. Dawn.

I'm sorry for what you're going through right now Martin. It's a difficult situation, and even though it might seem like a bad idea, I think you should have a talk with your fellow youth leaders about it. I don't think they understood how much it really means to you. Tell them how frustrated you feel and how the others have taken away your escape. It's very possible that you aren't the only one that feels threatened by them either. Maybe you should talk to some of the adults as well but don't be afraid to speak up against it. The only way they'll cut your wings is if you give up. Love, Darem.

I would seriously consider checking out other church groups to see if there's anywhere near that could use your talents. Maybe some of your friends could come with you? If not I am sure if you're the best drummer they will eventually come round. Maybe there was some bad history with the previous leader and they are taking that out on you. People do behave strangely! I hope you get to play drums somewhere and they give you a chance. Pepe.

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