Gear lust or “ministry investment”: do singers understand what their worship instrumentalists have invested into their craft?

I love the knobs on these pedals.  Each device colors sound.  Boutique amps with tubes and well-chosen guitars to get that “tone” require a passion that if you are not a guitar player you might not relate to.  However, you should.  As a keyboardist and vocalists, do I put the same passion in my instrument?  Do I invest money, time and energy into my craft?  Really, this is a good question.

Often times it is hard to get vocalists to rehearse their parts, or invest in equipment.  Granted, most instrumentalists, regardless of instrument, have had to invest years and many dollars in lessons and gear to get to where they are at today.  Some vocalists seem to sing naturally and like the center stage without the knowledge of building a craft.  Now, I am a vocalist.  I have invested years in training and have learned piano, guitar, and theory and studied at a music trade school.  I am not here to pick on vocalists, but we are an easy target.

Here are some things for all worship team people to consider:

  • Investing in gear is appropriate. Especially when we are talking about sounds that relate and move people in today’s culture.  Singers might want to invest in a mic or in wireless in-ear monitors, which combined would not be nearly the cost of a decent guitar and amp.
  • Investing in skill is the part of any call to ministry. (Psalm 33:3) Taking lessons or keeping your skills sharp are important for any worship team member.  What steps have you taken or can you take to improve your skill?
  • Compare your craft to the pros, not your current worship team. What I mean here is that we need to aim higher than ourselves.  What artists out there are leading the way?  Do we take the same passion a performer has to the act of leading worship?
  • You may have the passion, but not the skill or talent. I believe it when people want to join my worship team and state that they have a passion for worship.  But, not all have the gifting to actually lead people in that passion.  Sometimes a passion for worship does not translate into being able to lead worship.
  • The Worship Team is not for everyone, even if music is for everyone. The point is that music should be played by everyone.  But, not in public!  So, dust off your guitar, but if you cannot be effective with it in a public setting do not fret.  You are not entitled to be up front.  No one is, actually.  Why should we make people suffer due to our lack of skill in our church services.

What are your thoughts?  Did I miss any points here?

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Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

80 comments

  1. Hahaha, boy I know a few people that would be thrilled with you for posting this! I definitely agree. I’ve actually posted a similar topic to this, and it is so important to invest in the right gear. This goes beyond a worship ministry too, though. If you are in the market for a new car, and you know that gas prices are going to be a big factor, then you’d better shell out a little extra for a fuel efficient vehicle!
    Good post.

  2. Hahaha, boy I know a few people that would be thrilled with you for posting this! I definitely agree. I’ve actually posted a similar topic to this, and it is so important to invest in the right gear. This goes beyond a worship ministry too, though. If you are in the market for a new car, and you know that gas prices are going to be a big factor, then you’d better shell out a little extra for a fuel efficient vehicle!
    Good post.

  3. Hahaha, boy I know a few people that would be thrilled with you for posting this! I definitely agree. I’ve actually posted a similar topic to this, and it is so important to invest in the right gear. This goes beyond a worship ministry too, though. If you are in the market for a new car, and you know that gas prices are going to be a big factor, then you’d better shell out a little extra for a fuel efficient vehicle!
    Good post.

  4. Hahaha, boy I know a few people that would be thrilled with you for posting this! I definitely agree. I’ve actually posted a similar topic to this, and it is so important to invest in the right gear. This goes beyond a worship ministry too, though. If you are in the market for a new car, and you know that gas prices are going to be a big factor, then you’d better shell out a little extra for a fuel efficient vehicle!
    Good post.

  5. Welcome to the “American Idol Generation”. I am new as a worship leader and have been able to temporarily hold off people who want to join the worship team with the “We’re figuring it all that out right now” approach. As God has blessed our worship ministry and it is growing in quality many are asking to come be a part of it.
    Rich, my dilemma is there are some who not only say they have a passion for worship, but they are also convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they have a “GIFT” for worship. The “GIFT” they speak of always according to them, came from God himself. This is the American Idol Syndrome. You know at the beginning of the season those people who should have never been on the air other than to be humiliated on national t.v. The ones whose mother is usually behind them and has encouraged their son or daughter their entire life that they can sing? At this point no one can convince them otherwise.

    How does everyone handle this person? Do you hold auditions for people? Do you hand pick people? If you hold auditions what is said to the people prior to the auditions about the process and rejection?

    One thing I am trying to communicate to people is even though you may have a good voice and can sing, you may not be the right fit for this worship team. -There is a style and dynamic I am trying to produce and not every vocalist fits within that even though they may be able to sing.

    Do you guys who have been doing worship a long time think that’s being to exclusive?

    How about some stories of how auditions have gone horribly wrong. Have you had people leave the church over it. Have you compromised the quality or vision for your worship ministry to appease someone in the church?

    Give me all the gory details and the things that work for you too.

  6. Welcome to the “American Idol Generation”. I am new as a worship leader and have been able to temporarily hold off people who want to join the worship team with the “We’re figuring it all that out right now” approach. As God has blessed our worship ministry and it is growing in quality many are asking to come be a part of it.
    Rich, my dilemma is there are some who not only say they have a passion for worship, but they are also convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they have a “GIFT” for worship. The “GIFT” they speak of always according to them, came from God himself. This is the American Idol Syndrome. You know at the beginning of the season those people who should have never been on the air other than to be humiliated on national t.v. The ones whose mother is usually behind them and has encouraged their son or daughter their entire life that they can sing? At this point no one can convince them otherwise.

    How does everyone handle this person? Do you hold auditions for people? Do you hand pick people? If you hold auditions what is said to the people prior to the auditions about the process and rejection?

    One thing I am trying to communicate to people is even though you may have a good voice and can sing, you may not be the right fit for this worship team. -There is a style and dynamic I am trying to produce and not every vocalist fits within that even though they may be able to sing.

    Do you guys who have been doing worship a long time think that’s being to exclusive?

    How about some stories of how auditions have gone horribly wrong. Have you had people leave the church over it. Have you compromised the quality or vision for your worship ministry to appease someone in the church?

    Give me all the gory details and the things that work for you too.

  7. Welcome to the “American Idol Generation”. I am new as a worship leader and have been able to temporarily hold off people who want to join the worship team with the “We’re figuring it all that out right now” approach. As God has blessed our worship ministry and it is growing in quality many are asking to come be a part of it.
    Rich, my dilemma is there are some who not only say they have a passion for worship, but they are also convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they have a “GIFT” for worship. The “GIFT” they speak of always according to them, came from God himself. This is the American Idol Syndrome. You know at the beginning of the season those people who should have never been on the air other than to be humiliated on national t.v. The ones whose mother is usually behind them and has encouraged their son or daughter their entire life that they can sing? At this point no one can convince them otherwise.

    How does everyone handle this person? Do you hold auditions for people? Do you hand pick people? If you hold auditions what is said to the people prior to the auditions about the process and rejection?

    One thing I am trying to communicate to people is even though you may have a good voice and can sing, you may not be the right fit for this worship team. -There is a style and dynamic I am trying to produce and not every vocalist fits within that even though they may be able to sing.

    Do you guys who have been doing worship a long time think that’s being to exclusive?

    How about some stories of how auditions have gone horribly wrong. Have you had people leave the church over it. Have you compromised the quality or vision for your worship ministry to appease someone in the church?

    Give me all the gory details and the things that work for you too.

  8. Welcome to the “American Idol Generation”. I am new as a worship leader and have been able to temporarily hold off people who want to join the worship team with the “We’re figuring it all that out right now” approach. As God has blessed our worship ministry and it is growing in quality many are asking to come be a part of it.
    Rich, my dilemma is there are some who not only say they have a passion for worship, but they are also convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they have a “GIFT” for worship. The “GIFT” they speak of always according to them, came from God himself. This is the American Idol Syndrome. You know at the beginning of the season those people who should have never been on the air other than to be humiliated on national t.v. The ones whose mother is usually behind them and has encouraged their son or daughter their entire life that they can sing? At this point no one can convince them otherwise.

    How does everyone handle this person? Do you hold auditions for people? Do you hand pick people? If you hold auditions what is said to the people prior to the auditions about the process and rejection?

    One thing I am trying to communicate to people is even though you may have a good voice and can sing, you may not be the right fit for this worship team. -There is a style and dynamic I am trying to produce and not every vocalist fits within that even though they may be able to sing.

    Do you guys who have been doing worship a long time think that’s being to exclusive?

    How about some stories of how auditions have gone horribly wrong. Have you had people leave the church over it. Have you compromised the quality or vision for your worship ministry to appease someone in the church?

    Give me all the gory details and the things that work for you too.

  9. Rich, As much as I love singing – I know that I am not a great vocalist, if it hadn’t been for you however I never would have done a solo. I guess my point is don’t rely on your own assessment of yourself, trust someone with more experience and knowledge to make the call on whether you are are ready and have the skill or talent to lead worship. (you’re gonna tell me now that you made a mistake all those years ago now aren’t you 😉

  10. Rich, As much as I love singing – I know that I am not a great vocalist, if it hadn’t been for you however I never would have done a solo. I guess my point is don’t rely on your own assessment of yourself, trust someone with more experience and knowledge to make the call on whether you are are ready and have the skill or talent to lead worship. (you’re gonna tell me now that you made a mistake all those years ago now aren’t you 😉

  11. Rich, As much as I love singing – I know that I am not a great vocalist, if it hadn’t been for you however I never would have done a solo. I guess my point is don’t rely on your own assessment of yourself, trust someone with more experience and knowledge to make the call on whether you are are ready and have the skill or talent to lead worship. (you’re gonna tell me now that you made a mistake all those years ago now aren’t you 😉

  12. Rich, As much as I love singing – I know that I am not a great vocalist, if it hadn’t been for you however I never would have done a solo. I guess my point is don’t rely on your own assessment of yourself, trust someone with more experience and knowledge to make the call on whether you are are ready and have the skill or talent to lead worship. (you’re gonna tell me now that you made a mistake all those years ago now aren’t you 😉

  13. Many people shrug this issue off on the sound guy saying, “it’s his job to make me sound great.” Well, unfortunately we can only do so much. So I agree. Save your pennies; forgo that occasional Starbucks indulgence. Don’t buy an entry level Takemine guitar, buy a Seagull, a Martin or a Taylor guitar. And take lessons once a month from a professional to make sure you make that instrument sound as good as it can. An idiot can sit in front of a Bosendorfer and noodle on the keys, but a professional will make that piano sound amazing from their sheer skill.

  14. Many people shrug this issue off on the sound guy saying, “it’s his job to make me sound great.” Well, unfortunately we can only do so much. So I agree. Save your pennies; forgo that occasional Starbucks indulgence. Don’t buy an entry level Takemine guitar, buy a Seagull, a Martin or a Taylor guitar. And take lessons once a month from a professional to make sure you make that instrument sound as good as it can. An idiot can sit in front of a Bosendorfer and noodle on the keys, but a professional will make that piano sound amazing from their sheer skill.

  15. Many people shrug this issue off on the sound guy saying, “it’s his job to make me sound great.” Well, unfortunately we can only do so much. So I agree. Save your pennies; forgo that occasional Starbucks indulgence. Don’t buy an entry level Takemine guitar, buy a Seagull, a Martin or a Taylor guitar. And take lessons once a month from a professional to make sure you make that instrument sound as good as it can. An idiot can sit in front of a Bosendorfer and noodle on the keys, but a professional will make that piano sound amazing from their sheer skill.

  16. Many people shrug this issue off on the sound guy saying, “it’s his job to make me sound great.” Well, unfortunately we can only do so much. So I agree. Save your pennies; forgo that occasional Starbucks indulgence. Don’t buy an entry level Takemine guitar, buy a Seagull, a Martin or a Taylor guitar. And take lessons once a month from a professional to make sure you make that instrument sound as good as it can. An idiot can sit in front of a Bosendorfer and noodle on the keys, but a professional will make that piano sound amazing from their sheer skill.

  17. Craig… audition-audition-audition.
    The issue is that NO ONE is entitled to a position, including me the worship leader. We are there to serve the congregation. If someone’s gifting is not going to help, it is better to be honest with them. I have had American-Idol-like experiences where people thought they heard God’s voice tell them they should be in front of people. Wrong! God speaks through the community as confirmation and if they reject that they are dangerous people to begin with and should not be placed in a visible leadership role at all.

  18. Craig… audition-audition-audition.
    The issue is that NO ONE is entitled to a position, including me the worship leader. We are there to serve the congregation. If someone’s gifting is not going to help, it is better to be honest with them. I have had American-Idol-like experiences where people thought they heard God’s voice tell them they should be in front of people. Wrong! God speaks through the community as confirmation and if they reject that they are dangerous people to begin with and should not be placed in a visible leadership role at all.

  19. Craig… audition-audition-audition.
    The issue is that NO ONE is entitled to a position, including me the worship leader. We are there to serve the congregation. If someone’s gifting is not going to help, it is better to be honest with them. I have had American-Idol-like experiences where people thought they heard God’s voice tell them they should be in front of people. Wrong! God speaks through the community as confirmation and if they reject that they are dangerous people to begin with and should not be placed in a visible leadership role at all.

  20. Craig… audition-audition-audition.
    The issue is that NO ONE is entitled to a position, including me the worship leader. We are there to serve the congregation. If someone’s gifting is not going to help, it is better to be honest with them. I have had American-Idol-like experiences where people thought they heard God’s voice tell them they should be in front of people. Wrong! God speaks through the community as confirmation and if they reject that they are dangerous people to begin with and should not be placed in a visible leadership role at all.

  21. You wrote: Compare your craft to the pros, not your current worship team. What I mean here is that we need to aim higher than the ourselves. What artists out there are leading the way? Do we take the same passion a performer has to the act of leading worship?
    No friggin’ doubt.

    You play insert-instrument then you base your craft after best at that certain instrument.

    Yea, shocking enough, you might have to listen to Neil Peart from Rush or Eddie Van Halen. Be the best at your craft for not your glory but the glory of God.

    And downplay yourself. If you think you are getting too much attention, then do what Eddie did and keep your back to the audience.

  22. You wrote: Compare your craft to the pros, not your current worship team. What I mean here is that we need to aim higher than the ourselves. What artists out there are leading the way? Do we take the same passion a performer has to the act of leading worship?
    No friggin’ doubt.

    You play insert-instrument then you base your craft after best at that certain instrument.

    Yea, shocking enough, you might have to listen to Neil Peart from Rush or Eddie Van Halen. Be the best at your craft for not your glory but the glory of God.

    And downplay yourself. If you think you are getting too much attention, then do what Eddie did and keep your back to the audience.

  23. You wrote: Compare your craft to the pros, not your current worship team. What I mean here is that we need to aim higher than the ourselves. What artists out there are leading the way? Do we take the same passion a performer has to the act of leading worship?
    No friggin’ doubt.

    You play insert-instrument then you base your craft after best at that certain instrument.

    Yea, shocking enough, you might have to listen to Neil Peart from Rush or Eddie Van Halen. Be the best at your craft for not your glory but the glory of God.

    And downplay yourself. If you think you are getting too much attention, then do what Eddie did and keep your back to the audience.

  24. You wrote: Compare your craft to the pros, not your current worship team. What I mean here is that we need to aim higher than the ourselves. What artists out there are leading the way? Do we take the same passion a performer has to the act of leading worship?
    No friggin’ doubt.

    You play insert-instrument then you base your craft after best at that certain instrument.

    Yea, shocking enough, you might have to listen to Neil Peart from Rush or Eddie Van Halen. Be the best at your craft for not your glory but the glory of God.

    And downplay yourself. If you think you are getting too much attention, then do what Eddie did and keep your back to the audience.

  25. Rich, can you describe how your above comments fit in with this:
    “What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. If anyone speaks in a tongue, two–or at the most three–should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God. Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.” (1 Corinthians 14:26-32)

    What we’re seeing here is that the gatherings of the early church were not controlled by the select few, they were controlled by the spirit. If our focus is on high quality, entertainment style worship gatherings, how can we re-inject this fundamental aspect of the early church – specifically, looking to Christ as the head of the church and allowing ANYONE to contribute? I’d suggest that the two are not compatible.

  26. Rich, can you describe how your above comments fit in with this:
    “What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. If anyone speaks in a tongue, two–or at the most three–should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God. Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.” (1 Corinthians 14:26-32)

    What we’re seeing here is that the gatherings of the early church were not controlled by the select few, they were controlled by the spirit. If our focus is on high quality, entertainment style worship gatherings, how can we re-inject this fundamental aspect of the early church – specifically, looking to Christ as the head of the church and allowing ANYONE to contribute? I’d suggest that the two are not compatible.

  27. Rich, can you describe how your above comments fit in with this:
    “What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. If anyone speaks in a tongue, two–or at the most three–should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God. Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.” (1 Corinthians 14:26-32)

    What we’re seeing here is that the gatherings of the early church were not controlled by the select few, they were controlled by the spirit. If our focus is on high quality, entertainment style worship gatherings, how can we re-inject this fundamental aspect of the early church – specifically, looking to Christ as the head of the church and allowing ANYONE to contribute? I’d suggest that the two are not compatible.

  28. Rich, can you describe how your above comments fit in with this:
    “What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. If anyone speaks in a tongue, two–or at the most three–should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God. Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.” (1 Corinthians 14:26-32)

    What we’re seeing here is that the gatherings of the early church were not controlled by the select few, they were controlled by the spirit. If our focus is on high quality, entertainment style worship gatherings, how can we re-inject this fundamental aspect of the early church – specifically, looking to Christ as the head of the church and allowing ANYONE to contribute? I’d suggest that the two are not compatible.

  29. Rich I think you hit it on the nail!
    A lot of church staff also don’t understand the risk and work of using our equipment in the church setting. I play in both our youth and adult worship teams in the church, but I also play with my band in the local clubs of Rochester. The church definitely has the least respect out of the two for equipment. When you play every week (or maybe more for a midweek service or special event) you will want to just leave your equipment at church. This is such a risk for the hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars you’ve invested in to your equipment. Settings get adjusted, people play your stuff, cables get stolen, and things even get broken (old worship leaders taylor…eeek!!)

    Just remember church leaders.. musicians make a huge investment in the church ministry, and you won’t want to be led by a team playing the newest line of instruments from Walmart!!

  30. Rich I think you hit it on the nail!
    A lot of church staff also don’t understand the risk and work of using our equipment in the church setting. I play in both our youth and adult worship teams in the church, but I also play with my band in the local clubs of Rochester. The church definitely has the least respect out of the two for equipment. When you play every week (or maybe more for a midweek service or special event) you will want to just leave your equipment at church. This is such a risk for the hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars you’ve invested in to your equipment. Settings get adjusted, people play your stuff, cables get stolen, and things even get broken (old worship leaders taylor…eeek!!)

    Just remember church leaders.. musicians make a huge investment in the church ministry, and you won’t want to be led by a team playing the newest line of instruments from Walmart!!

  31. Rich I think you hit it on the nail!
    A lot of church staff also don’t understand the risk and work of using our equipment in the church setting. I play in both our youth and adult worship teams in the church, but I also play with my band in the local clubs of Rochester. The church definitely has the least respect out of the two for equipment. When you play every week (or maybe more for a midweek service or special event) you will want to just leave your equipment at church. This is such a risk for the hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars you’ve invested in to your equipment. Settings get adjusted, people play your stuff, cables get stolen, and things even get broken (old worship leaders taylor…eeek!!)

    Just remember church leaders.. musicians make a huge investment in the church ministry, and you won’t want to be led by a team playing the newest line of instruments from Walmart!!

  32. Rich I think you hit it on the nail!
    A lot of church staff also don’t understand the risk and work of using our equipment in the church setting. I play in both our youth and adult worship teams in the church, but I also play with my band in the local clubs of Rochester. The church definitely has the least respect out of the two for equipment. When you play every week (or maybe more for a midweek service or special event) you will want to just leave your equipment at church. This is such a risk for the hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars you’ve invested in to your equipment. Settings get adjusted, people play your stuff, cables get stolen, and things even get broken (old worship leaders taylor…eeek!!)

    Just remember church leaders.. musicians make a huge investment in the church ministry, and you won’t want to be led by a team playing the newest line of instruments from Walmart!!

  33. Derek,
    If someone does not have the gifting to speak to the gathering, then they would not be speaking. The elders are assumed to be in charge. That group itself is “exclusive” and they are the ones responsible for teaching.

    We have open mic and invite people’s testimonies and words to be part of our worship expression. I think you would be surprised at how many options for people to share their stories exist in the largest of churches.

    With that being said, some have some gifts and others do not have them. If someone tries to speak without the covering of leadership, then they are out of order. Leaders have freedom to set that order. God ordains that there is order, not prescribing exactly how every worship service should be played out.

    Everyone has a contribution to make since the event is corporate. In our culture, this makes sense to most people. They participate in singing, giving, being baptized with their testimony, and committing their lives to the mission Jesus has put before us to reach the lost. Really, this happens.

    People feel “entitled” in our culture, and I think the house church model fits that well. Some would rather shed authority altogether. Democracy is not contribution in a spiritual sense–it is an American entitlement. Does God gift each with the SAME gift? With the amount being the same? No. Should all contribute? Yes. But, the order being set is not as narrow and legalistic as you seem to imply here.

    There is so much more to my church than the weekend gathering. I have a small group, I have relationships and expressions where myself or anyone else can contribute greatly beyond playing an instrument. Its all about people being administrated with grace in their gifting as the scripture teaches us.

  34. Derek,
    If someone does not have the gifting to speak to the gathering, then they would not be speaking. The elders are assumed to be in charge. That group itself is “exclusive” and they are the ones responsible for teaching.

    We have open mic and invite people’s testimonies and words to be part of our worship expression. I think you would be surprised at how many options for people to share their stories exist in the largest of churches.

    With that being said, some have some gifts and others do not have them. If someone tries to speak without the covering of leadership, then they are out of order. Leaders have freedom to set that order. God ordains that there is order, not prescribing exactly how every worship service should be played out.

    Everyone has a contribution to make since the event is corporate. In our culture, this makes sense to most people. They participate in singing, giving, being baptized with their testimony, and committing their lives to the mission Jesus has put before us to reach the lost. Really, this happens.

    People feel “entitled” in our culture, and I think the house church model fits that well. Some would rather shed authority altogether. Democracy is not contribution in a spiritual sense–it is an American entitlement. Does God gift each with the SAME gift? With the amount being the same? No. Should all contribute? Yes. But, the order being set is not as narrow and legalistic as you seem to imply here.

    There is so much more to my church than the weekend gathering. I have a small group, I have relationships and expressions where myself or anyone else can contribute greatly beyond playing an instrument. Its all about people being administrated with grace in their gifting as the scripture teaches us.

  35. Derek,
    If someone does not have the gifting to speak to the gathering, then they would not be speaking. The elders are assumed to be in charge. That group itself is “exclusive” and they are the ones responsible for teaching.

    We have open mic and invite people’s testimonies and words to be part of our worship expression. I think you would be surprised at how many options for people to share their stories exist in the largest of churches.

    With that being said, some have some gifts and others do not have them. If someone tries to speak without the covering of leadership, then they are out of order. Leaders have freedom to set that order. God ordains that there is order, not prescribing exactly how every worship service should be played out.

    Everyone has a contribution to make since the event is corporate. In our culture, this makes sense to most people. They participate in singing, giving, being baptized with their testimony, and committing their lives to the mission Jesus has put before us to reach the lost. Really, this happens.

    People feel “entitled” in our culture, and I think the house church model fits that well. Some would rather shed authority altogether. Democracy is not contribution in a spiritual sense–it is an American entitlement. Does God gift each with the SAME gift? With the amount being the same? No. Should all contribute? Yes. But, the order being set is not as narrow and legalistic as you seem to imply here.

    There is so much more to my church than the weekend gathering. I have a small group, I have relationships and expressions where myself or anyone else can contribute greatly beyond playing an instrument. Its all about people being administrated with grace in their gifting as the scripture teaches us.

  36. Derek,
    If someone does not have the gifting to speak to the gathering, then they would not be speaking. The elders are assumed to be in charge. That group itself is “exclusive” and they are the ones responsible for teaching.

    We have open mic and invite people’s testimonies and words to be part of our worship expression. I think you would be surprised at how many options for people to share their stories exist in the largest of churches.

    With that being said, some have some gifts and others do not have them. If someone tries to speak without the covering of leadership, then they are out of order. Leaders have freedom to set that order. God ordains that there is order, not prescribing exactly how every worship service should be played out.

    Everyone has a contribution to make since the event is corporate. In our culture, this makes sense to most people. They participate in singing, giving, being baptized with their testimony, and committing their lives to the mission Jesus has put before us to reach the lost. Really, this happens.

    People feel “entitled” in our culture, and I think the house church model fits that well. Some would rather shed authority altogether. Democracy is not contribution in a spiritual sense–it is an American entitlement. Does God gift each with the SAME gift? With the amount being the same? No. Should all contribute? Yes. But, the order being set is not as narrow and legalistic as you seem to imply here.

    There is so much more to my church than the weekend gathering. I have a small group, I have relationships and expressions where myself or anyone else can contribute greatly beyond playing an instrument. Its all about people being administrated with grace in their gifting as the scripture teaches us.

  37. “Elders” were not essential to the function of the church – Paul would only recognize elders after the church was already established, often on his return trips years later. The recognition of elders was a reflection of their rising into leadership in an organic way. Their authority was not based on some kind of official position – their authority was spiritual. So I disagree with the fundamental exclusivity that you’re suggesting.
    In the institutional church, “participation” is largely passive. House churches vary, but an organically functioning church is not one based on entitlement or passivity. If anyone in church culture feels “entitled,” it is the clergy who has spent years under professional instruction who feel that they are the authoritative teachers from the position of the pulpit.

    True authority in the kingdom is spiritual, not based on education or official position. This is clear from the teachings of Christ and of Paul.

    I understand the American Idol reference made earlier. I’ve been there, and I’ve had to tell people no. But this is a symptom of a different root problem, that of creating the stage mentality to begin with. If you’re not entertaining from the stage, it’s that much less likely that you’re going to have people who want to share your spotlight, whether they’re talented or not.

    The New Testament way looks very different upon a plain reading apart from institutional tradition. In 1 Corinthians 14, people are clearly exercising their gifts as led by the spirit. Quite a different thing than ordained officials determining who is allowed to speak under a “covering of leadership.”

    If I’m visiting any typical church, and God lays a teaching on my heart to share, I’m forbidden from sharing it. This is clearly against what Paul is instructing.

  38. “Elders” were not essential to the function of the church – Paul would only recognize elders after the church was already established, often on his return trips years later. The recognition of elders was a reflection of their rising into leadership in an organic way. Their authority was not based on some kind of official position – their authority was spiritual. So I disagree with the fundamental exclusivity that you’re suggesting.
    In the institutional church, “participation” is largely passive. House churches vary, but an organically functioning church is not one based on entitlement or passivity. If anyone in church culture feels “entitled,” it is the clergy who has spent years under professional instruction who feel that they are the authoritative teachers from the position of the pulpit.

    True authority in the kingdom is spiritual, not based on education or official position. This is clear from the teachings of Christ and of Paul.

    I understand the American Idol reference made earlier. I’ve been there, and I’ve had to tell people no. But this is a symptom of a different root problem, that of creating the stage mentality to begin with. If you’re not entertaining from the stage, it’s that much less likely that you’re going to have people who want to share your spotlight, whether they’re talented or not.

    The New Testament way looks very different upon a plain reading apart from institutional tradition. In 1 Corinthians 14, people are clearly exercising their gifts as led by the spirit. Quite a different thing than ordained officials determining who is allowed to speak under a “covering of leadership.”

    If I’m visiting any typical church, and God lays a teaching on my heart to share, I’m forbidden from sharing it. This is clearly against what Paul is instructing.

  39. “Elders” were not essential to the function of the church – Paul would only recognize elders after the church was already established, often on his return trips years later. The recognition of elders was a reflection of their rising into leadership in an organic way. Their authority was not based on some kind of official position – their authority was spiritual. So I disagree with the fundamental exclusivity that you’re suggesting.
    In the institutional church, “participation” is largely passive. House churches vary, but an organically functioning church is not one based on entitlement or passivity. If anyone in church culture feels “entitled,” it is the clergy who has spent years under professional instruction who feel that they are the authoritative teachers from the position of the pulpit.

    True authority in the kingdom is spiritual, not based on education or official position. This is clear from the teachings of Christ and of Paul.

    I understand the American Idol reference made earlier. I’ve been there, and I’ve had to tell people no. But this is a symptom of a different root problem, that of creating the stage mentality to begin with. If you’re not entertaining from the stage, it’s that much less likely that you’re going to have people who want to share your spotlight, whether they’re talented or not.

    The New Testament way looks very different upon a plain reading apart from institutional tradition. In 1 Corinthians 14, people are clearly exercising their gifts as led by the spirit. Quite a different thing than ordained officials determining who is allowed to speak under a “covering of leadership.”

    If I’m visiting any typical church, and God lays a teaching on my heart to share, I’m forbidden from sharing it. This is clearly against what Paul is instructing.

  40. “Elders” were not essential to the function of the church – Paul would only recognize elders after the church was already established, often on his return trips years later. The recognition of elders was a reflection of their rising into leadership in an organic way. Their authority was not based on some kind of official position – their authority was spiritual. So I disagree with the fundamental exclusivity that you’re suggesting.
    In the institutional church, “participation” is largely passive. House churches vary, but an organically functioning church is not one based on entitlement or passivity. If anyone in church culture feels “entitled,” it is the clergy who has spent years under professional instruction who feel that they are the authoritative teachers from the position of the pulpit.

    True authority in the kingdom is spiritual, not based on education or official position. This is clear from the teachings of Christ and of Paul.

    I understand the American Idol reference made earlier. I’ve been there, and I’ve had to tell people no. But this is a symptom of a different root problem, that of creating the stage mentality to begin with. If you’re not entertaining from the stage, it’s that much less likely that you’re going to have people who want to share your spotlight, whether they’re talented or not.

    The New Testament way looks very different upon a plain reading apart from institutional tradition. In 1 Corinthians 14, people are clearly exercising their gifts as led by the spirit. Quite a different thing than ordained officials determining who is allowed to speak under a “covering of leadership.”

    If I’m visiting any typical church, and God lays a teaching on my heart to share, I’m forbidden from sharing it. This is clearly against what Paul is instructing.

  41. Derek..I have a suggestion, why don’t you blog about this entirely different subject on your own blog. I am happy to link to it here. You are off topic.
    RK

  42. Derek..I have a suggestion, why don’t you blog about this entirely different subject on your own blog. I am happy to link to it here. You are off topic.
    RK

  43. Derek..I have a suggestion, why don’t you blog about this entirely different subject on your own blog. I am happy to link to it here. You are off topic.
    RK

  44. Derek..I have a suggestion, why don’t you blog about this entirely different subject on your own blog. I am happy to link to it here. You are off topic.
    RK

  45. I have been on this worship team for almost nine years, and when someone shows up with gear that sounds, well, like crap, I have to do what a true leader does, confront it. AND, that also goes with talent levels, no one wants to hear that they aren’t good enough, it HURTS, BUT, if you are willing to put in the time then it shows that you are going to follow the leadership that GOD has put forth. Aunt Mable can’t sing but her nephew Jonny is the worship leader and he keeps putting her up there anyway, well that is a horrible thing, not to the church but to Aunt Mable. Do you get it. Also, a calling from God is a calling from God, He will clear all the paths IF IT IS HIS VISION, NOT YOURS. You will make it in any ministry if it is God’s vision for you, if not at one church it will be at another, but as far as our team goes, NO ONE IS ENTITLED to be on the team, not the pastor, not me, not the best player. Gear is just as important as talent, if you are a half ass singer, then you are half assing your giving to God. A little harsh but sometimes that has to be said. And that goes for instrumentalist too!!!

  46. I have been on this worship team for almost nine years, and when someone shows up with gear that sounds, well, like crap, I have to do what a true leader does, confront it. AND, that also goes with talent levels, no one wants to hear that they aren’t good enough, it HURTS, BUT, if you are willing to put in the time then it shows that you are going to follow the leadership that GOD has put forth. Aunt Mable can’t sing but her nephew Jonny is the worship leader and he keeps putting her up there anyway, well that is a horrible thing, not to the church but to Aunt Mable. Do you get it. Also, a calling from God is a calling from God, He will clear all the paths IF IT IS HIS VISION, NOT YOURS. You will make it in any ministry if it is God’s vision for you, if not at one church it will be at another, but as far as our team goes, NO ONE IS ENTITLED to be on the team, not the pastor, not me, not the best player. Gear is just as important as talent, if you are a half ass singer, then you are half assing your giving to God. A little harsh but sometimes that has to be said. And that goes for instrumentalist too!!!

  47. I have been on this worship team for almost nine years, and when someone shows up with gear that sounds, well, like crap, I have to do what a true leader does, confront it. AND, that also goes with talent levels, no one wants to hear that they aren’t good enough, it HURTS, BUT, if you are willing to put in the time then it shows that you are going to follow the leadership that GOD has put forth. Aunt Mable can’t sing but her nephew Jonny is the worship leader and he keeps putting her up there anyway, well that is a horrible thing, not to the church but to Aunt Mable. Do you get it. Also, a calling from God is a calling from God, He will clear all the paths IF IT IS HIS VISION, NOT YOURS. You will make it in any ministry if it is God’s vision for you, if not at one church it will be at another, but as far as our team goes, NO ONE IS ENTITLED to be on the team, not the pastor, not me, not the best player. Gear is just as important as talent, if you are a half ass singer, then you are half assing your giving to God. A little harsh but sometimes that has to be said. And that goes for instrumentalist too!!!

  48. I have been on this worship team for almost nine years, and when someone shows up with gear that sounds, well, like crap, I have to do what a true leader does, confront it. AND, that also goes with talent levels, no one wants to hear that they aren’t good enough, it HURTS, BUT, if you are willing to put in the time then it shows that you are going to follow the leadership that GOD has put forth. Aunt Mable can’t sing but her nephew Jonny is the worship leader and he keeps putting her up there anyway, well that is a horrible thing, not to the church but to Aunt Mable. Do you get it. Also, a calling from God is a calling from God, He will clear all the paths IF IT IS HIS VISION, NOT YOURS. You will make it in any ministry if it is God’s vision for you, if not at one church it will be at another, but as far as our team goes, NO ONE IS ENTITLED to be on the team, not the pastor, not me, not the best player. Gear is just as important as talent, if you are a half ass singer, then you are half assing your giving to God. A little harsh but sometimes that has to be said. And that goes for instrumentalist too!!!

  49. Hey Rich,Just joined your blog network…
    First of all, thanks so much for allowing me to be on the worship team back at VBC. Sometimes you clearly weren’t happy with my voice and other times I got some nice comments from you. I can’t say my voice has improved very much since then (and sometimes it really, really sucks) but I haven’t had the money to get voice lessons. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately though and hopefully I can get a few half hours in soon (ea/half hour is about $15 here in China… a steal I know!) So, I agree that we need to do what we can to perfect our craft.

    However, we need to remember the spiritual side as well — the anointing (which I believe comes with a consecrated heart). I’ve heard some really talented people lead worship. Everything sounds great but it just feels empty. I know worship is MY responsibility but an anointed leader can help it along. I’m just average and probably wouldn’t be able to sing in a big church, but I am having great results in our Int’l Fellowship here (about 200 people). We have a rotation of leaders and I lead once a month. I taught myself piano about 9 years ago and I’ve been leading from it ever since. What I play is very basic! But even though my voice and playing abilities are nothing to get excited about, people over and over comment on how much they REALLY enjoyed the worship. It’s humbling, because I know I’m nothing special. I honestly feel that God is using me in a supernatural way. I’m not saying that you, Rich, don’t value the anointing and I’m also not saying that people who clearly can’t sing should have a mic up on stage, but I am saying that sometimes God can take a very average pot of clay and do something amazing with them. And those that are really talented may benefit the most from spending more time with God and purifying their lives (in addition to purchasing all the cool gear). Hopefully the average people will have a chance to gain experience, maybe in a smaller setting. You gave ME a chance! 🙂 And, by the way, I thought you were a great worship leader!

  50. Hey Rich,Just joined your blog network…
    First of all, thanks so much for allowing me to be on the worship team back at VBC. Sometimes you clearly weren’t happy with my voice and other times I got some nice comments from you. I can’t say my voice has improved very much since then (and sometimes it really, really sucks) but I haven’t had the money to get voice lessons. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately though and hopefully I can get a few half hours in soon (ea/half hour is about $15 here in China… a steal I know!) So, I agree that we need to do what we can to perfect our craft.

    However, we need to remember the spiritual side as well — the anointing (which I believe comes with a consecrated heart). I’ve heard some really talented people lead worship. Everything sounds great but it just feels empty. I know worship is MY responsibility but an anointed leader can help it along. I’m just average and probably wouldn’t be able to sing in a big church, but I am having great results in our Int’l Fellowship here (about 200 people). We have a rotation of leaders and I lead once a month. I taught myself piano about 9 years ago and I’ve been leading from it ever since. What I play is very basic! But even though my voice and playing abilities are nothing to get excited about, people over and over comment on how much they REALLY enjoyed the worship. It’s humbling, because I know I’m nothing special. I honestly feel that God is using me in a supernatural way. I’m not saying that you, Rich, don’t value the anointing and I’m also not saying that people who clearly can’t sing should have a mic up on stage, but I am saying that sometimes God can take a very average pot of clay and do something amazing with them. And those that are really talented may benefit the most from spending more time with God and purifying their lives (in addition to purchasing all the cool gear). Hopefully the average people will have a chance to gain experience, maybe in a smaller setting. You gave ME a chance! 🙂 And, by the way, I thought you were a great worship leader!

  51. Hey Rich,Just joined your blog network…
    First of all, thanks so much for allowing me to be on the worship team back at VBC. Sometimes you clearly weren’t happy with my voice and other times I got some nice comments from you. I can’t say my voice has improved very much since then (and sometimes it really, really sucks) but I haven’t had the money to get voice lessons. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately though and hopefully I can get a few half hours in soon (ea/half hour is about $15 here in China… a steal I know!) So, I agree that we need to do what we can to perfect our craft.

    However, we need to remember the spiritual side as well — the anointing (which I believe comes with a consecrated heart). I’ve heard some really talented people lead worship. Everything sounds great but it just feels empty. I know worship is MY responsibility but an anointed leader can help it along. I’m just average and probably wouldn’t be able to sing in a big church, but I am having great results in our Int’l Fellowship here (about 200 people). We have a rotation of leaders and I lead once a month. I taught myself piano about 9 years ago and I’ve been leading from it ever since. What I play is very basic! But even though my voice and playing abilities are nothing to get excited about, people over and over comment on how much they REALLY enjoyed the worship. It’s humbling, because I know I’m nothing special. I honestly feel that God is using me in a supernatural way. I’m not saying that you, Rich, don’t value the anointing and I’m also not saying that people who clearly can’t sing should have a mic up on stage, but I am saying that sometimes God can take a very average pot of clay and do something amazing with them. And those that are really talented may benefit the most from spending more time with God and purifying their lives (in addition to purchasing all the cool gear). Hopefully the average people will have a chance to gain experience, maybe in a smaller setting. You gave ME a chance! 🙂 And, by the way, I thought you were a great worship leader!

  52. Hey Rich,Just joined your blog network…
    First of all, thanks so much for allowing me to be on the worship team back at VBC. Sometimes you clearly weren’t happy with my voice and other times I got some nice comments from you. I can’t say my voice has improved very much since then (and sometimes it really, really sucks) but I haven’t had the money to get voice lessons. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately though and hopefully I can get a few half hours in soon (ea/half hour is about $15 here in China… a steal I know!) So, I agree that we need to do what we can to perfect our craft.

    However, we need to remember the spiritual side as well — the anointing (which I believe comes with a consecrated heart). I’ve heard some really talented people lead worship. Everything sounds great but it just feels empty. I know worship is MY responsibility but an anointed leader can help it along. I’m just average and probably wouldn’t be able to sing in a big church, but I am having great results in our Int’l Fellowship here (about 200 people). We have a rotation of leaders and I lead once a month. I taught myself piano about 9 years ago and I’ve been leading from it ever since. What I play is very basic! But even though my voice and playing abilities are nothing to get excited about, people over and over comment on how much they REALLY enjoyed the worship. It’s humbling, because I know I’m nothing special. I honestly feel that God is using me in a supernatural way. I’m not saying that you, Rich, don’t value the anointing and I’m also not saying that people who clearly can’t sing should have a mic up on stage, but I am saying that sometimes God can take a very average pot of clay and do something amazing with them. And those that are really talented may benefit the most from spending more time with God and purifying their lives (in addition to purchasing all the cool gear). Hopefully the average people will have a chance to gain experience, maybe in a smaller setting. You gave ME a chance! 🙂 And, by the way, I thought you were a great worship leader!

  53. Hi Marilyn!
    You bring up some very good points. I believe that what you are saying about anointing or being “consecrated” indeed is very important to not forget. I believe that is what all believers need to strive to, of course. The issue here is just with taking your gifts, no matter what they are and how small or big they are, and investing in them for the sake of God’s glory. You surely did that, by the way, as part of my team many years ago as I recall. I remember the vocal workshops we all took and how God used that to make many of us even that much more effective.

    The idea of leading in a big church is overrated, especially so if the thought is simply talent and not heart. Your talent does not excuse you of investing time in your walk and devotion to God is what I hear you saying and wholeheartedly agree. No matter if you are in a small church (I have been in small churches of 100 people) or large ministry it is important to take the gifting God has given us and exercise it, invest in it and of course let God use it to reach and touch people. What I am saying here is that devotion is not complete without the discipline of developing the work and talent God has given each of us. And, none of us are entitled to a “platform” just because we “feel” called without serious preparation.

  54. Hi Marilyn!
    You bring up some very good points. I believe that what you are saying about anointing or being “consecrated” indeed is very important to not forget. I believe that is what all believers need to strive to, of course. The issue here is just with taking your gifts, no matter what they are and how small or big they are, and investing in them for the sake of God’s glory. You surely did that, by the way, as part of my team many years ago as I recall. I remember the vocal workshops we all took and how God used that to make many of us even that much more effective.

    The idea of leading in a big church is overrated, especially so if the thought is simply talent and not heart. Your talent does not excuse you of investing time in your walk and devotion to God is what I hear you saying and wholeheartedly agree. No matter if you are in a small church (I have been in small churches of 100 people) or large ministry it is important to take the gifting God has given us and exercise it, invest in it and of course let God use it to reach and touch people. What I am saying here is that devotion is not complete without the discipline of developing the work and talent God has given each of us. And, none of us are entitled to a “platform” just because we “feel” called without serious preparation.

  55. Hi Marilyn!
    You bring up some very good points. I believe that what you are saying about anointing or being “consecrated” indeed is very important to not forget. I believe that is what all believers need to strive to, of course. The issue here is just with taking your gifts, no matter what they are and how small or big they are, and investing in them for the sake of God’s glory. You surely did that, by the way, as part of my team many years ago as I recall. I remember the vocal workshops we all took and how God used that to make many of us even that much more effective.

    The idea of leading in a big church is overrated, especially so if the thought is simply talent and not heart. Your talent does not excuse you of investing time in your walk and devotion to God is what I hear you saying and wholeheartedly agree. No matter if you are in a small church (I have been in small churches of 100 people) or large ministry it is important to take the gifting God has given us and exercise it, invest in it and of course let God use it to reach and touch people. What I am saying here is that devotion is not complete without the discipline of developing the work and talent God has given each of us. And, none of us are entitled to a “platform” just because we “feel” called without serious preparation.

  56. Hi Marilyn!
    You bring up some very good points. I believe that what you are saying about anointing or being “consecrated” indeed is very important to not forget. I believe that is what all believers need to strive to, of course. The issue here is just with taking your gifts, no matter what they are and how small or big they are, and investing in them for the sake of God’s glory. You surely did that, by the way, as part of my team many years ago as I recall. I remember the vocal workshops we all took and how God used that to make many of us even that much more effective.

    The idea of leading in a big church is overrated, especially so if the thought is simply talent and not heart. Your talent does not excuse you of investing time in your walk and devotion to God is what I hear you saying and wholeheartedly agree. No matter if you are in a small church (I have been in small churches of 100 people) or large ministry it is important to take the gifting God has given us and exercise it, invest in it and of course let God use it to reach and touch people. What I am saying here is that devotion is not complete without the discipline of developing the work and talent God has given each of us. And, none of us are entitled to a “platform” just because we “feel” called without serious preparation.

  57. Ok, so here is my suggestion to those who are in charge…Don’t write someone off immediately if they blow their audition. Maybe they are too average for what you are looking for, but maybe they SHINE once they are put in an actual worship situation. The anointing can do that. Pray about the auditions and ask God to give you discernment re: who you should give a second or third chance. Two cents from someone who is grateful for people giving me a chance.

  58. Ok, so here is my suggestion to those who are in charge…Don’t write someone off immediately if they blow their audition. Maybe they are too average for what you are looking for, but maybe they SHINE once they are put in an actual worship situation. The anointing can do that. Pray about the auditions and ask God to give you discernment re: who you should give a second or third chance. Two cents from someone who is grateful for people giving me a chance.

  59. Ok, so here is my suggestion to those who are in charge…Don’t write someone off immediately if they blow their audition. Maybe they are too average for what you are looking for, but maybe they SHINE once they are put in an actual worship situation. The anointing can do that. Pray about the auditions and ask God to give you discernment re: who you should give a second or third chance. Two cents from someone who is grateful for people giving me a chance.

  60. Ok, so here is my suggestion to those who are in charge…Don’t write someone off immediately if they blow their audition. Maybe they are too average for what you are looking for, but maybe they SHINE once they are put in an actual worship situation. The anointing can do that. Pray about the auditions and ask God to give you discernment re: who you should give a second or third chance. Two cents from someone who is grateful for people giving me a chance.

  61. I agree with alot of this blog. As the lead guitar player at bilingual church in Puerto Rico, I’ve have at least another hour extra of “band” practice a week to hone our stylings, and at times I don’t have the proper “equipment” to produce the desired sounds. Granted as a guitar player, ask anyone, we love to get “gear” so I have no problem buying it- but when one of our vocalists downplays the guitar(s) part its a bit of an insult. We have actually had some say “If I knew setup would take this long I would’ve slept in.” We begged for them to help us setup!My defining moment was a recent worship leader that lead us- he was determined to have 15 mins of band warmup every sunday. AFTER, vocal warmups. He made all our vocals (including us who just sing “backup”) to do these crazy scales and who knows what else. Us guitar players made a game of it, playing the scale then humming it. The vocalists complained that was tough, and “are we doing this every sunday?”
    Thus, I agree with the American Idol syndrome. Alot of people do not realize how hard it is to put together a worship team- hard WORK. I’d say there are alot of talent out there, but I’d rather have a 90% hardworking team and 10% talent than vise versa.
    From a transplanted Nashvillian, I’ll agree again with “keeping up with the pros”, If you can’t cut it musically, then you get in the way- you have to keep growing. My best years were playing with studio musicians who played for church out of their talents’ abundance. All of us learned from them and were slowly being brought to their level. But that is the point- the attitude of the band. Can we be selfless enough to realize we might learn from EVERYONE on the team and grow together.

    Meanwhile, the question is- for MY vocalists- we are just thankful we have people who will show up. I wish we could have auditions, but there is not enough williness there for singers. I’ll trade you a drummer and 2 of my bass players for one of your vocals though…
    God bless

  62. I agree with alot of this blog. As the lead guitar player at bilingual church in Puerto Rico, I’ve have at least another hour extra of “band” practice a week to hone our stylings, and at times I don’t have the proper “equipment” to produce the desired sounds. Granted as a guitar player, ask anyone, we love to get “gear” so I have no problem buying it- but when one of our vocalists downplays the guitar(s) part its a bit of an insult. We have actually had some say “If I knew setup would take this long I would’ve slept in.” We begged for them to help us setup!My defining moment was a recent worship leader that lead us- he was determined to have 15 mins of band warmup every sunday. AFTER, vocal warmups. He made all our vocals (including us who just sing “backup”) to do these crazy scales and who knows what else. Us guitar players made a game of it, playing the scale then humming it. The vocalists complained that was tough, and “are we doing this every sunday?”
    Thus, I agree with the American Idol syndrome. Alot of people do not realize how hard it is to put together a worship team- hard WORK. I’d say there are alot of talent out there, but I’d rather have a 90% hardworking team and 10% talent than vise versa.
    From a transplanted Nashvillian, I’ll agree again with “keeping up with the pros”, If you can’t cut it musically, then you get in the way- you have to keep growing. My best years were playing with studio musicians who played for church out of their talents’ abundance. All of us learned from them and were slowly being brought to their level. But that is the point- the attitude of the band. Can we be selfless enough to realize we might learn from EVERYONE on the team and grow together.

    Meanwhile, the question is- for MY vocalists- we are just thankful we have people who will show up. I wish we could have auditions, but there is not enough williness there for singers. I’ll trade you a drummer and 2 of my bass players for one of your vocals though…
    God bless

  63. I agree with alot of this blog. As the lead guitar player at bilingual church in Puerto Rico, I’ve have at least another hour extra of “band” practice a week to hone our stylings, and at times I don’t have the proper “equipment” to produce the desired sounds. Granted as a guitar player, ask anyone, we love to get “gear” so I have no problem buying it- but when one of our vocalists downplays the guitar(s) part its a bit of an insult. We have actually had some say “If I knew setup would take this long I would’ve slept in.” We begged for them to help us setup!My defining moment was a recent worship leader that lead us- he was determined to have 15 mins of band warmup every sunday. AFTER, vocal warmups. He made all our vocals (including us who just sing “backup”) to do these crazy scales and who knows what else. Us guitar players made a game of it, playing the scale then humming it. The vocalists complained that was tough, and “are we doing this every sunday?”
    Thus, I agree with the American Idol syndrome. Alot of people do not realize how hard it is to put together a worship team- hard WORK. I’d say there are alot of talent out there, but I’d rather have a 90% hardworking team and 10% talent than vise versa.
    From a transplanted Nashvillian, I’ll agree again with “keeping up with the pros”, If you can’t cut it musically, then you get in the way- you have to keep growing. My best years were playing with studio musicians who played for church out of their talents’ abundance. All of us learned from them and were slowly being brought to their level. But that is the point- the attitude of the band. Can we be selfless enough to realize we might learn from EVERYONE on the team and grow together.

    Meanwhile, the question is- for MY vocalists- we are just thankful we have people who will show up. I wish we could have auditions, but there is not enough williness there for singers. I’ll trade you a drummer and 2 of my bass players for one of your vocals though…
    God bless

  64. I agree with alot of this blog. As the lead guitar player at bilingual church in Puerto Rico, I’ve have at least another hour extra of “band” practice a week to hone our stylings, and at times I don’t have the proper “equipment” to produce the desired sounds. Granted as a guitar player, ask anyone, we love to get “gear” so I have no problem buying it- but when one of our vocalists downplays the guitar(s) part its a bit of an insult. We have actually had some say “If I knew setup would take this long I would’ve slept in.” We begged for them to help us setup!My defining moment was a recent worship leader that lead us- he was determined to have 15 mins of band warmup every sunday. AFTER, vocal warmups. He made all our vocals (including us who just sing “backup”) to do these crazy scales and who knows what else. Us guitar players made a game of it, playing the scale then humming it. The vocalists complained that was tough, and “are we doing this every sunday?”
    Thus, I agree with the American Idol syndrome. Alot of people do not realize how hard it is to put together a worship team- hard WORK. I’d say there are alot of talent out there, but I’d rather have a 90% hardworking team and 10% talent than vise versa.
    From a transplanted Nashvillian, I’ll agree again with “keeping up with the pros”, If you can’t cut it musically, then you get in the way- you have to keep growing. My best years were playing with studio musicians who played for church out of their talents’ abundance. All of us learned from them and were slowly being brought to their level. But that is the point- the attitude of the band. Can we be selfless enough to realize we might learn from EVERYONE on the team and grow together.

    Meanwhile, the question is- for MY vocalists- we are just thankful we have people who will show up. I wish we could have auditions, but there is not enough williness there for singers. I’ll trade you a drummer and 2 of my bass players for one of your vocals though…
    God bless

  65. Whilst I agree on a lot you’ve said, my spirit is unnerved by various things.
    My counterpoints:
    “Investing in gear is appropriate .. when we are talking about sounds that relate and move people in today’s culture” This sounds all wrong to me. As far am I’m concerned, when it comes to worship, culture should have little to do with it. And it shouldn’t take sounds to move people into worship. We should be able to run a worship service VOID of all music if we so chose and yet still have everyone in an attitude of praise and worship.

    “Investing in skill is the part of any call to ministry. (Psalm 33:3) ” True! But don’t think you can do it it your own strength either!

    “Compare your craft to the pros, not your current worship team. Do we take the same passion a performer has to the act of leading worship?” I kinda get what your saying, but I’m no performer. I don’t have that passion. I do however have the most insatiable hunger and passion to see all of Gods people worshiping him. THAT is the passion that I bring to my worship team. Not professionalism. I guess I’m saying, choose your words carefully as not to give the wrong idea.

    “You may have the passion, but not the skill or talent.” – True you need to know the “how”. But I find the “how” is so very little often found how well you use your instrument ‘technically’ but more so how well you play your instrument ‘worshipfully’. No amount of lessons or expensive gear can get you that talent. Obviously if you cant sing or play an particular instrument at all it would be useless if you tried. Some level of technical skill is a must.

    “The Worship Team is not for everyone”
    Cant agree more. But don’t also assume that The worship team is only for the best. That is elitism, as has no place in the church!

  66. Whilst I agree on a lot you’ve said, my spirit is unnerved by various things.
    My counterpoints:
    “Investing in gear is appropriate .. when we are talking about sounds that relate and move people in today’s culture” This sounds all wrong to me. As far am I’m concerned, when it comes to worship, culture should have little to do with it. And it shouldn’t take sounds to move people into worship. We should be able to run a worship service VOID of all music if we so chose and yet still have everyone in an attitude of praise and worship.

    “Investing in skill is the part of any call to ministry. (Psalm 33:3) ” True! But don’t think you can do it it your own strength either!

    “Compare your craft to the pros, not your current worship team. Do we take the same passion a performer has to the act of leading worship?” I kinda get what your saying, but I’m no performer. I don’t have that passion. I do however have the most insatiable hunger and passion to see all of Gods people worshiping him. THAT is the passion that I bring to my worship team. Not professionalism. I guess I’m saying, choose your words carefully as not to give the wrong idea.

    “You may have the passion, but not the skill or talent.” – True you need to know the “how”. But I find the “how” is so very little often found how well you use your instrument ‘technically’ but more so how well you play your instrument ‘worshipfully’. No amount of lessons or expensive gear can get you that talent. Obviously if you cant sing or play an particular instrument at all it would be useless if you tried. Some level of technical skill is a must.

    “The Worship Team is not for everyone”
    Cant agree more. But don’t also assume that The worship team is only for the best. That is elitism, as has no place in the church!

  67. Whilst I agree on a lot you’ve said, my spirit is unnerved by various things.
    My counterpoints:
    “Investing in gear is appropriate .. when we are talking about sounds that relate and move people in today’s culture” This sounds all wrong to me. As far am I’m concerned, when it comes to worship, culture should have little to do with it. And it shouldn’t take sounds to move people into worship. We should be able to run a worship service VOID of all music if we so chose and yet still have everyone in an attitude of praise and worship.

    “Investing in skill is the part of any call to ministry. (Psalm 33:3) ” True! But don’t think you can do it it your own strength either!

    “Compare your craft to the pros, not your current worship team. Do we take the same passion a performer has to the act of leading worship?” I kinda get what your saying, but I’m no performer. I don’t have that passion. I do however have the most insatiable hunger and passion to see all of Gods people worshiping him. THAT is the passion that I bring to my worship team. Not professionalism. I guess I’m saying, choose your words carefully as not to give the wrong idea.

    “You may have the passion, but not the skill or talent.” – True you need to know the “how”. But I find the “how” is so very little often found how well you use your instrument ‘technically’ but more so how well you play your instrument ‘worshipfully’. No amount of lessons or expensive gear can get you that talent. Obviously if you cant sing or play an particular instrument at all it would be useless if you tried. Some level of technical skill is a must.

    “The Worship Team is not for everyone”
    Cant agree more. But don’t also assume that The worship team is only for the best. That is elitism, as has no place in the church!

  68. Whilst I agree on a lot you’ve said, my spirit is unnerved by various things.
    My counterpoints:
    “Investing in gear is appropriate .. when we are talking about sounds that relate and move people in today’s culture” This sounds all wrong to me. As far am I’m concerned, when it comes to worship, culture should have little to do with it. And it shouldn’t take sounds to move people into worship. We should be able to run a worship service VOID of all music if we so chose and yet still have everyone in an attitude of praise and worship.

    “Investing in skill is the part of any call to ministry. (Psalm 33:3) ” True! But don’t think you can do it it your own strength either!

    “Compare your craft to the pros, not your current worship team. Do we take the same passion a performer has to the act of leading worship?” I kinda get what your saying, but I’m no performer. I don’t have that passion. I do however have the most insatiable hunger and passion to see all of Gods people worshiping him. THAT is the passion that I bring to my worship team. Not professionalism. I guess I’m saying, choose your words carefully as not to give the wrong idea.

    “You may have the passion, but not the skill or talent.” – True you need to know the “how”. But I find the “how” is so very little often found how well you use your instrument ‘technically’ but more so how well you play your instrument ‘worshipfully’. No amount of lessons or expensive gear can get you that talent. Obviously if you cant sing or play an particular instrument at all it would be useless if you tried. Some level of technical skill is a must.

    “The Worship Team is not for everyone”
    Cant agree more. But don’t also assume that The worship team is only for the best. That is elitism, as has no place in the church!

  69. Hi Martin,
    If your spirit is unnerved, then I have succeeded!

    Really, that is one ingredient in a great conversation.

  70. Hi Martin,
    If your spirit is unnerved, then I have succeeded!

    Really, that is one ingredient in a great conversation.

  71. Hi Martin,
    If your spirit is unnerved, then I have succeeded!

    Really, that is one ingredient in a great conversation.

  72. Hi Martin,
    If your spirit is unnerved, then I have succeeded!

    Really, that is one ingredient in a great conversation.

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