Over the last several months I have been involved in conversations on blogs and forums surrounding all things related to the corporate worship service and the teams of people who facilitate our corporate worship experience.
The conversations are about everything from style, to heart, to practical aspects related to worship in the church. I hear the hearts cry from these leaders and team members and believe the motivation, for the most part, is good. They genuinely want to create an environment where the people of God can come together without distraction and enter into the presence of God with the community of believers they have chosen to identify with.
Today I ran across a conversation entitled “The Ideal Band Member”. I eagerly clicked the link thinking we were going to talk about the type of person we are looking for to be on our worship team. Someone who possesses a servants heart, a lover of God and His word. Someone who will lay down their life for the Bride of Christ, not positioning themselves for something bigger and better but sincerely serving the house. And oh by the way they are skillful. I was disappointed.
The conversation was about instrumentation. “We have two guitars, a bass, a drummer, and two keyboard players what should we be trying to add next?”
Please don’t misunderstand. This is not an invalid or unimportant conversation. If our goal is excellence this is a valid stream however; in the context of the last several months it made me wonder if we are really asking the right questions.
What is our purpose as leaders in the church in general and worship leaders specifically?
I remember receiving an email telling me I would not be asked to be a part of the worship team because the pastor wanted a cohesive group of musicians. And since I was an unknown they were going to choose people who they knew could deliver. I wanted to scream “our purpose is not to build a cohesive group”. Now if my skillset is not at an acceptable level fair enough but if the reason I am not invited is so you can have a “cohesive group” there may be a misunderstanding of our purpose.
Our purpose is first the equipping of the saints, and second to operate in our gifts. This is the order were given in Ephesians 4:12
“the edification of the body”
I have much more to say on that topic but for now I’ll leave it there.
Certainly when we stand on the platform we must be invisible. Actually transparent is a better word and the best way to do that is to be excellent. Not perfect but excellent. Excellence is giving the best you have which is much different than perfection. This is not an either or proposition. We can, and must, accomplish both. It was God’s idea and He can certainly give us the wisdom to accomplish it in our context. But if were not even asking the question we are grossly missing the point.
If we are faithful with the faithfulness entrusted to us God will give the increase and bring the right instruments/musicians or whatever we need at the right time. People are our purpose and we must never lose sight of that priority.