This post is a part of a series that starts HERE.
So if a worship band is focusing on worshiping instead of performing, can you imagine some tactical differences in how they would operate?
First, the performance machine’s job is to convert a performance into some kind of compensation for the performer, including reputation, praise, security, etc. A worship team, though, is not seeking any kind of appreciation or compensation for the performance of the band. It seeks appreciation for the performance of Christ. This should affect some decisions and directions for the group.
First, this distinction would probably change the way performers play. If I am working on a product to sell, I have to provide enough product value to earn a reward. If I think I can sell a jazz song for money, I better be able to play something worth that money. If, however, I am playing with a worship band, I don’t want my playing to attract attention to me (I’m not selling myself). I want my playing to provide an opportunity for people to pay attention to Jesus. The difference may be subtle, but it will make a difference. This is because a worship band is not seeking to have the congregation respond to their artistry. The worship band is providing the congregation with an opportunity to respond to the beauty of Jesus.
In reality, our participation in worship shouldn’t be spoiled by us seeking more compensation from it than what we’ve already been given in Christ. The edification to the body that comes from worship is derived from being reminded of all He is and all He has provided for us. He is our Pearl of Great Price. Doesn’t it lessen the experience if those that are leading worship are doing so out of a desire to be compensated with anything else?
What we’re left with when we’ve abandoned the performance machine are decisions we can make regarding what will improve worship, not merely the music. Does a solo in the song assist the worship? It might, but if it doesn’t then it shouldn’t be there. Is the worship band able to worship to this new song they’ve learned? If not, then it may not be a great song choice even if it is a great song musically. Have we pushed the musical expectations to the point that it is all we have time for when preparing for a Sunday? Then we may have raised the bar beyond what will lead worship. Are we always stressed during practice because there is so much to do? Is it possible, then, that we’re adding things to the workload that have nothing to do with worship?
Does this idea make sense? Does it present any concerns?