Should Worship Team Members Be In The Choir First?

Featuring Kevin Pledger Posted on November 6, 2008

I was once among you.  The best leadership was displayed by setting the guidelines and holding those who serve to the set parameters.  By requiring worship team members to be in the choir, you promoted teamwork while reducing the chances of a prima donna bringing pride to the platform.  I was once among you.  But not anymore.

When I came to my current church (that had no such rule), my intent was to make this rule my policy.  But one thing I learned in leadership years ago, was that when you go to a place where fences are built, first learn who built the fences and why they built them.  You may find that these fences are present for your own good.  So I waited.  I wanted to know why my predecessors had not instituted such a policy.

I had found myself in a church much larger than my previous church that I served in Virginia.  My former church would average 50-75 on a good day in attendance, while my current church was running around 425 at the time.  Of course, with a larger congregation, comes a larger pool of volunteers looking for a place to serve.  I found many talented people who really had a heart for serving, yet couldn't be a part of the larger choir or orchestra type ensembles because of children's sporting events, work, and the like.  Yet they could readily participate in worship teams as those rehearsals are all on Sundays along with services on Sunday mornings.  So I changed my attitude and opinion toward a rule that I had held.  And you know what?  Everything is just fine!

In the process, I reminded my team of a few things.  I reminded them that God requires our best.  And being a part of the worship team means that our best means rehearsal attendance, working on music at home, answering requests to serve in a timely manner, having charts printed and in hand when coming to rehearsal, working as a team, leading the congregation with a servant's heart and humility, and not depending on me for everything.  I don't want our music program to revolve around me and I hope you don't want yours to around you either!  There is FREEDOM in that!  When you have a team, you honor God and each other.  You sharpen "as iron sharpens iron" both musically and spiritually.

In this way, people serve our Lord because they WANT to, not because they HAVE to.  It is giving with a cheerful heart!  I feel that if I had continued in the previous policy, I would be robbing God's people of ways in which they can serve and lead in worship.  How dare I!

If you feel that this may not be right for you, pray about it and seek God's face.  Look at those lives that could be changed as a result of your changing your mind.  And never use some policy to make a way out for you to make someone inelligible to serve that you might now want.  That's just not scriptural!  Instead, hold that person to accountability.  Audition.  Interview.  Create high standards.  Or examine yourself and make sure that YOU are not the one in the wrong.

May God bless you, my brothers and sisters, as you serve Him faithfully.  It is an honor to serve Him alongside you, though I may have never met you!

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