Should We Ban The Music Stands?

 

This has become a conversation over the past few years in worship ministry. Possibly, it’s even become a battle in some chruches. Should we allow music stands on the stage?

For some, this will seem like a ridiculous idea; how can we know what songs to play without the music? What’s the big deal? Why is this even a question?

While others might say: “yes, and if you don’t get rid of the stands, you’re doing it wrong!” or some other hyperbolic rhetoric.

For this post, I’d like to address the reasons someone would want to ban Music Stands, the pros and cons of those reasons and some practical considerations for you to take into account. Maybe you’ve been wresting with this idea. Maybe this has been an issue in your ministry. Maybe you’ve never heard of such a thing and you can’t understand why someone would do it; but you are going to keep reading to find out.

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Codes and Keys (How To Dress For The Modern Church)

CODES AND KEYS

I’ve been writing this blog for almost 4 years and this is the first time I’ve addressed how we dress on stage. The Bible has things to say about how Christians should present themselves. The Church Culture has things to say about how Christians should present themselves (not necessarily the same as the Bible). Even the Secular Culture has ideas about how Christians dress, or how everyone else should dress too.

So why should I add my thoughts to the mix? That’s actually not my goal. Of course I have opinions on this subject, but my goal isn’t to give you a list of things I think you should do. My goal is to break down some general keys to follow as you try to figure out what’s right in regards to you, your church, your cultural context and your convictions. As always, while our basis for these things must be found in God’s Word, working these things out can feel at times like a moving target so I’m going to try and focus on Dress Keys than Dress Codes.

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4 Reasons To Avoid The Imitation Trap

WHAT IS THE IMITATION TRAP?

I noticed the trap in pulpit ministry before I saw it in music ministry. Young preachers imitating older or better known preachers. Cadence, vocal pitch, even attempting to mimic the humor or jokes, and sometimes just outright stealing stories and analogies employed by the preacher they obviously admired.

The same thing is true in music ministries and if you’ve been around long enough you’ve probably seen it yourself. Churches whose bands play note for note everything exactly like it was off the record. The singer who is obviously trying to be Kim Walker-Smith or the worship leader who is shouting things because he heard Matt Redman do it.

The Imitation Trap is seeing the success of someone else, and assuming that this is the way that you have to do it. To judge your success not on what God has called you to do, but on how others live out their callings. I want to present four reasons that we as worship leaders should avoid this trap at all costs, and a positive alternative to imitation that might just be a way forward for you, and your ministry.

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4 Ways To Make Your Worship Team Better

My friends over at The Church Collective have a new post up by Rob Carona that I think it worth your time called “4 Ways To Release The Potential Of Your Worship Team”.

I highly recommend this article to you.

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Can A Non-Christian Worship God?

Recently, I noticed a google search that lead someone to this blog: Can a non-christian worship God? I’m assuming that google lead them to either THIS POST about whether or not a non-Christian can be on the worship team, or THIS POST about the arguments over sacred vs secular in church music. While I hope that either of those articles was helpful to the person’s Google search, I realized that both flirted with the question, but never answered it directly: Can a non-Christian worship God? Yes or no.

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“The Problem With Worship Leaders”

I recently stumbled across a post on the Reforming Baptist blog from a couple of years back called “What Bothers Me About Worship Leaders”. I’m sure the guy who writes the blog is a super nice guy and if we were having lunch we’d probably have a good conversation. This is not me finding a blog another Christian brother wrote and ripping on him or his position on my blog. The concerns he raises are one’s I’ve heard other places and I think they’re worth addressing. The truth is that, aside from his 1st point, all of his concerns have some validity, and he’s expressed them better than most. I think they’re points worth addressing. You can read the original post HERE

1. THE POSISTION OF WORSHIP LEADER IS A MODERN INVENTION

This isn’t on his list but it is found in his opening paragraph and it’s something you hear every so often from certain corners of the Church. The concept of a worship leader isn’t a new thing, no matter what anyone says. There have always been people who God has called and gifted with talents in writing and creating art and song for the purpose of delclaring the praise of God. It has looked different over the years, but the intent has generally been the same. Anyone who says otherwise is either ignorant of history or is just basing their statement on the relatively recent history of their tribe of churches. WorshipLeader has a quick run down of the “History of Worship Leading” HERE.

That being said, even if the position of Worship Leaders were a modern invention, that doesn’t mean that they are wrong or evil. A “missions pastor” is a new invention, but a church being orgainized and intetional about missions isn’t bad right? What about an “Outreach Pastor” or a church IT guy? Let’s not forget my current position of College and Youth Pastor. Those are all new positions that have been created out of cultural need or an attempt to have better or more effective organization. All are new, none of them, on their own, are bad.

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Sermon-Centric Planning?

Neil over at the Blue Collar Worship Blog has written a great post about the problems with planning your set list around the pastor’s sermon.

There are a lot of folks who think it’s vital to plan your message around the sermon, and a lot of good tools and software available to accomplish this. I think that no matter what you do, you need to have a good line of communication with the leadership of your church, and a clear understanding of what’s expected of you. The reverse is that the leadership needs to have an understanding that if they ask for certain things it will require other things.  You can read Neil’s prespective on not planning your set list thematically to match the sermon HERE. Here’s my thoughts on why I don’t plan thematically.

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