Is There a Place for a Soloist in Church?

Clint Archer discusses the regulative principle of worship:

I enjoy being challenged to think through why we do what we do in the church worship service. Recently I was asked why our band sometimes plays a brief interlude between songs during which the congregation is silent.

To take it further: isn’t the role of the band to facilitate the whole congregation’s singing? If so, then surely it is never appropriate for a singer to perform a solo, or a musician to play an instrumental piece with no lyrics. And if the band’s role is more pliable than simply providing the tune to which we all sing along, exactly how much leeway is permitted? Why is a vocal or violin solo allowed, but not a ballet dance or a juggling act?

Furnishing a philosophy of ministry that allows some discretion while excluding extremes may prove tricky.

There is no one-size-fits-all rule. If there was, it would be in the Bible! Here are three broad approaches to the church worship service: the too tight regulative principle, the too loose liberty-in-worship approach, and the elder-adjustable elastic tailored-for-each-church view.

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