Worship Team VS Worship Band

Petri Nauha gives an excellent analysis on a problem that plagues today’s churches:

Is the church platform exclusive for the select few or should it be a place to raise up people who are gifted to lead?

There are many great worship bands that tour and record albums to spread the gospel, and many small churches that lead worship with very few people in their teams. Both bring much glory to God, but I’m sometimes amazed when some big churches in urban areas with over 1,000 attendees have the same worship team with only 5-6 people on stage every Sunday. It seems like a physical impossibility to not have a bigger team, but after thinking about it I’ve realized they might have fallen prey to a mentality of a worship band instead of a worship team. Secular bands are content with 3-6 members and can work efficiently to create a commercially viable entity to become famous and make lots of money for their record label and themselves, but those things should not motivate us. How then do we end up thinking this model would work for Sunday worship?

Worship bands in Sunday services exist in a cocoon of stages and green rooms, barely having contact with regular churchgoers. They seek each other out and can become an exclusive group of artists living an isolated life in the middle of God’s people. I want to challenge all of us to break that bubble and train our band members and singers to become a part of our church family on a deeper level, engaging in Sunday services by going out and mingling with non-musicians, during the week by attending small groups, and even volunteering for non-musical service opportunities. We should be modeling the love of Christ to all people, and isolation just doesn’t work. If we only share life with other musicians, we will miss out on profound wisdom from people that are not on the worship team.

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