I'm thinking of leading worship from the back of the congregation. I want to relocate the entire band to sides or back of the room. The people don't need to see me. They don't need to see the band members. All they need are lyrics (powerpoint), some indication where the song is going (my voice), and a backing track (the band). I want to prevent the worship team from being a visual distraction as much as possible.
Any thoughts on this approach?
I think the people need to see you lead them. Have you ever "worshipped" while watching a service online? - It's just not the same. If you were in the back I think you would get the same feel - a disconnect from the congregation.
jkriggs, I worry that what you're talking about isn't so much a spiritual response, but a sort of knee-jerk concert reaction. If someone can engage in worship because they can't see who's leading them, then it can't be very worshipful. I've had the most intense worship times of my life while listening to a CD by myself in my bedroom.
Something to think about there, I think.
I think that is an incredible idea, we once thought of maybe using a sheet to hide the band totally and put a cross on the platform
I don't think this will work well, to be honest.
The reason is that people have different learning styles. Some people are aural, and can be led via hearing music. Others are visual, and need to see what's happening. Some are kinetic and connect best when moving, and seeing people clap or dance or move on stage can inspire or show them them how to worship.
Some people are mature worshippers, and can go to that place in God's presence easily. Others aren't as mature, and we as the worship team need to LEAD them into the presence.
It's like this: 'Hey, I'm the worship leader. I know a good way to worship. Try doing some of the things I do. Try raising your hands. Try singing these words, try dancing. Try kneeling. Try lifting your eyes to heaven.'
Without the congregation SEEING some of this stuff, I think there will be something missing.
That's my opinion anyway.
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I'm not saying its good or bad, though I have my reserved opinion on it, but...why not just pop in a WOW Worship CD or something like that to pipe through the sound system for them to worship to. After all, there won't be any musical mistakes, there won't be singers singing sharp or flat or coming in late or early, there won't be forgotten lyrics, etc...
It's a cool idea that's been around for hundreds of years. That's why in many historical cathedrals and churches the choir and organ (the worship leaders of the times) were in a loft in the back of the church.
That said, my church has done this before. We meet in a multipurpose room that seats about 700. For the season of lent a couple of years ago we cleared the platform completely and placed our cross (which is movable) in the very centre of the room. We then set all the chairs in the round with worship team behind one of the sections. It worked very well by placing all of the visual focus on the cross.
Did it accomplish what we hoped? Oh yeah... it was really, really good! Why didn't we continue? Because as much as you'd like to think the congregation doesn't need visual leadership, for good or bad... most congregations really do.
Try it though. Maybe not permanently but do try it.
For some reason this strikes me in the same way as our current batch of politicians in DC knowing what is best for me. I'm not sure they do, and sometimes resent the inference that I cannot decide and provide for my family.
To go where you are going, you have to assume that either the congregation is less than capable to worship without "distraction", or that you have come to the place where you feel the worship team is so good that people are there to watch you, not worship their Creator. Either way, you are in trouble here.
I would suggest that if you have a video ministry, and can recruit some observers to watch services, that you utilize some time, and powers of observation to watch what is going on in the service. Ask people what they think about worship. It really is not about you. It is about you leading your congregation to worship Him. I really question if the location of the worship team is that big of a factor. What I do question is how the role of the team has developed in your worship service.
Please take this as constructive critique from someone who constantly worries that he is not good enough to lead worship. I am on the other side of this wishing I could step back and just worship. Being on the platform is not being a rock star, but being a mirror of the congregation's passion for worship. We need to reflect, amplify, intensify, and add to their ability to express love, devotion, praise, awe, adoration, thanksgiving, and pure faith. We lead, but we also follow. We perform, but really we worship. Why would we put a lamp in a closet and shut the door?
Blessings and peace to you as you worship the Father...