We actually discourage conversation in the sanctuary before service. We ask that it be a time of prayer and spiritual preparation. We play soft recorded music, some instrumental, mostly with vocals.
How long a period of time are you talking about? Sometimes what we do for the last 15 minutes before we start is have either the piano player or guitar player (me) go up and play. When I do it, I often medley the songs we are doing for the day.
Thanks for input. I think there are some misunderstandings regarding my situation, so let me clarify: apparently I worded things incorrectly in my first post, but I am not trying to make an argument - - I was hoping that there might be something out there that could help me present better options.
Our worship is high energy, full band stuff...slow, prayerful music is not helping to set the stage for what's coming up in our worship. It's hard to find good, upbeat non-lyrical music out there that doesn't sound cheesy. I have thought about recording our band, but this still doesn't satisfy some of the reasons why I wanted other music in the first place: to introduce new songs, etc.
Still working this one out...
if you're looking for generic good high energy instrumental music, I recommend this one:
Andy Timmons :: Music
what? me worry?
Marmadd, I know this is a bit late but what I have always used for pre-service instrumental music is Integrity Hosanna's series'. You can find some of them on Amazon. they are from the late 80's and 90's but I find the orchestrations to still be relevant for today. I am hoping that someday Integrity produces a fresh current series. Their website does have some good pre-service DVD's and such but I prefer just the audio myself. Hope this helps.
Here is another possibility. Check out www.interactiveworshiplive.com. They feature backing tracks for worship applications, but you could purchase a track of the latest worship songs, even ones you want to introduice to your congregation without any backing vocals so it is basically instrumental. It is also a great way to teach the team new songs because you can make custom rehearsal tracks for each part...
Music Teacher, Plainville Schools
My thoughts on this... If you have not read Rick Warren's "Purpose driven church" do so...it is a little dated, but still good stuff in it, and he talks a lot about music, setting the stage for worship, and so on... secondly. Pick your battles, is this one you want to "fight". You are right. There isn't much out there, but my best resource has been YouTube. Seems like there are more upbeat instrumental songs from bands, some live, than other places. I just use "any video converter" and change them to MP3's and play them. If the leadership will not budge use your first song for teaching the cong. that’s what we do most of the time and it works great. let them know what you are doing so they will be in a learning frame of mind. Then go on from there. I like the idea of getting backing tracks but be careful. having to people singing harmony on a track in the middle of an instrumental song can get people wondering what is going on. Posters were right when they said what works in your church might not work in mine. If we played slow contemplative songs before worship the congregation would ask me what the problem was. Our music before worship is slightly louder than normal, and we have the lights on full blast. People have to speak a little louder than normal to have a conversation. It helps to create a sense of excitement. There is a notable difference when we use quieter songs before worship. Very interesting stuff. Praying for you and your situation.
It's clear that all churches have such different styles and norms, and I think that's exactly the way it should be. In our case, we play Pandora before and after service. I have created a channel of my own with a handful of artists that fit our style of what we want played during these times, and it pretty much matches our band's style too. We, too, want things to be upbeat but not overbearing, we want to create a sense of excitment and anticipation before service. People definitely chit chat and hang out - in the lobby and in the sanctuary - and a few people may sit quietly by themselves. But if they do I hope someone goes up to them and says hello and helps them feel welcomed, rather than alone.
So the songs we play from Pandora definitely have lyrics in them (Chris Tomlin, Matt Redmond, David Crowder, Bethany Dillon, Hillsong United, Third Day), and we try to keep them on the comfy side, not too rowdy side, but I also don't want to put people to sleep either. We keep the volume at a level that's comfortable but enticing enough to keep the energy level up a bit. After service it's a little lower since lots of times we have people who want to pray with someone, and they're usually doing that upfront near the platform. Our band usually doesn't play extra songs other than actually during worship, though we've tried that a few times, especially to introduce a new song. It sort of worked, but with the team we've got now, we're just not ready to do that too often. If we happen to sing a song at the end of service, we'll play a (non lyric) reprise after we close service, which is fun, and then when we're done, go back to our Pandora channel.
Hope that helps!
Our organist does a great job and selecting songs that are upbeat and great sounding for the pre-service and post-service time.
Go with the Goers. Don't over think this one it's just some music before service I'm sure you and the church can compromise and btw you'll probably never find something that "works for everyone."