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What do you think is the biggest danger to worship teams today?

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  • What do you think is the biggest danger to worship teams today?

    Ok Worship Leaders, I would like your thoughts and opinion on this topic. From your knowledge and experience, what would you say is the biggest danger to worship teams and worship leaders today? Not just at your church but within the global church.
    Please share your insight!!!!!

  • #2
    I think it's a danger when we forget that worship isn't confined to its corporate manifestation but that it's about looking '...after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.' James 1:27. Conversely, we can be tempted to place all our efforts into worshipping God in our own strength by doing good works and therefore devaluing corporate worship, thinking it's less important, when actually the two need to be held in balance and usually are if we are receiving a genuine encounter with God in worship. This is because his love then flows through us out towards others.
    Last edited by Sim40; 02-07-2019, 05:34 PM.

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    • #3
      In my personal opinion as not necessarily a 'leader' but one who has participated in this platform for 15+ years, there are a few things that stand out.

      One- in my opinion, the central message of the gospel is disappearing. There are a lot of songs about love and grace and mercy and being 'free'- free from what? Why do we need grace? The central Gospel message of Jesus as Lord and Savior from sin and the power of repentance is watered down. It's kinda hinted at, kinda eluded to, but not really central. We would do well to write new hymns and gospel songs. Note- there are several that blend the old hymns with a modern tagline of some kind, but I haven't heard as many newer hymns. Then again, I haven't traveled the globe extensively. I know our forumite Nick works pretty extensively in the hymnals and traditional structures.

      Another one I see is the increasing amount of 'production' that goes into CCM nowadays with the engineered tracks and the complicated song structures. I came into this ministry at the tail end of the praise chorus movement of singing the same old straight up 3-chord bangers and repeating the same...verses...and...chorus...over....and...over. .. Now the pendulum has shifted to the other extreme with chord progressions that rarely repeat, that have verse, pre-chorus, chorus, bridge, pre-chorus 2, chorus 2, and there's no groove- no flow. The tracks are all created one at at time (often on virtual instruments and modelers) and extensively edited in Pro Tools to the point of being clinical and cold- without the imperfections and honesty of humans playing and singing together. It tries to be Prog Rock without the mojo. They make these crash-bangy anthems with big way huge drums and big builds and crescendos and endings that aren't really endings that back-build into another chorus and THEN ends... whew! it makes for a great performance- but does it really instill Christ?

      I'd like to really see us get back to the straight up gospel music that starts revivals. But that's just me...
      If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Mike on Bass View Post
        One- in my opinion, the central message of the gospel is disappearing. There are a lot of songs about love and grace and mercy and being 'free'- free from what? Why do we need grace? The central Gospel message of Jesus as Lord and Savior from sin and the power of repentance is watered down. It's kinda hinted at, kinda eluded to, but not really central.
        This is huge. I've noticed it too. There are some old-school worship writers like Paul Baloche and Chris Tomlin (mostly) who stick to the whole gospel. But most of what's coming out of Bethel/Hillsong focuses on only one aspect of God. It's very myopic.

        Our worship leader is very young, and I've been encouraging them to go back and listen to stuff from about 10 years ago for inspiration. I'm not impressed with the current crop of songs from the last 2-3 years.

        Originally posted by Mike on Bass View Post
        Another one I see is the increasing amount of 'production' that goes into CCM nowadays with the engineered tracks and the complicated song structures. I came into this ministry at the tail end of the praise chorus movement of singing the same old straight up 3-chord bangers and repeating the same...verses...and...chorus...over....and...over. .. Now the pendulum has shifted to the other extreme...
        This drives me nuts, too. Either the track has huge synth lines (and is difficult to pull off with a standard bass/keys/guitar/drum combo) or the structure is so random I have to write out a roadmap so I don't miss the third bridge/flow/interlude part.

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        • #5
          I don't want to ruffle feathers, but I'm going to be honest. I've been doing this for 25 years.

          To answer the original question, the biggest danger (I think) to worship teams is getting stuck in the idea that they have to put on a nice show or production. It's all driven from the seeker-friendly model, which I'm not a huge fan of. The more you are chasing that production, the less room you leave for God to move.

          Worship teams need to be tight enough that they can follow each other musically and spiritually. There needs to be freedom in this, and the only way to get a high-quality worship set AND be able to follow the Spirit's leading is practice and experience. Lots of experience.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JeffHendricks View Post
            I don't want to ruffle feathers, but I'm going to be honest. I've been doing this for 25 years.

            To answer the original question, the biggest danger (I think) to worship teams is getting stuck in the idea that they have to put on a nice show or production. It's all driven from the seeker-friendly model, which I'm not a huge fan of. The more you are chasing that production, the less room you leave for God to move.

            Worship teams need to be tight enough that they can follow each other musically and spiritually. There needs to be freedom in this, and the only way to get a high-quality worship set AND be able to follow the Spirit's leading is practice and experience. Lots of experience.
            Great points. If we focus on the message, the production will take care of itself.

            Experience and practice is definitely important. At least to the point of everyone on the team being in a similar place in their experience, both musically and spiritually. The Holy Spirit will work with anyone where they are at. From a team dynamic, when you have a group of people that have played together for a long time, have higher skill levels and mesh really well, then a newbie comes in that's played for a year, that changes things. We've experienced this on my team. We have a young guy that's a Jazz musician, plays bass mostly. Can play chords, inversions, stuff that would make Jaco proud. But he struggles to carry a basic groove- because he's trying to hard to shred all over it. This got under my skin. But the HS reminded me to check my frustration and I should be helping to guide and coach him. The WL is taking a more active role in that, but I'm making it an effort to lead by example and help grow his maturity. I was a young & dumb musician once, too. I was the "half-assed full blast" guy. The first team I was on, I was as green as the spring grass- the WL sighed at me more than once- and she was patient with me. I Wouldn't be here without her. the HS reminds me that we all started somewhere and some old guy/gal shook their head in frustration at us. But they believed in us and poured into us. I am at the point where that's my role- to start pouring into the next generation. The last team I was on also had a bunch of youth kids playing clarinets and flutes and singing and stuff. When they played, it was different. We had to keep arrangements a lot simpler. We weren't as 'free' in some aspects. And I tell you what- these young and green people would just worship and holy cow, they would blow us old people away sometimes. It was some of my best HS led worship experience- with a bunch of greenies.

            But one thing these younger musicians help remind me of- they had the goofiness and enthusiasm and joy that sometimes gets lost on us old guys. They remind me it should be fun, honest and genuine first- the rest will take care of itself. the HS can bless a simple arrangement with people being open and free right where they are at. And that;s what makes it fun for me.
            If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.

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            • #7
              Hi AFlo,

              I think the biggest issue is prioritising talent and technique over worship. I have met many talented musos and singers over the years who want to join the worship team, and they were very good at what they did, but they did not realise that worship ministry was primarily about worship.

              Many band members get caught up in technique, which is important, but if technique was the most important thing, we could get session musos in to play for us. We get worshippers into worship ministry so they can help lead the congregation in worship. The medium just happens to be music.

              My vote for the second-biggest issue would be having our own agendas. Everyone gets into worship ministry for their own reasons, and unless our agendas are aligned, we will end up pushing and pulling against one another. At worst, personal agendas can divide and devastate a worship ministry. Even something as simple as, “I have an agenda to grow as a leader” will drive you in a certain direction in worship ministry. Agendas affect everything.

              Hope this helps
              Steffie.

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