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unorthodox guitars on the worship stage?

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  • unorthodox guitars on the worship stage?

    Hey folks

    Wondering if any of you have any stories or wisdom on the use unorthodox or strangely shaped guitars onstage. BC Rich? Flying V's? Explorers? ESP's?

    Do you think it is a legitimate concern that wildly shaped or wildly adorned guitars are a distraction to the worshipers in your congregation? How much of it is a "get over it and worship honestly" thing and how much of it is a "being sensitive to the congregation" thing?

    Anybody ever have any resistance or interpersonal problems at church cause of this?

  • #2
    Originally posted by RefineryWorship View Post
    Hey folks

    Wondering if any of you have any stories or wisdom on the use unorthodox or strangely shaped guitars onstage. BC Rich? Flying V's? Explorers? ESP's?

    Do you think it is a legitimate concern that wildly shaped or wildly adorned guitars are a distraction to the worshipers in your congregation? How much of it is a "get over it and worship honestly" thing and how much of it is a "being sensitive to the congregation" thing?

    Anybody ever have any resistance or interpersonal problems at church cause of this?
    This is simply my 2 cents, so you may glean from it as you wish. Personally, I don't have a problem with odd shaped guitars unless their shape is demonic looking. Something like a Flying V or an Explorer or some BC Rich guitars are not very distracting. My biggest concern would be what is painted on it. If the guitar is painted with skulls or naked ladies; those things would surely distract from the message of Christ, then I would say no. Also, if the shape is not necessarily an issue with you but it is with the congregation, why not put the guitar player in the back where he/she is less distracting to the more conservative worshipers? Just some thoughts. Of course, PRAY about it. You want to make sure whatever you decide honors the Lord you serve.
    Melanie Siewert, Christ's Servant
    BLOG: http://www.worshipvanguard.blogspot.com

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    • #3
      A guy on my team plays a Schecter Hell Raiser 7-string. It certainly looks metal, but he plays tastefully and doesn't use his metal distortions in church, so it's not a big deal. And only the guitarists have noticed that it's called a Hell Raiser!
      Please check out my Christmas Blog at www.12daysofjesus.blogspot.co.nz

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      • #4
        If the guitarist doesn't have to play a potentially distracting guitar, why play it? If it's the only one he has, then I suppose that's the one he has to play.

        As far as distractions in general, there are battles you'll have to fight with the congregation. There's a spectrum of things that are worth fighting and some that aren't. And if the main influencer of the church doesn't think it's worth fighting, you're going to get frustrated. (And incidentally, the main influencer is usually the pastor, but sometimes not. Sometimes it's the Elder who's been there the longest. Sometimes it's the biggest giver. Etc.
        @iamjskinny
        blog

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        • #5
          and take a straw poll of people whose opinions matter, including leadership and laity. Pray, then move forward with whatever decision you made.
          @iamjskinny
          blog

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          • #6
            6 years ago I bought a Takamine jumbo 12 string and It has a lot of jewelry on it. I played it on the worship team for about a year and a half when one person asked me " Did you get a new guitar? ". There was a time I switched to a Telecaster for a little over a year when the team was smaller and then when we added another guitar player I swithed to a 6 string acoustic. Now I'll switch between the 3 I have for worship and no one seems to notice. In my church instrument shape dosen't matter. Thankfully the congegation dosen't notice the musicians very much.

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            • #7
              I don't mean to sound like a jerk, but does anyone else find it disturbing that we're even having this discussion? Maybe I'm jaded, but I really don't give a rip if some immature pew-warmer thinks somebody's guitar is distracting. And I'm pretty sure God isn't crazy about church leaders spending (wasting) their time trying to figure out how not to offend those people...if that is what church is about, count me out.

              Nate
              Practical Worship

              Please Pray For My Wife

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              • #8
                I appreciate your thoughts, but the whole point of worship leading is to lead everyone into a state of worship, so if you have anything that is distracting you want to think about using something different.

                For example, for me, I don't think I could use a Gibson SG - even though I think it's a classic rock guitar - I think it looks slightly devilish and could be distracting. However, if I had already bought one, and it was the only guitar I had, then of course I'd use it, and the congregation would just have to deal with it - but if there were complaints then I'd definately look at buying a new guitar asap.

                There are so many different types of guitar out there, we have lots of opportunity for self-expression without offending/distracting people.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by madviolinist View Post
                  I don't think I could use a Gibson SG - even though I think it's a classic rock guitar - I think it looks slightly devilish and could be distracting.

                  We are instructed that nothing of itself is evil but if it causes your brother to stumble, don't use it. The stratocaster also has horns just not as sharp and a BC Rich Warlock has the name along with the sharp points. All guitars can be thought of as evil but they aren't. I don't think of my congregation as pew warmers but if you want to send me that SG I'll put it to use. LOL

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by milepost13 View Post
                    I don't mean to sound like a jerk, but does anyone else find it disturbing that we're even having this discussion? Maybe I'm jaded, but I really don't give a rip if some immature pew-warmer thinks somebody's guitar is distracting. And I'm pretty sure God isn't crazy about church leaders spending (wasting) their time trying to figure out how not to offend those people...if that is what church is about, count me out.

                    Nate
                    This is the very thing I am talking about.

                    While true worship is god centered, true worship can only be initiated by God himself. That puts, partly, the onus on the congregation to be sensitive to the spirit, and to worship truely, and completely understand the God they are worshipping, why they are worshipping him, and how to worship him correctly. hopefully their eyes and hearts arent set on things pertaining to the guitarists dean ML.

                    As a worship team, we are facilitators - not just for the Congregation, but for the spirit, to lead us all into the presence of God (the holy spirit being our true worship leader). As a facilitator, we need to be sensitive both to the spirit and to the congregation. I can get my worship on to My Obsession by Skillet, but youd never play that song in a worship service on sunday morning. you can say all kinds of things like, "style doesnt matter to the Lord" and "why cant you just worshipfully reflect on the words," but really we all know that its ridiculous to expect that a metal song is acceptable on sunday morning.

                    Im sure your intelligent enough to understand that, right nate?

                    Is it sad that we have to talk about this? It could be, but i believe that there has already been wisdom displayed in this thread that someone facing this mundane grey-area question can benefit from.

                    Im a part time worship director and a fulltime metal head. I play a gibson flying v. But honestly, say someone else was gonna play on the team, and they had the choice between an sg and a bc rich ironbird or something like that, i would request that they play the sg cause its more moderate looking. say that person broke a string on his sg, and the ironbird was the only other available thing, then id say he could definitely go for it.

                    i also have a strat ( heck if i know why), which is a lot more traditional looking than a flying v, and there's other practical concerns between moderate and extreme guitar shapes, such as sound. i would prefer to play my flying v, cause frankly i dont want to play a guitar that sounds like a baby screaming into a tin can. not in front of anyone who isnt deaf, anyways.

                    there's a quote under your posting signature about practical worship. Addressing a question like this, while mundane and unfortunate, could definitely help others deal with pew warmers who have petty concerns. it could also help them work through their own issues that they have which are born out of a truely loving sensitivity to their congregation's tastes.

                    how much do you really, really love your congregation, nate? things like these can be worth the thought and discussion sometimes.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by milepost13 View Post
                      I don't mean to sound like a jerk, but does anyone else find it disturbing that we're even having this discussion? Maybe I'm jaded, but I really don't give a rip if some immature pew-warmer thinks somebody's guitar is distracting. And I'm pretty sure God isn't crazy about church leaders spending (wasting) their time trying to figure out how not to offend those people...if that is what church is about, count me out.

                      Nate
                      And by the way, if church IS about being completely insensitive to people we should love and who love the lord, you can count me out too.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        to be clear, I'm not saying you should ignore the culture and personality of your church and community when leading worship. But, to cater to one or two, or even a small group of people who refuse to grow in their relationship with God and expect one hour on Sunday morning to fit perfectly into their pre-conceived ideas of what worship should look/feel/sound like...that's just an incredibly poor waste of our time.

                        When a person comes to me with a complaint about worship, I'll gladly listen and try to understand where they're coming from. But the vast majority of time, the problem isn't about somebody else being insensitive...it's about that person not wanting to take the steps to grow. I look at these opportunities to help them grow...take the time to explain why we do what we do, and challenge them to grow up. I don't spend time trying to figure out how to make their worship experience more comfortable.

                        Nate
                        Practical Worship

                        Please Pray For My Wife

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by milepost13 View Post
                          to be clear, I'm not saying you should ignore the culture and personality of your church and community when leading worship. But, to cater to one or two, or even a small group of people who refuse to grow in their relationship with God and expect one hour on Sunday morning to fit perfectly into their pre-conceived ideas of what worship should look/feel/sound like...that's just an incredibly poor waste of our time.

                          When a person comes to me with a complaint about worship, I'll gladly listen and try to understand where they're coming from. But the vast majority of time, the problem isn't about somebody else being insensitive...it's about that person not wanting to take the steps to grow. I look at these opportunities to help them grow...take the time to explain why we do what we do, and challenge them to grow up. I don't spend time trying to figure out how to make their worship experience more comfortable.

                          Nate
                          point well taken!

                          I see we're talking on different levels here. I think you're talking about a much bigger issue than i intended it to be!

                          I completely see where you're coming from now though! thanks for such a quick reply!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RefineryWorship View Post
                            And by the way, if church IS about being completely insensitive to people we should love and who love the lord, you can count me out too.

                            If you have become an employee and are no longer a servant I think would change my attitude about the congregation. I love my church but I'm not fond of my employer.

                            Also being an employee gives the hired hand no choice of the equipment that he or she might use or even the style it is used in.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Edwin View Post
                              If you have become an employee and are no longer a servant I think would change my attitude about the congregation. I love my church but I'm not fond of my employer.

                              Also being an employee gives the hired hand no choice of the equipment that he or she might use or even the style it is used in.
                              this is not true in my church at all, nor in any of the three churches I have been the worship director of in the past.

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