Praise And Worship Team Guidelines For Praise And Worship Leaders
Of all the praise and worship team guidelines, the number one guideline for praise and worship leaders is to be sure you always keep in mind that you are to be a praise and worship encouragement to facilitate congregational participation and not a focus of entertainment for the congregation. Get the congregation singing and focusing on God and your ministry as a worship team member is successful. Fulfill this one guideline and God will be pleased.
During the beginning phase of the Charismatic renewal when so much participatory worship on the part of the congregation was taking place, there was no worship band or worship team. Usually one person was leading worship from the pulpit and was accompanied by a piano player. This was confirmed by someone much much older than me who remembers that a baby grand piano was used during the Minneapolis Lutheran Conference On The Holy Spirit worship services and one person was leading from the pulpit.
Because there was no worship team and no praise band to sit back and watch, there was more participation coming from the congregation. People were not entertained from the stage by a great sounding worship band, but all entered into worship and praise as the worship leader standing behind the pulpit led the congregation into participatory worship as the congregation was supported to sing melody with the help of a piano. Sometimes a guitar would be used by the worship leader as they would strum a guitar to support the melody.
I have heard my pastor say that there are people who will join the church which has the best worship band. If this is so, it is the fault of these people and not the fault of the worship team in any church. As long as the worship team members are being examples of worship and are not trying to entertain the congregation, then they are doing their job correctly and if people in the congregation have the right heart toward the Lord, they will enter into participatory worship, and not just sit there to be entertained by the worship team and worship band.
When I first realized that the worship team could be a distraction for the congregation rather than a facilitator of congregational worship, I pondered stepping down from the worship team. I envisioned myself telling the congregation how I felt and announcing that I would be stepping down unless I saw more participation on the part of the congregation. Would this be taken as a threat? On the other hand it may be a strong way to convey the importance of congregational participation.
Another guideline to follow is to encourage older ones in the congregation to get involved in the worship team. What I have seen happen is that younger people are more involved in the music world than older people are and so the worship team invite brings in young people who form a group that older people do not feel comfortable fitting into...... To be continued...
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