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Is your praise team, aka worship team, comprised of MUSIC ONLY people, oblivious to everyone else?

Discussion in 'Worship Ministry' started by justme6272, Nov 11, 2019.

  1. justme6272

    justme6272 Newbie

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    If your church uses contemporary praise bands playing contemporary music, do the singers and musicians in those bands mingle only amongst themselves, only wanting to know each other, as if 'fellowship' with others in the church outside their little cliquish group is off limits? My experiences have been that it's as if a curtain goes up between the stage (aka platform) and the congregation as soon as they're done with the singing portion of the service. In between the two services, they head to the church cafe to hang out in their little group. They won't sit in the congregation like everyone else and listen to the sermon. In the cafe, it's impossible to talk to any of them cause they're only interested in looking at and talking to each other as they huddle together. Some may sit through the 2nd service before leaving, but there's no need to really unless it's to pick up their guitar that still sits on the stage. They don't perform a closing song for people who are on the way out at the end.

    You may say, "It's the pastors and greeters job to make people feel welcome, not the musicians." But aren't band members ministers as well? Why do they think that getting to know someone outside their little music circle is beneath them? They might as well just play in bars and secular music venues if all they care about is being seen on stage, like "hey look at me, I'm special. I get to be up here and you don't." Maybe they're frustrated musicians and singers who can't make it in the competitive secular world, so church visibility is all they've got to satisfy their "performing" egos. If that's all it is to them, they should quit.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
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  2. Gracia Singh

    Gracia Singh Newbie Supporter

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    So... I don't have a church and don't regularly attend contemporary churches, but the few that I have been to seem to emphasize the social aspect of worship pretty strongly. Emphasis is on groups, friends, forming connections, and finding your place or gifts, and it's easy for tight knit groups or even cliques to form around that. If this worries you, might you mention it to the Pastor, and ask his thoughts on the phenomenon?
     
  3. timewerx

    timewerx the village i--o--t--

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    Don't make me say anything!
     
  4. topher694

    topher694 Go Turtle!

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    I have attended churches where that happens and seen it first hand. Now that I pastor my own church I absolutely will never allow that type of behavior. If you're too good to sit through the message to learn and receive like everyone else, then you're not going to be on the platform in any capacity, period.
     
  5. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In my church, the music ministry people are the ones who arrive while I am setting up chairs. And they give me love and encouragement, and they or their children might help me; and we get to know each other. And when they join in prayer for their service ministry, I stop and be in prayer with them. And at times they have had me join in the circle; but I might be in the back and hear them start prayer, and I just stop to be in prayer with them.

    And they sit for the sermon. And each Sunday we can have a different combination of music ministry worship people. The ones not up front often are in the seats and sharing with others not in the worship music ministry.

    But I see them busy with loving various people; so I do not try to get their attention much. I know they love me; and I feed on this, and make sure I am reaching and loving people. Ones of them can be my example of how to relate and care in love.
     
  6. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, that is their choice, of course. And Jesus can have you loving others who are at a church.

    I can think of a number of reasons why a group would stay to themselves, where they are ministering. So, I would let each person speak for oneself, never mind my guessing.

    Why are you so ready to assume they mean ill will? Why are you so interested in them, when you have all the other people in the church to share with??

    If you really do not know what their reason is, you might find out, first, and let us know, if you don't already know the real reason.
     
  7. nonaeroterraqueous

    nonaeroterraqueous Nonexistent Member

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    I can only speak for myself. I play in a contemporary service, and it's true that we tend to form a social group among ourselves. The reason for this is simply that while everyone else is in a Sunday school class, we're busy practicing, so we miss out on the close social interaction that others get in their small groups. Between practice and the service we sit and talk to each other over coffee. This isolates us a bit from the rest of the church. I've tried to get out and socialize in the foyer before the service, but it's hard, especially for me, to connect with people. If it weren't for the others in the music ministry I would be completely unconnected with the church, just as I was before I joined that ministry. We also miss out on socializing after the service, because we have to pack up our gear; more so for me, because I have, by far, the most gear to pack. Our church is too quick to leave afterward. It's in the extra activities, between Sundays, where I get a chance to really interact with people.

    People who are involved in ministry in the church often have that kind of problem. It's not just isolated to the music ministry. Think of the people who tend the nursery, or the children's church, back where nobody sees them. They miss the entire service. If the church doesn't rotate staff, they become isolated to the point where they have no reason to even stay. For this reason I say that the clique of our music group is a good thing, because it helps us to have a sense of connection with others in the church, which is something that a lot of the other ministries don't have.

    By the way, we do sit through the sermon, though I may walk out to use the restroom at some point, because we sandwich the sermon between two halves of the worship service, and I don't want to be up there and needing to use the restroom.

    We also play a closing song as people are on their way out, but that further guarantees that they won't still be there by the time I can get off of the stage.
     
  8. WoshipWarrior

    WoshipWarrior Well-Known Member

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    Some clarifying questions, please.

    You say, "In between the two services they hang out in the cafe... They won't sit in the congregation like everyone else and listen to the sermon."

    So are they not sitting through either sermon? Are they there only to play music? If so, then how committed are they to the vision and mission of the Church there, and that may be why they aren't overly social with the other congregants.

    Also, your last paragraph is pretty judgmental, so I'm guessing you are also part of the music ministry, or are trying to get "into" the ministry there? If you were in a position of leadership, this would be easily addressed. So my question to you is other than their seeming lack of attention to "greeting people" and "making people feel welcome" what have they done specifically to offend you? You don't need to answer that here, but I'd suggest you work that out with God. The proper course is to go to whomever in in charge of that team and address it with them, but make sure your heart is right, or they'll pick up on it and most likely dismiss it.
     
  9. WolfGate

    WolfGate Senior Member

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    No, out praise team is not that way.
     
  10. Bass4Jesus

    Bass4Jesus -

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    I guess my two cents will be similar to nonaeroterraqueous's. Logistics rarely permit me to hang out with the attendees ten minutes or less before the music is supposed to begin. I'll do my best to "make the rounds" given the constraints imposed on the band, though.

    Sitting through the sermon -- maybe. It depends on whether the band needs to meet off to the side somewhere for something business-related. Typically there are no other opportunities for meetings like that.

    For those who object to the band not fully engaging, please understand that putting out a quality product can be extremely stressful, and it all begins hours before the front doors are even opened to the public. Dealing with defective backing tracks, misbehaving digital mixers, lighting glitches, flaky IEM feeds, band members who show up late, singers who've shown up and haven't learned their harmony parts yet (or can't sing harmony at all), guitar amps that decide to fart out at exactly the wrong time, broken cables, broken/flaky projectors, all kinds of nasty stuff that can leave you in a frazzle because it all has to be fixed in less than five minutes.

    And please remember that typically the context is volunteers, not paid professionals. There's got to be some give and take on the part of the church. If there isn't -- if the church demands, and demands, and demands -- then I'd say that's a pretty effective way to alienate talented people who've gotten out of bed early and driven some distance to show up and help that church expand its influence. I used to play at a church that not only demanded that the musicians/singers spend every non-stage second with the attendees, but also demanded that musicians/singers who were NOT on duty on a particular Sunday be on site. That was absurd. My calling is not to leave my skillset unused fifty percent of the time.

    Oh yeah, and that same church also had a separate rehearsal day where I was expected to show up, even though I already knew the songs (including the harmonies) so well that I could've subbed for any famous band's bass player and singer at any size arena. Worse: half the rehearsal day was typically wasted on non-musical discussions, yielding no benefit whatsoever to the final Sunday product.

    So... yeah. "How To Drive Away Talent, Part Three."
     
  11. WoshipWarrior

    WoshipWarrior Well-Known Member

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    One other comment to add on "hanging with attendees" before, between, or during services from me. When I'm there on Sunday, it's to serve the congregation. I do that by keeping my focus on my ministry and taskings. On my team I have 5 vocalists, 6 musicians, and a 3 person A/V crew running the mix and cameras. I have to make sure ( like Bass4Jesus said) the flaky IEM's, cables, batteries in wireless mics, and EVERYTHING is working for the rehearsal before church, the worship service, and then for any ministry time afterwards.

    The last thing I want is to go from that focus and my prepared heart that's ready to just love on God, to some of the things I hear, still, when I have to goto the bathroom, talk to the sound booth, talk to the Pastor, or any other valid reason to "step off the stage" such as:

    Why don't you guys ever sing *Insert any K-Love song*
    Why are you guys doing "try-outs" now?
    I have a cousin to sings, here's her website....
    And one time I literally saw someone sitting quiet so I came and shook their hand. They proceded to tell me that they didn't know why so and so was mad at them and that they were going to go home, put a gun in their mouth, and pull the trigger. This person was known to have some mental issues, but regardless - even if it's just talk - that's a cage-rattler when you are 30 seconds away from leading some intimate worship time. (I obviously told the pastor and deacons immediately and the person was ok, and someone stayed with them that evening)
     
  12. Steve97

    Steve97 Active Member

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    Typical mega or other contemporary Christian church in America consists of 7 to 10 contemporary Christian songs (some of which are written by a member of the praise group which no one has ever heard before), "special music" (solo performance) followed by a pastor telling jokes and telling you to Jesus is your friend. Bible teaching may be available in "small group", usually on a separate night. I have no objection to Christian theater of CC praise M...but not on Sunday.
     
  13. topher694

    topher694 Go Turtle!

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    Brother, I completely get what you are saying, but that's ministry.
     
  14. Slothman

    Slothman Nice 'n' easy for Jesus

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    I admit to having some major gripes about musical worship and due to musical frustrations I have stepped down from the team for a while to seek Gods calling for me.
    However, I must say that my old team could never have been accused of elitism or cliqueness.
    We arrived at 9am Sunday to run through the songs (supposedly) practiced on the preceding Wednesday evening, finishing around 10am to head up upstairs to pray with the minister and prayer team, stewards etc.
    We then played a song or sometimes two whilst folk were still turning up and taking their seats.
    The service then started with the usual notices and a word of scripture or prayer before we started to worship set, usually with a song then prayer, then a set of three, then the sermon.
    During the sermon we all sat at the front rather than joining our spouses in order to avoid awkward excuse me's if asked to do anything impromptu by the minister and needing to get to the stage quickly. We all listened to the sermon as we also need feeding (why wouldn't we want this as followers of Christ?).
    After the sermon we were called back up to finish with another couple of songs or so before closing the service.
    After the service we often played something as people left their seats to go and have a cuppa and a biscuit. We then prayed together in a team/group huddle prior to then packing our gear away before then joining the rest of the church to chat, mingle and have fellowship with the rest of our church. If we were lucky there might even be some biscuits left!
    Of course the logistics may vary from church to church but generally speaking, this to me is how it should be and although I absolutely agree with seeking excellence in worship I cannot stand those musicians who feel themselves above or better than those they serve.
    A worship team of musicians are just brothers and sisters who happen to have a different ministry to old Joe who runs the cafe or Sharon who works the welcome team!
    As Paul said in Corinthians 12 we all play a part in the body of Christ and none are more valuable than another and none are complete without the others.
    Just my 2p worth.
    Slothman.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2020
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  15. WoshipWarrior

    WoshipWarrior Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I'm well aware that's ministry, and I'm not complaining. I was offering a differing perspective to someone who's seemingly not understanding of what those of us IN ministry go through, what we are keeping tabs of, where we are going, where our focus is trying to remain, and all the while, ultimately, we are there to minister to our siblings in Christ. That's the focus, and it's often lost. There is far too much consuming of Worship and nowhere near enough production. As Matt Redman said, "We were made to PRODUCE worship, not CONSUME it." We have to start there.

    This man gets it. This is it. precisely.
     
  16. topher694

    topher694 Go Turtle!

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    If that's the case, boy could I tell some stories... :tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy:
     
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