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  • Writer's pictureAdrian Thompson


When you walk in to churches or gatherings, you can normally tell who the ‘cool’ people are.  They are either holding court, surrounded by friends and acquaintances or they look so confident and stand out from everyone else either by appearance or how they ‘carry’ themselves.

In church gatherings, you can normally tell who is on the worship or production team.  They are like minded people who most often flock together, and there is nothing really wrong about that.   Sometimes, however, they can appear as an elite group, separate from everyone else.  Not really the essence of a worship team, but sometimes that is the posture.  The worship/production team are the ones who have access to the coffee and snacks, who can walk in and out of rooms as and when they want to without being questioned.  Again, nothing, mainly, wrong with that.  Unless, that is, the only people we interact with are other worship/production  team members, whether or not they are scheduled or not that day.  Of course that is your immediate church community, but if we don’t reach beyond that core group, it is hard to know what is really going on in the lives of the people.  How can we, the worship/production team, give songs or swords to affirm or fight what the congregation are experiencing instead of us dominating the song list by what we love playing and are listening to.

When the service starts and we are scheduled on the worship team, it’s a pretty safe space.  We do have the responsibility to lead, but we also get exemptions.  When a response is asked for, we are exempt because what would happen if we abandoned our instrument or mic, and went for prayer or ministry?  IS that really how it should be?

The hardest one for me, is when you are part of the worship team and you are not scheduled on.  Maybe not in the way you think!  It can be good not having to be there early for set up/Soundcheck/run through or preparing parts during the week.  But when it comes to the worship time, that is where we see who the coolest people in the room are. The engagement of a worship team member, not on platform, is an interesting phenomena. When worship team members are part of the congregation, they should be like mini fires among the people. They should be as fervent in worship off platform as they appear to be when scheduled. However, the posture I seem to encounter more and more is that these people become connoisseurs of worship rather than contributors of worship!

King David had the position in society, where he could ‘justify’ keeping his cool during worship….he was the king after all! Instead he lead the worshipers in what we would term the most uncool demonstration of worship? Why? Because he didn’t care about being cool, he didn’t care about how he looked, his focus and his passion was an uncontrollable surrender in worship. Worshipping God was his passion, nothing else mattered. I Sam 6 he says: “I was dancing before the Lord, who chose me above your father and all his family! He appointed me as the leader of Israel, the people of the Lord, so I celebrate before the Lord. 22Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this, even to be humiliated in my own eyes! “

When the Bible clearly calls for us to sing, clap hands, raise hands and dare I mention shout and dance, these aren’t always cool but they normally show a passion and commitment. After all, if we as leaders don’t show passion in Worship, we can only expect a congregation of lack luster worshipers.  Worship is not meant to be cool, it is an abandoning of ourselves which results in a demonstrative, passionate pursuit of adoring and worshiping God.

When the congregation see an abandonment in worship off platform, the very least it will do is show a consistent passion after God in worship, more than that, I believe it leads the way for others to feel at ease to enter in, to sing out, to engage in expression-ate Worship rather than hug a coffee cup, keep their hands in their pockets or on their phone or just be an onlooker or observer. If what they see of you in the congregation is messaging your friends, sipping coffee or just looking around not engaged, guess what you have given them permission to do, because you set the example? God never asked us to be connoisseurs of worship.

We are to be marked by our worship to him, yet sometimes it appears that the worship team are marked more by the in ear monitors hanging from their neck rather than how they engage in worship. If we want to be on the platform leading worship, it comes with a responsibility which should be an overflow of our desire and passion to worship Him both on and off stage or platform.

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