Are You Starting a Band or Building a Worship Team?

Jimi Williams —  July 4, 2014

There are big differences in starting a band and building a worship team:

  • A band picks members that all fit together. A worship team picks members to represent the body.
  • Image is really important in a band. Image is not important on a worship team.
  • A band is typically the same people all the time. A worship team should be different people a lot of the time.
  • Bands pick songs that make them sound good. Worship teams pick songs that the church needs to sing.
  • A band always works toward the better gig. A worship team serves faithfully every week regardless of attendance.
  • Bands pick songs that they know will get a response. Worship teams pick songs that sometimes say things we don’t want to hear.
  • Success to a band is the applause of the crowd. Success to a worship team is the applause of one.

What are you building?

Jimi Williams

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Jimi is VP of Worship Resources for Capitol CMG Publishing, overseeing all Worship Together initiatives and resources. He also leads worship at his home church and at various events and conferences.

9 responses to Are You Starting a Band or Building a Worship Team?

  1. Not trying to be difficult, but over half of the bullet points are personal preference of what the writer thinks needs to happen for a worship team to be successful. Our church has an attendance of around 400 each Sunday and some of these points couldn’t be further from the truth for an average sized to smaller sized church. I think the writer’s heart is in the right place, but every church’s worship team is so different that blanket statements from anything except scripture are rarely accurate.

  2. This would be a wise and good thing to review with the worship team on Sunday morning before prayer, rehearsal, or taking their place on stage. We’re always asking team members to consider the focus of their hope (the perfect work of Christ) as they play and sing. Heart, soul, mind and strength then would be the energy to apply, with God supplying the strength.

  3. cassius Ndovie July 17, 2014 at 9:50 am

    i remember this other day a band member grilled me for “singing throughout”not giving them space to showcase their skills on the instruments. I told them that’s what I was directed to do, and they asked me, “who directed you to do that. When I told them the Spirit in me, an argument boiled, then I openly told them that when it comes worship, you are part of the backing team the main thing is the words we sing. Some couldn’t buy it and they left. I see this article very helpful indeed. I will surely share it to our team members

    • Anyone who wants space to showcase their skills has heart issues.

      • Nydia Olivero July 29, 2014 at 9:21 pm

        Not to mentioned names, but this is happening at our choir rehearsal. Music is becoming too loud that we couldn’t hear when the “leader” want us to follow his/her. The band and the choir has to be “one”, we come to worship not to perform. Whoever wants to showcase should be praying more for God guidance.

    • As stated on this website, a worship team represents the body of Christ. Every part of the body is important. Members in the background, singing or playing an instrument, are just as important as those in the forefront carrying the message. If that is not true, why have a worship team?

    • To an extent, I do agree, worship isn’t about showing off skill, but worship isn’t always about the words either. God gave us gifts so we could use them, a singer praises God with lyrics whereas a guitarist worships with their riffs. The instruments aren’t just for backing. The Spirit moves all of us, and all things work together for the glory of God. The church is not a stage for showcasing, but that said, the entire team needs to praise God with their talents, so the instruments shouldn’t just be for backing. Sometimes, but not always. However, that’s just my two cents. But prayer and love are the best solutions, as long as we listen to what God says to us

  4. Thank you for sharing this. It’s very helpful for me in my ministry here at my church where I’ve recently taken the music directing role. I find that in the transition of leadership, on the one hand I’m trying to ‘replace’ and fill the gap, but at the same time I’m really desiring to ‘transform’. Still learning step by step, but your perspective is helpful for me to keep the focus right, so thanks again!

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