Supernaturally Natural: Rethink The Way We, The Church, Worships Corporately – Part XI
from Supernaturally Natural: Chapter 15 manuscript by Anthony Bachman
Another mindset I need to change: Music Ministry must set a high standard to be excellent worship.
I attended a “worship service” at a Presbyterian church that had a paid choir: awesome voices, tremendous harmony, a phenomenal music experience, but I left feeling inferior. I attended a “worship service” and an Evangelical church that had a talented worship leader surrounded by an incredible sounding band with background singers augmenting his “leading”, but again I left feeling inferior. I attended a church where a little child sang a song to Jesus in her infant toned voice, alone, with simplicity, and I left blessed.
We need to examine our mindset of music with worship services. My children were very fortunate because we went to a relatively small church with a lady who had played a gifted Pentecostal piano who was willing to “worship”, give her talent back to the Lord and away to young people. Doris was also the lady who taught the course on how to “listen to God” and practiced what she taught. In their early teens my oldest son played drums while wearing a “More Drums In Worship” T-shirt. My younger son played and acoustical, electric, and bass guitars with the church’s worship team since the age of thirteen. Their close friend excelled on the saxophone and became a front line player on “sax row” in a prestigious high school jazz band, later going to college and majoring in his instrument. Another fellow in his late twenties played bass guitar. A young lady, high school age, played a beautiful violin. All these young musicians came into the nest of the mother hen, Doris, who nurtured them not only through learning music, but also teaching them spiritual principles that went with worship music: how to listen to the conductor, the Holy Spirit.
The local body of Christ personally invested in my sons as musicians. A man approached my youngest son on his sixteen-birthday, retrieving a beautiful red electric bass guitar from the trunk of his car as a gift “to sow seeds of faith” into his life. Just weeks later the local church and individual “gifts” from its members sent the entire worship team to a Worship Conference in Texas. There my younger son learned how to play a “slap” bass in only one week. Later he would excel in his high school jazz band, winning individual awards for his bass playing, and be accepted into college with the bass as his major instrument. My eldest son has also played drums in worship bands and excelled in mixing soundboards.
Not only do I have to thank our local church for allowing those in the congregation to financially give gifts so that both of my sons and my wife to attend that Worship Conference, but also thank Doris for her investment, her giving back of her talents to the Lord, her giving her musical knowledge to my sons. She taught them how not only to play background for singers, but how to listen to the conductor, the Holy Spirit, in order to set accompany effective ministry. This taught them how to play for hours as visiting evangelists and prophets ministered to our congregation. She also taught them how to prophetically minister to people just through the playing of their instrument all while they were in their teens. Doris earned my ultimate respect when she was willing to “lay down her life” (I John 3:16) for her brethren. She was willing to lay down her musical life, step back at the appropriate time, and allow the boys and their friends to move forward in the Spirit musically. She weaned them from her influence to the Holy Spirit’s influence, a real gift on her part! Soon the old Pentecostal piano worship style changed into a more contemporary rock style that exists today as their worship team grew together.
If we would have been in a church with an organist and pipe organ and no outlet for drums and guitars, it would have forced my sons to join garage bands, rock bands, etc. because of their talent and love for music. We have failed to allow them an outlet to give back to the Lord the talents He has given them. Our Parasitical attitude towards “style” of music has driven multitudes of youthful musicians to the play outside the church to fulfill their musical talents and dreams. How sad! We should be ashamed. Just listen to how many famous secular musicians have their musical roots in the Church. Unless they become “gospel” singers or musicians, most churches would have rejected them because their “style” of music isn’t “spiritual”, excuse me “religious” enough!
If we had attended a mega-sized church, a large church, my sons again would not have had the opportunity to learn from experience. Hearing tapes of their playing even when in their teens, musically impresses me today. They kept musically getting better because as they put it, they wanted to “raise the bar” on their skill level. When their skill level got “professional” large churches sought their service, but the beginner, intermediate, or even descent musician would never get to play with the worship team and learn by experience as my sons had the opportunity to do.
In a very small church of less than fifty, I had to play a twelve-string guitar and “lead” worship because there was no one else to do so. I do know one thing, in spite of my lack of musical talent, I still worshipped, and so did the congregation. In spite of my musical talent, or lack of it, I got to worship in South Africa where I got to give back to the Lord and give to South African children the many songs I use to play with my children as we sang in our living room together as a family. The Lay Witness movement in South Africa now has “The Sheep Song” as well as others because of me. Although the skill level of a musician is crucial, it is not the musician’s skill level that drives worship; it is his being in tune to the Holy Spirit that brings results.