Here are seven questions to help you assess the spiritual level of readiness of your team for the task of leading congregational singing. At the bottom of the page there are some brief comments about how the answers to these questions affect the spiritual health of your team, and thus impact the effectiveness of the team.
1. Is your team made up of Christians?
2. Are the Christians that your team is made up of submitted to the Lordship of Christ?
3. Is your team in submission to the leadership of the Church?
4. Is your team united?
5. Is your team’s purpose to glorify God?
6. Does your team pray together for a successful worship experience?
7. Does your team view itself more as a band that is performing for an audience or as a group of musicians who are seeking to lead others in worship?
Comments about the Questions:
Question #1 Team members who are not yet believers in Jesus Christ have not experienced the personal blessings of salvation, and thus are not able to praise God for them.
Question #2 Being under the Lordship of Christ does not mean that team members are perfect. But it does mean that God has a say over every area of their lives. They are able to praise God authentically because they are living authentic Christian lives.
Question #3 The leadership of a Bible-believing church is accountable to God for its leadership. This means that it is accountable for what happens during the worship service. If team members resist the leadership of a church, they are at risk of usurping those who should have the final say over what happens in the worship-service of the church. It is unlikely that God will bless the ministry of a praise team if it resists the leadership of the church.
Question #4 The Spirit of God is grieved when fellow-believers are not united. Unity does not mean agreement about everything, but rather, that even when there are differences of opinion, these differences to not lead to feelings of hostility among the members of the Praise Team.
Question #5 We can sing/play to honour ourselves, or we can do so to honour God. Sometimes we may vacillate between the two, but the understanding of each team member should be that all honour belongs to God. While the team may be praised for their work, this praise should not be the goal of their work.
Question #6 Prayer for God’s help and blessing for the praise-singing demonstrates a sense of the team’s dependence on God. It is not the instruments or the voices in themselves that bring a spiritual blessing, but rather the Spirit of God who attends to what the team and the congregation is doing.
Question #7 If the Praise Team views itself primarily as a band performing for an audience, then it will have a different primary focus than that of the congregation, whose primary focus is to worship God. However, I believe that in congregational singing the focus of both the Praise Team and the congregation should be primarily on God. This means, that the Praise Team is there, not so much in a performing role, as in a helping and facilitating role. Their voices and instruments serve to aid the congregation in the mutual task of worshiping God.