Tag Archives: Praise Team

Pointers about Volume

Here, in the opinion of the author, are some principles to observe with respect to the volume level of the voices and instruments of the PT (Praise Team).

1. A lot of noise is not automatically the sign or indication that something spiritual is happening. There can be loud sound coming from the instruments of the PT and from the voices of the singers, but this is not an indication that anything spiritual is happening in the heart. 

2. Nevertheless, the loud volume of the instruments and of the singers can be a sign that something spiritual is happening. It may arise from the enthusiasm that the worshipers feel about God and Jesus and about various other spiritual themes. Excitement about something will generally raise the level of volume of voices and instruments. This is not a bad thing!

3. Volume is to some extent governed by the words of the music and by the mood of the worshipers. When enthusiasm is expressed in the words of a song, it is appropriate to express that enthusiasm with voices and instruments. If a song calls for quiet contemplation is would seem appropriate to let the volume express this also. For example, loud music would seem inappropriate for a funeral service. Generally, when the mood of the worshipers is enthusiastic, the volume of the music will rise.

4. On occasion the enthusiasm of the PT will be greater than that of the congregation. It would not seem inappropriate that the volume of the singers would therefore be greater than that of the congregation. In such a situation the enthusiasm of the singers could be contagious for the congregation, and they may catch the enthusiasm also. But this is not the same thing as volume for volume’s sake. The volume is in relationship to the enthusiasm of the PT.

5. Generally, the volume of the Praise Team should not consistently drown out the volume of the congregation (People of God). It becomes discouraging for worshipers when they can not hear themselves or anyone else sing. As the volume of the congregation rises, the volume of the PT may also rise.  In other words, there should be some correspondence between the volume of the PT and their instruments, and the volume of the congregation.

6. The reason why worshipers should be able to hear their own voices and those of other worshipers is that one’s own faith can be strengthened when one hears the voices of others lifting up their own voices to the same God. The expression of the faith of others encourages one in his/her own expression of this faith.

7. In summary, volume should not be like the motor of some furnaces. Some furnace motors have only one setting – full blast. In my opinion, praise and worship singing will be more enjoyable when there is some correspondence between the words of the songs, the mood of the congregation and the volume of the voices and instruments of the PT.



12 Practical Pointers for Praise Teams

If I were to summarize what the most important factors in making for an enjoyable experience of praise and worship are, I would list the following:


1. Please keep the beat!!!!! 

2. Try not to let the volume of the playing/singing of the PT dominate the congregation’s singing. It is beneficial for the congregation to be able to hear not only the singing and playing of the PT, but also its own singing.

3. Teach the congregation music that is singable. Try to avoid complex rhythms and melody lines. Remember: The congregation is not made up of musical professionals.

4. Chose songs with texts that are meaningful and theologically accurate.

5. Avoid meaningless repetition.

6. Remember to balance the learning of new songs with the singing of better/well-known songs. People get more pleasure out of singing songs they know. It is hard to put one’s heart into songs one hardly knows.

7. Be more concerned about the content of the songs (the words) than about the style of the music. God is more concerned that we worship him in spirit and in truth than that we worship him according to the latest style. Teach the congregation this principle.

8. Seek to approach the singing and worship time with an attitude of reverence and awe. We are worshiping the Holy One.

9. Discourage “showmanship” by the musicians. We are not here to impress anyone, but to lead others in worship.

10. Seek to avoid dress that draws the worshipers’ attention away from the music and  to the musician. God should be the primary focus of everyone present.

11. Remember the elderly when standing for long periods of time. Show solidarity with them by adopting a sitting posture from time to time. Let them know that you are aware that it may be difficult for them to stand with the rest of the worshipers.

12. Let everything be done in love.


Seven Pointers for the Heart

Leading the People of God in worship is more than merely a musical venture. It is also a venture of the heart. Here are some pointers for the “heart”, that innermost seat of the emotions and attitudes.


1. Members of the PT are committed followers of Jesus Christ whose main desire is to glorify God with their voices and instruments.

2. Members of the PT desire to work together with and in submission to the leadership of the church.

3. Members of the PT will seek to preserve a spirit of unity within their group.

4. Members of the PT will see themselves as partners in worship with the congregation.

5. Members of the PT will realize that success depends on the blessing of God on their endeavors and will ask God for his blessing on their work. They will remember to thank God when he answers their prayers.

6. Members of the PT will maintain an attitude of dependence on the Lord while they lead the congregation in praise and worship.

7. Members of the PT will maintain an attitude of humility toward God and others when success comes their way.


Pointers about Appearance

Does it matter how the Praise Team members are dressed? Does their outward appearance matter?

I believe that appearance matters. Here’s why.

The purpose of the PT is to lead others in worship. The goal of the PT is to direct the attention of the people of God Godward. So, if this is the desire of the PT, they will try to avoid drawing unnecessary attention to themselves. Of course there will always be some attention on the PT. After all,  they are there on the stage, visible for all to see.

When it comes to appearance, what would be considered an unnecessary distraction?  This would depend largely on what is considered appropriate in a given location. For example, if, in a certain church culture, short hair for men is considered appropriate for worshipers, long hair on a man could prove a distraction. In an environment where women wearing pants is considered inappropriate, this would be a distraction.

In the word of God, women are urged to dress modestly. Therefore, dressing immodestly may not only be a distraction, but also disobedience to the word of God.  Standards of “immodesty” will vary from place to place. Immodest dress in women may lead to the men in the meeting being tempted to have sinful thoughts. (Of course men may be tempted to have sinful thoughts in the face of modest dress also. But my point is, that immodest dress may lead to an unnecessary increase in exposure to temptation.) Men are urged by the word of God to “flee temptation”, but how does one flee from a worship service to which one has come to worship God?

It is my belief that men may also dress immodestly. In some congregations, might it not be possible that men, who have turned to Christ from a gay lifestyle, could be tempted unnecessarily by the tight fitting attire of a well-intentioned worship leader? Just a thought.

PT members who’s hearts are right with the Lord will care about how their appearance affects those watching them leading the worship. They do not want to become a distraction to the people of God who are seeking the face of God in worship.

At this point it is necessary to say a word about judgemental attitudes. We know that there are those who love to find fault with just about anything. Critical comments from the people need to be evaluated carefully. Is this a genuine criticism or is the person simply engaging in fault-finding? Also, if someone’s appearance is found to be distracting to a majority of those present, it does not follow that this person deliberately tried to flaunt a certain standard of modesty. Someone may simply have been following the pattern set by someone else. It may all have been done innocently, and without awareness of the impact on others. Correction, or instruction needs to take place with gentleness and in love.

PT members who love the Lord will not want to be “unnecessary distractions” when they lead the worship. They will also consider honestly any criticism that comes their way. They will want to err on the side of caution.The leadership of the church will seek to protect the PT from unfair and unkind criticism by addressing those who engage in it.

May God give wisdom to PT members, and the leadership, to navigate a course that brings the maximum amount of praise to God.


The Musician’s Greatest Love

Who should be on the Praise Team?

I believe that the Praise Team should consist of members whose greatest love is the love of God and of Christ.  Such members may love music, and be extremely skilled with their voices or their instruments. But their love for God and Christ is greater than their love for music or for their instruments. They may love performing on a stage or playing their instruments, or using their voices in front of others. But this is not their greatest love. Their greatest love is the love of God and Christ and their greatest desire is to see that the name of God and Christ is honoured and glorified.

Why is this so important? Why does this matter? Musicians who love God more than anything else are first of all interested in pleasing God. Their chief interest is not in pleasing themselves. Their chief interest is not in gaining glory and honour for themselves.

Musicians who love God love what God loves. They love Jesus Christ who is the Son of God. They love the truth, for that is what God loves. They will love unity and peace. They will love humility and the fruit of the Holy Spirit. They will be eager to give the praise to God rather than to seek praise for themselves. And they will hate what God hates. They will hate pride and self-promotion. They will hate drawing attention to themselves when this will result in drawing attention away from God and from Christ. They will hate anything impure and anything false.

What happens when the love of God and the love of Christ is not the greatest love of the Praise Team members? What happens when the love of self and the love of music and the love of performance is greater than the love of God and of Christ?

Whatever the musician loves most will be the central focus of his/her thinking and whatever the Team loves most will be their central focus. If the musician loves performance more than God and Christ, his performance will be the central focus. He will think about how he comes across and what others think. He will seek to make a good impression. He will try to put his musical skills on display and seek to impress others with them.

If the greatest love is music rather than God and Christ, then more thought will be given to how the music sounds, whether it is projected loudly enough through the amplification system, whether each musician can be heard adequately and things of this nature. While these things are not wrong in themselves, they will be the most important things on the minds of the musicians whose greatest love is music. These things will be more important than the issue of how the music will affect the worship, whether the music will help the worshipers in their singing, whether God is honoured through the music and whether the musician’s heart is focused on God during the worship singing.

The greatest love of the musician and of the Team will impact and affect the atmosphere of the worship.

Now there is no question, that because of the fallen nature of man and of what the Bible calls “the flesh”, various loves will constantly be vying for the place of pre-eminence in the heart of the musician. The temptation to put self on display, and to seek honour and praise for oneself will always be there. But musicians who seek to join the Praise Team and those who lead the Team, should have a settled disposition in their hearts that the greatest glory and honour belongs to God and to Christ and that the desire for the promotion of their glory is their greatest desire.

Musicians whose greatest love is God and Christ and a Praise Team whose greatest love is God and Christ will set a tone for the worship singing that may or may not be immediately obvious. But this disposition will impact everything the Team does and every note it plays or sings. Regardless of what can be said of the congregation that such a Praise Team is leading, when this is the Team’s settled disposition, we can say with certainty at least this much: Such a Praise Team is worshiping God with their singing and with their leading of singing. The perceiving members of the congregation will notice this tone, and it will be pleasing to them and inspire them in their worship in song. God will be pleased, and his Spirit will join Himself to such worship.

When such a Team prays for the congregation they are leading, they will have the right focus for their prayers, namely that the love of God and Christ be the congregation’s greatest love and the honour of God and of Christ be the congregation’s greatest desire. Should God be pleased to answer such a prayer – and why would he not, such a congregation will experience worship in song that will be a joy and a delight and will be worthy of the greatness and beauty of our God.



The Role of the Praise Team

On this site, when I mention the Praise Team I am thinking of those individuals who stand in front of the congregation (the people of God) during the congregational singing and who are leading the singing.  They may be using instruments and their voices, or just instruments, or just voices. They accompany the singing of the congregation with their instruments and/or voices.

There are of course many situations where only one person is leading the singing, (with or without instrument). While one person does not make a team, many of my comments will also apply to them.

The question we are asking is: What is the role of the Praise Team? What is their function?

Let’s ask another question: How does the Praise Team view itself? For example: Does it view itself as an essential part of the worship experience? Let’s put it this way: Would there still be worship going on if there were no Praise Team on the platform? Or if there were no worship leader? Well, conceivably someone could still stand up and suggest a song or two, and the congregation would then try their best to sing those songs. If the songs are familiar, the singing should go fairly well. Without the support of the Praise Team, some in the congregation might stumble along, trying to find the right notes, perhaps by listening to those around them who are more musically inclined. Would this still be worship?

I think we would have to agree that, depending on the attitude of the participants (see “A Serious Word about Worship“), this would still be worship.

Would the presence of a Praise Team make the worship experience more successful? This depends on certain variables, which we will discuss at some other time. But, all things being equal, the Praise Team provides support to the congregation, by helping them find the tune and the right rhythm of a tune. In this way they enable the congregation to actually sing the tune, and to concentrate on the meaning of the words. Stumbling and fumbling one’s way through a tune can distract both the mind and heart from the primary audience of the worshiper (see “The Audience of Congregational Singing“) and thus make worship in song a frustrating experience.

So the Praise Team is a musical aid to the worshipers. It functions as a support system to the congregation. It provides for smoothness in the worship experience by removing as many distractions to the worshiping congregation as possible. The more the congregation is enabled to focus on the song itself, the more it is able to present it as a worship offering to God.

One more question for the Praise Team: Does it view itself as separate from the congregation or as part of the congregation? Does it see itself as being “over here” and the congregation as being “over there”? I believe that the Praise Team needs to see itself as part of the congregation. It is seeking to enter into the same worship that it is seeking to lead the congregation into. The believers in the Praise Team join the believers of the congregation they are  leading, as members of the same body of Christ in worship of the one true God.