Home » General » Praise Teams Are Not Entertainers

I have often heard some people commenting after a church service that the praise and worship segment was boring or that it was entertaining. That most churches in Zimbabwe are going high-tech and are simply becoming centres of entertainment is not in dispute.

And who can begrudge them.

Churches are acquiring state-of-the-art equipment and systems that leave those in the entertainment business green with envy.

There are many occasions when entertainment companies turn to churches to hire equipment for their gigs.

Just looking at the arrangement the churches have in terms of their musical equipment simply tells one that the game has changed in terms of the church’s approach to praise and worship.

Many people are turning to entertainment as a way of drowning their sorrows and Christians are not spared.

It is true that there are some people who go to church simply in search of entertainment and these are only attracted by that small segment on praise and worship.

While there is nothing wrong with enjoying praise and worship, there is everything wrong in taking it as a form of entertainment.

This raises the question: Should praise and worship teams be there to entertain congregants or to lead them to true worship of God?

This might be a tricky question in various ways.

Those who often see the entertainment value in such choirs often argue that a boring praise and worship team does not arouse their spirits to true worship.

Such people need an entertaining praise and worship segment for it to attract their interest.

I tend to agree with a praise and worship team leader who once said a choir which concentrates on entertaining people has lost its cause.

While a praise and worship team must be lively, it must not depart from its main purpose of bringing people closer to God.

Once the core subject becomes entertainment then the plot is totally lost.

At the same time, the undeniable truth is that most praise and worship teams are simply drifting into becoming entertainers instead of true worshippers.

These tend to negate their main purpose which is to lead people to Christ through singing.

When the entertainment value in praise and worship overshadows worship, then it means there is something wrong with the lead singer of the day.

Whatever song is being performed, be it the danceable sungura or rhumba, still the focus should be dancing for God.

But most lead singers of such songs usually lose the plot by concentrating on the entertainment value instead of pointing the people to Christ through such danceable and joyful songs.

There are some lead singers in church choirs who go on the microphone with the sole purpose of entertaining the crowd.

These are people who end up singing for the crowd instead of singing for God and such people are not easy to identify.

They tend to concentrate on arousing the carnal feelings in the audience, instead of uplifting the spirits.

Before going on the microphone to lead during a praise and worship segment, one must ask themselves if they have a good and proper relationship with God.

It will be difficult to bring people to a place of worship if the one leading in singing is not in good books with God.

But the truth is that genuine worship is actually hard to come by in most churches and what is being witnessed in most cases is entertainment.

Yet praise and worship should be a supernatural experience and not meant to impress the people or to entertain them.

The following tips from worship leader, award-winning recording artiste, songwriter and producer Philip Renner – who became involved full time in worship ministry at the age of 15 – can assist some of the local worship leaders.

Writing on his blog, Renner aises lead singers not to select songs based on their sounds, but to ask God to give them a vision of what they must do in the worship service.

Similar to preaching or teaching a message, there’s so much more to leading worship than just standing on the platform leading the congregation and a team of musicians.

“One thing I continually remind myself of as a worship leader is that I’m first singing to Jesus Christ, not to people,” says Renner.

Another important observation from Renner is where he says when people come to church, they have a lot of things on their minds: paying bills, obtaining their basic needs, mending relationships, etc.

For many, worshipping God is the farthest thing from their mind. The job of a worship leader is to exhort and encourage people to turn their attention towards God.

Loud music, guitar riffs and creative arrangements can be great, Renner aises, but if the music is too loud or there’s been too much arrangement that you can no longer focus on the words, the song becomes distracting.

He says the songs should be easy to sing, easy enough for everyone to participate in, not just those with an ear for music.

Simply put, praise and worship should be sweet and simple.

One important observation I have made with regards to many local church choirs is lack of practice, yet it’s a fact that practice makes perfect.

The most important thing is that praise and worship teams must not view themselves as providing entertainment for the church.

They are not performers, they are there to lead people to God through singing and worship.

Source : The Herald