“Hey, Mick! I have a special song I would like to share with everyone.”
How many of us have heard some form of this statement before? It seems like every congregation has someone who thinks their music ability must be showcased for everyone to see.
I’ve gone back and forth on the effectiveness of using ‘special music.’ (I hate that term, as well) Either way, wherever you stand on the spectrum, here are some simple questions that should be asked when considering using songs in this way.
- Does it fit with the main idea of the service? - We spend many hours preparing, thinking, and praying about what goes into a service. Flow can be difficult to manage sometimes, but one thing has remained a constant for us; we make a strong effort to keep everything in line with the main idea. Special music should not be any different from picking out a video or choosing which songs to sing.
- Are they part of the ministry? - God doesn’t want one-night-stands. He wants people who are committed to Him. The same goes with ministry. We don’t want people to just pop and do a ‘look at me’ performance. They need to be part of the ministry. I would rather have decent musicians who are committed than professional musicians who have no commitment.
- Can the band play the music? - Live music is always better, so matter how it compares to a recording. The days of tracks have seen their glory days, but there is almost no need of them anymore in many churches. Have your band spend time learning the music together and share it with the congregation as a team.
- What is the heart of the musician? - This gets back to the ‘look at me’ mentality that some people have. People should never be offering music in a church setting to bring glory to themselves.
- Are you doing special music for the sake of doing special music? - We should never be doing something in a service just for the sake of doing it. In fact, nothing in the service should be done just because.
What are your thoughts on special music in a worship service? Let me know in the comments.