Worship team
Is there a certain set of standards for your worship team? (Lightstock)

I was in shock the moment I saw it.

There in the spotlight—a pack of cigarettes protruding from the front pocket of our scheduled drummer. I wasn't leading worship, but I stood at the back and saw this happening right before my eyes.

This guy was new, for sure. He was a little rough around the edges with his personality. He had an older style. But we could deal with that because we were in need of drummers.

I wasn't sure what to do. I pictured myself in the hot seat with my supervisor getting reprimanded for allowing this guy to play, let alone exposing his smoking habit for the whole church to see.

It's not that I think smokers are demonic, evil people. It's just the fact that there was a visible pack of cigarettes during worship. Awkward.

Balancing Grace & Discipleship

If you lead worship, you know the feeling. You're in need of musicians and oftentimes you settle for someone who can breathe and has hands to hold an instrument. You don't care about their standards or morality as long as you have musicians to help you lead worship.

And with a variety of people comes a variety of standards.

On the one hand, you want to challenge people to come higher—disciple them to grow in Christ. You feel a responsibility to lead worship with a team set apart to holiness. But at the same time you want to have grace for people to grow.

I mean, who wants to have standards so high that no disciples are ever made? So here we go.

Today's post is a question I want to ask you: What are your worship team standards? What is OK? What is not OK? What would warrant confrontation? What doesn't really matter?

A Small List of Standards

I'm thinking of things like:

  • Are your musicians allowed to drink alcohol?
  • Are your musicians allowed to smoke?
  • Do your musicians need to be a born again Christians?
  • What if one of your team members is living & sleeping with their boyfriend/girlfriend?
  • Do you have a formalized dress code?
  • Are your musicians required to be in a small group?
  • Are your musicians required to be a member at the church?
  • What if a team member tells crude jokes or swears?
  • What if someone has a small drug problem?
  • What if a musician is homosexual?

I'd love to hear from you. It's awesome that so many worship leaders from unique churches across the world read this blog. And to get your insight into how you approach these difficult areas will be enlightening.

I'm not trying to create a blanket of standards that every church will adopt. Every church is different—its demographic, location, vision, and goals. So one church may look completely different than another.

What is important is that you make a decision on what you believe and what you stand for. It's important to communicate clear standards so as to minimize future awkwardness.

David Santistevan is the worship pastor at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For the original article, visit davidsantistevan.com.

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