5 Favorite and 5 Least Favorite Instruments Used in Worship Services

Apparently, not many people like the banjo as a worship service instrument.
Apparently, not many people like the banjo as a worship service instrument. (Flickr )

Jonathan Howe told me I was opening a can of worms by conducting this Twitter poll.

He was right.

Still, I wanted to hear from churchgoers what their favorite and least favorite instruments are. Some of the responses were anticipated. Many were not.


1. Piano – Piano is not only a favorite; it is one of the few instruments that did not also get mentioned as a least favorite.

2. Acoustic Guitar – This instrument was a clear second preference.

3. Organ – This instrument was also the No. 1 least favorite. There seemed to be a clear generational divide here.

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4. Violin – The violin and the organ were only one vote apart.

5. Cello – This choice surprised me. Maybe it should not have surprised me.

Least Favorite

1. Organ – Wow. There were very strong negative sentiments here. One person wrote, "I will ask God for permission to haunt my wife if she allows an organ at my funeral."

2. Tambourine – I was surprised at the negative sentiment here. Apparently, many churchgoers believe this instrument to be the choice of those not musically inclined.

3. Drums – Again, there was mostly negative sentiment here, but the reasons for the negativity varied.

4. Handbells – Handbells did not get one positive vote.

5. Banjo – I can't remember the last time I heard a banjo in a worship service. Maybe there's a reason for that.

I was also fascinated to see the "one-vote wonders," those instruments noted by only one person.

One vote wonders, favorite: Hammer dulcimer, mandolin and ukulele.

One vote wonders, least favorite: Oboe, jazz flute, whistle, kazoo, harmonica, recorder, tuba, shofar, cowbell, accordion, chimes and saxophone.

I will bet this discussion will be fun. Let me hear from you.

Thom Rainer is the president of LifeWay Christian Resources. For the original article, visit thomrainer.com.

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