A Call for Quality

I was reading some articles from worshipleader.com and songdiscovery.com on the need for excellence in worship.

An excerpt from Tony Guerrero’s article:

I”™ve written a little before about the need for quality, but it is such an important issue that it warrants deeper discussion. Sadly, it is a topic that is often low on the priority list in most music ministries.

Robert E. Webber writes: “Excellence is not a negotiable quality for church music: our worship of God demands our very best.”?

We are competing with the world, and musically, we”™re losing. The world offers people quality music. Record labels spend hundreds of thousands, if not millions, recording CDs by popular artists. People hear great music played on the radio, in concerts, even in nightclubs around the corner from church, and then we offer them bad songs, wrong notes and drummers they can”™t clap along to.

I see such a sharp divide in churches that focus on excellence and those that either do not try or just give up. I have visited several churches lately where the standard is remarkably high.

Tony Guerrero continues:

Wrong notes, bad time and out of tune instruments can all distract from the worship of the congregation. The level of music is basically relegated to the abilities of the weakest players so as not to lose them.

The better musicians on a team can get very frustrated not being able to play music that is of the quality they”™re capable of. Nobody practices for years to get good just to participate in mediocrity, and eventually talented team members can lose enthusiasm.

5 replies
  1. Stephen Meyer
    Stephen Meyer says:

    Yet you would never (at least in my experience) find a preacher with a serious speech impediment or poor public speaking skills. Especially not next to a great worship team.

  2. Ann
    Ann says:

    Hi Richard,

    What would your personal reccommendations be in order for a church to produce excellence in worship? I would be most interested to know your suggestions/ideas/feedback in regards to this.
    Also, please tell me in regards to the churches you visited recently what made the standard of worship remarkably high in excellence in your opinion?

  3. Ann
    Ann says:

    I noticed that you posted this on a Sunday. Were you visiting a church that particular Sunday or are you perhaps the talented team member that is frustrated?

  4. Richard Cleaver
    Richard Cleaver says:

    Hello Ann,

    If you follow the link to Tony’s article in my post you will find a set of recommendations to help a church enable excellence in worship. The recommendations look like a reasonable starting point to me.

    Over the years, I have been to hundreds of churches in Canada and the United States. I have been active in music ministry most of my life.

    I have a keen interest in the state of worship in churches from the technology through to the delivery. I am very involved in the recording arts and I have a significant network of Christian artists that I have worked with who are very active in music ministry and worship.

    Whenever I have the time and opportunity, I use my talents for music ministry. I extend the same talent to my local church whenever I am given the opportunity to contribute.

    The one pattern that I see most dominant in churches that choose to pursue excellence is leadership focus. Focus on discipleship, focus on continuous improvement of talent and technology, focus on setting and achieving goals.

    When leadership decides that excellence in worship is not an area of focus, then worship invariably declines in overall quality.

    In response to your second comment, I generally write my posts a day or two in advance of publication so you shouldn’t make too much of an assumption about my personal activities based on post dates and times. I did take a much needed vacation break the last two weeks so blogging was a bit erratic.

    You should also note that the tagline for this blog is “The journal of a frustrated audio engineer just north of Toronto”.

    I am always frustrated 🙂


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