Music is a powerful tool that engages both the heart and mind in a way that allows us to fully express our wholehearted response to His love. That is why we at Grace Community have made Praise & Worship such an integral part of every gathering at Grace, incorporating a dedicated and passionate team of worshipers, musicians and singers into every service.
Our Philosophy of Worship
God’s presence is the goal. That said, while worship is very much about music, and involves music, it is not all about music. Corporate worship is the culmination of a personal life steeped in worship. And so, we view being a part of our worship team as being more than hosting the ability to sing or play. Our goal isn’t to do whatever it takes to have a band on stage. Rather, in order to create a true atmosphere of worship, we desire to see a cultivated model of the servant/musician or singer as one who has developed his skills with excellence in order to better serve God and the church more effectively. In other words…being a servant comes before being a singer or musician.
Within the context of corporate worship, we encourage freedom of the many forms of expression found in Scripture, including singing (Ps. 9:2), playing musical instruments (Ps. 150, Ps. 57:8-9), dancing (Psalm 149:3), shouting (Ps. 66:1-4), raising hands (Ps. 63:4), clapping (Ps. 47:1), standing (Is. 29:23), bowing (Ex. 34:8), and praying (Ps. 5:3). And our services reflect that freedom.
Our approach as a worship team is based on the premise that each person’s gifting has a part that contributes to the overall picture and sound of our worship. And so, we aim to provide venue for creative people to express themselves through their voice and instrument in worship corporately, while we personally understand the place that our individual voice or instruments fit in a complimentary way to what is going on around us.
Therefore, our method of working as a worship team, while making room for the individual to express themselves personally, is created by not providing formal sheet music or parts to any individual. Chord charts and lyrics provide the template, and from that template each individual is free to express his unique expression with the understanding of where, when, and how his gifting best fits the moment with excellence and consideration for the overall goal of the worship setting. Even song arrangements are considered tentative, leaving room for the Holy Spirit to guide and direct the service rather than a rehearsed repertoire. A free flowing atmosphere, complimented by gifted and proficient musicians and singers, allows for worship that is uninhibited by time, set list, or arrangement, allowing God to move in the service as He desires while at the same time maintaining order.
Excellence is a noble goal (Ps. 33:3, Col. 3:17), serving to create an atmosphere for people to worship and experience His presence without distraction. Lack of excellence (i.e. poor quality) can be a distraction. Likewise, excellence that draws all attention to the performance or to an individual can be a distraction as well.
It is easy, in the creative world, to get caught up in performance, or the personal recognition that can often come with being in a visible position and having talent. Psalm 115:1 states, “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!” Keeping these words in mind, it is the goal of every worship team member, regardless of gifting or capacity, to consciously strive to direct all praise towards God.
It is also our desire to avoid simply plugging people in because they play an instrument or are talented in some way. Rather, we hold the expectation that each individual, whether singing, playing, or working with technology and media, is first and foremost a believer, worshiper, and active servant of Christ.