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April 14, 2008 / David Lindner

The power of a few words

This weekend was a good learning experience for me. We had a band comprised of mostly new band members who had never played together and on Saturday night it sounded like that. But, even though they were new and hadn’t played together, they are all good musicians, so it had the potential to still be good.

What I observed on Saturday evening was something that I’ve observed many times in worship bands. We were all playing all the time. This is (for those of you who know) a foundational principle that you don’t break when you’re trying to sound good as a band. The beauty of music lies in the open spaces. Especially when it comes to worship. The worship band’s role is to lead the congregation, of which the major portion is getting the congregation to sing. The easiest place for a congregation to sing is in open space.

Well, on Sunday morning, I said something in a very politically correct way. I said I felt like we were all playing all the time, trying to fill in all the gaps with the band alone, not leaving any room for the vocals or congregation.

The improvement was incomprehensible. We sounded like a completely different band. This might be an easy way for you to tune your band. However, there’s a leadership principle here too, it might be uncomfortable to say something that’s an evaluation of someone’s artistic abilities, but chances are if you say it, the art will be better. It’s not always easy to critique someone, but the end result is much more likely to glorify God if you do. This is part of being a leader, it’s not always comfortable.

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