Musicians will play anything. It's true. After leading worship for the past 15+ years I've discovered that most musicians love to play/sing and will jump at any opportunity to do so. I hear it all the time
"I love (Style) but I am in a band that plays (Style). "
"I really wish I could be playing (genre) but I've been with this (genre) band for the past several years"
You can see it in examples like this:
Katy Perry- Former Worship Leader
Sheryl Crow- Former back up singer for Michael Jackson
Run DMC and Aerosmith... need I say more?
It might sound strange to the non-musician but to those of us who love music its all too familiar. The true musician loves to play and most will give up almost anything to play on a consistent basis... Including Sunday mornings. I find that one of the biggest struggles for Worship leaders and Musicians alike is the constant tension of their love for music and their love for Christ.
While we could spend hours writing and discussing why this is I think there are some simple ways to make sure this is not the case for you or your worship team.
1. Identify the truth.
Ask yourself: "If God were to take away my ability to sing, play, mix would I still be content in serving Him?" Your answer to this question will be the ultimate test of your heart for serving God and serving His church. Christ teaches us in Matthew 6 that where our treasure is there are heart will be also. Is your heart on serving Christ or playing music?
2. Do something other than music
Worship in its purest form is described in Romans 12:1 as offering "your bodies as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to God". Did you notice there is not one word about music in that description? Sacrificing ourselves for the kingdom of God is our ultimate goal in worship and for the musician the best way to give up ourselves is to give up our music. Before I get tons of angry e-mails from angry Worship Leaders because their worship team has quit, I do not advocate you quit using your God given gift to do something like park cars or hand out bulletins. You've been given a gift of music and giving that gift back to God is important in your relationship with Him but it is Him we serve and a good dose of giving yourself to him in other ways is a great reminder of why we worship.
3. Personal Worship Time
The most powerful worship times you have in your life should be off the stage. Do you solely rely on your participation in the worship team to connect with God? This can be a big indicator in a musicians motives for playing on a worship team. The Bible tells us that Christ "often withdrew to lonely places and prayed" (Luke 5:16) because of His desire for time with God. This is an easy change, get in the Word and on your knees. Your personal time with God will be the biggest influence on your ability to lead worship with your team. Don't underestimate the impact God will have on your ability to focus on Him first and your gift of music second.
4. Do the Hard Work
I often tell my worship team that playing on Sunday mornings is the blessing and our worship is given in the rehearsals or extra time we put in to making sure we bring our best to God on Sunday. It can be very easy for us to rely on our talents and just show up to play on Sundays. God is not looking for another good musician, He wants the very best of you. The time and effort we give up in order to give God our best is a direct reflection of how important God is to us.
Ultimately when we lead worship, whether consciously or subconsciously, we are telling people from the stage this is how you worship. Your church wants you to lead them, not play for them or sing to them. If God is not more important to you than your music, He wont be to the people you lead.