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Thoughts on using Charts and Music Stands in Worship

 
 
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Author: Brendan Prout
 
Leadership Category: ,
 


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Posted August 5, 2014 by

T

here’s an ongoing bickering match surrounding the topic of whether musicians should memorize their music, or if they should be able to use resources such as tablets or (gasp!) music stands.  Let’s deal with this, as folks on both sides are making a mountain out of a molehill.

First off, having a music stand does not make one any less “professional.”

I was an orchestral musician at one time, and despite rehearsing for many hours, I found that it was still helpful to have charts. Go to any professional symphony performance and what will you see? Charts. Music stands. It doesn’t detract from professionalism or preparation – written music is simply a reference tool.  My professional symphony orchestral musician friends and composers would be deeply offended at the idea that their music stands make them any less a polished expert at their craft, or that they are somehow distracting. I too take exception at this notion.  It’s not true, so get over it, if that’s your viewpoint.

Secondly, there are plenty of musicians who are excellent instrumentalists or vocalists, but have learning disorders, and need a visual reference to assist them in the execution of their gift.  There is a wonderful man I know who can sound like thunder on his instrument, passionately expressing worship to God, but he has a mental issue that prevents him from remembering things.  If “How Great Is Our God” isn’t in front of him on the page, he can’t remember the simple chord progression G Em C D, and he stops playing.  Does that make him any less a worshiper of God or a musician?  Certainly not.  He just needs a particular reference tool – written music – to assist him in the execution of his gift.

For those in the “it must be memorized” camp, how many of you have memorized your Bible completely?  Or memorized all the Psalms?  Or even one of the Psalms?  Because we are commanded to hide God’s Word in our hearts, and indeed to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to each other… if you’re not actually memorizing the Psalms, then you are being a hypocrite or at least off base when you insist others must memorize contemporary music.  Memorization is a noteworthy goal if it serves the purpose, but if it is a hindrance rather than something that facilitates the goal, then stop fighting that fight so ardently. Equip your people by giving them tools to support and grow them in their gifts; don’t chastise them for an ability they may not possess.

In worship, my preference (for myself) is that I do not need to do anything but occasionally glance down to check where we’re at and make sure I’m being consistent in the roadmap of the song.  I’ve been known to forget or skip entire sections of songs, whether it’s a verse, an additional chorus, a bridge, an interlude; I know each of us has done the same.  I want to avoid that, and yet I want to be connected with the church family that I am leading into God’s presence – making eye contact, smiling with them, sharing communion with them in the time of worship.

My preference for my team is that they’re doing the same – and that the majority of the time, their eyes will not be glued to the page, but making contact with each other and with the church, or closed as they engage with God.  Proper preparation and familiarity with the songs ensures this happens.

“Take the music off the page and put it in your heart,” is something Paul Baloche says frequently. Good advice.  It’s a great goal to strive for, because out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.  Out of our hearts comes our worship.  If we’re not at some level taking this music into our hearts in the first place, then it’s not coming from our hearts as we lead in song, and that’s an offering unacceptable to God.  But there is room for grace.  There is certainly room for using tools and resources appropriate to raising the excellence of the music.  The Bible does not say, “play skillfully and never use charts.” It simply tells us to play skillfully, to consecrate and prepare ourselves spiritually and musically, and to be found trustworthy as stewards of our gifts.

It’s fine to memorize your songs, and it’s also fine to have the charts there in front of you, so you’re not that guy who has a hiccup in service, forgets a line, and train-wrecks the worship experience of hundreds of people just because you’re an imperfect human with some weird ego thing about needing to look “professional”.  Get over it.  Don’t put your own convictions on others who don’t have the same capacity for memorization as you do, and do be about the purpose of your role: to lead others in worship, without looking down at how others accomplish the same purpose.

 

Brendan Prout is a pastor at Community Bible Church in San Diego, CA, where he oversees worship and outreach. He has served in worship ministry leadership for over 20 years and focuses on training and raising others to do the work of ministry they are called to.

 


54 Comments


  1.  
    Ashley
     
     
     
     
     

    I appreciate the “shout out” to those with learning disabilities. I can’t even remember songs I’ve written that God has given me to write. That being said, it is easy to not prepare and just rely on the words and chords in front of me on my music stand. When I do that, I may sound great and not make any musical mistakes but am I really worshiping myself? I find that when I spend time in prayer and really go through the songs in preparation, my face isn’t glued to the song sheets. Yes I glance to find my placing, but my eyes are closed and I am worshiping my heavenly Father because He alone is worthy of my praise. When I don’t prepare, I’m missing out on the whole point of what He’s called me to do!




  2.  
    Travis
     
     
     
     
     

    I’m extremely disappointed in this article. I expected a conversation or some unique insight into the subject, but instead got an emotional rant and hyperbolic analogies from someone who I’m guessing is in his 50s, arguing entirely for his opinion. The intent of his article is evidenced by the fact that the author only responds to those comments that agree with his point of view.

    And just so you know, I do not require musicians to memorize all songs as we introduce new songs regularly. I do prefer them to use iPads (provided) because I think it contributes to a sharper looking stage. However, if we’re playing a song that we’ve all played 100 times, then I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t be able to play it without having their faces buried in the chord chart.




  3.  
    Mark C

    I’m a volunteer worship leader who uses stands. Along with leading worship, I volunteer in multiple other ministries at my church. I simply cannot memorize lyrics and guitar chords for so many songs plus devote so much time on other areas of ministry. Here’s a tip that I observed on a mission trip in Ecuador. When I visited a local church, their worship band set up in the back behind the congregation. They didn’t worry about music stands visually distracting the people. They didn’t worry about giving enough (but not too much) eye contact and smiles to “engage” the people. They humbly led worship without being seen. This whole debate is very irritating to me. We say we want to worship God and engage the congregation, but we are so concerned with being seen and memorizing chords that we are missing the whole point. If people know the songs, I want them to close their eyes and sing to God. If they don’t know the song, I want them to use the screen to follow along. Don’t look at me! I’m worshipping, too, so there’s no need to look at me! So if memorizing music is that important to you, maybe you should go meet a little humble band from South America. They got it right. I wish our church could provide a setup like that. I’d do it next week.




  4.  
    Roman
     
     
     
     
     

    I was a musician in club bands for years before dedicating my life to Christ. Now playing in churches for over 15 years I am still amazed that bands playing in bars for drunks are more prepared than most worship teams, they have anywhere from 20 -30 songs memorized. As some have already mentioned, the important issue here is preparation. Stands are not bad or evil but usually are a sign of laziness. We’re playing for the Lord, we are “worshiping”, we owe Him our BEST. If your best requires a music stand God won’t care, but at least “try” and memorize so you are free to worship instead having your face buried in chord/lyric charts. But to compare song memorization to a pastor memorizing the Bible is insane. Really? Perfect example of looking for excuses. No better feeling than knowing you gave it your all for Jesus.




  5.  
    Michaek
     
     
     
     
     

    I have no problem memorizing… But I’ll stop using music and music stands when preachers stop using notes and podiums




  6.  
    Jeffrey Stasny

    If God doesn’t care if musicians use music stands or not then why should pastors and congregants? Stands are simply tools – nothing more, nothing less.




  7.  
    Mike

    To those in the memorization camp–why would I want the congregation engaging with ME? If they’re engaging with ME, then I’VE become a distraction. In an ideal world, they’d be ignoring me in favor of engaging with God. Why would I want to get in the way of that?




  8.  
    Mike

    …why does it matter…?




  9.  
    Bill Whitt
     
     
     
     
     

    I was expecting more of a balanced article that looked at the pros and cons of memorization. As a worship pastor, I have been encouraging our musicians to memorize their music completely by Sunday. Some still use a stand, but almost all have taken me up on the challenge. They only use a small sheet at their feet that lists in big type any chord progressions that are more difficult or unusual. And we have lyrics to the current and next slide on a confidence monitor in the back as well.

    I have watched our musicality grow exponentially because of memorization. Without our faces buried in music, our connection with the congregation is stronger. Our connection with the meaning and message of the songs is stronger. And I even feel more in touch with the Spirit when I have fully prepared and memorized. It takes more work in preparation, but the benefits have been worth it.

    Yes, we need to have grace for those who can’t memorize music well for whatever reason. But sometimes we also just need to raise the bar and expect more of our musicians. My band has risen to the challenge, and I’m glad I put the challenge out there!




  10.  
    John Mark Headen

    I have had many conversations with other worship leaders about this topic. My spirit fires off alerts when having the conversation. This is just another way for satan to cause a division. And “yes”, it is division. I do understand the distraction problems with having the stands on stage and I make charts on one page so not having to turn during song. Our body seems to have no problems worshiping with our music stands. God Bless!!




  11.  
    Jason Kichline

    A lot of teams I work with are using an app called OnSong that puts all your charts on an iPad. It’s much smaller than a bulky music stand and you can “flow with the Spirit” by pulling up any chart quickly (even ones you don’t have memorized like hymns). I’ve also worked with teams playing outdoors. It takes up less room, is backlit (for dimly lit stages at night) and can play in the wind and light rain too!

    I think the big debate is should you be prepared or not, etc. Yes, if you practice your set until perfection… are you allowing room for the Holy Spirit to dwell in your worship time? In other words… we should be able and willing to do what God wants in that time and not have it set for God’s agenda. So being able to play any song that God desires (or the pastor requests) is more professional, in my opinion, than playing only the songs that you’ve practice over and over.

    The other thing to consider is that there are thousands of small churches that do not have a paid worship team. Typically these are amateurs that are running to church after gobbling down McDonalds after work. While it’s great to think that we all have the week to practice, most have 2-3 hours at most. Should they not be used by God? Or should we be using all means necessary to bring worship and lead others?

    Remember, worship is NOT equal to music… it is ushering others into the presence of God and music helps with that. Don’t be too focused on musical perfection and professionalism that you miss out on that.




    •  

      Thanks for mentioning the preparation aspect.

      We’re tasked with the sacred responsibility of ministering to the Lord in song, and ushering His people in to His presence for His glory. Yes, indeed of course our very best efforts to prepare are Biblically mandated (and our souls should *want* to be well prepared and consecrated as a response to His greatness!) When the Bible mentions hundreds of musicians, singers, and song leaders in II Chronicles 5:11-14, it does mention and that they consecrated and prepared before they led the people, that it was their duty to play in unison (which implies great preparation) and we see the response of the Lord in this powerful moment. We should be and do the same.

      Allowing music to be viewable is not by itself evidence of lack of preparation, but simply use of an available tool to play skillfully. Whether it be sheet music on a stand, pdf readers on a tablet, rear projectors, confidence monitors, etc – all are tools for achieving excellence, and how you use a tool is going to look different from church to church.

      As far as allowing the Holy Spirit room to dwell, or indeed for Him to lead the worship – how would you know if you were in fact being led by the Spirit, unless you had prepared one way in advance and were urged by Him to go in another?
      A desire to be Spirit led is not to be used as an excuse for a lack of preparation.




      •  
        Roman

        Those are all tools except, music/charts. That is a crutch/safety net. When you memorize you are free to worship and follow the Spirit. Hard to follow the Holy Spirit staring at a music stand. Having said that, some absolutely need it, so that is fine, neither is right or wrong as long as you are giving your best.




    •  
       
       
       
       
       

      I agree Jason statement. I Love to worship the Lord and usher other into the Glory of Our God. Each service I want to do my best with the gift he has give to me. I enjoy being with a team of worship leaders at my church, who also love Jesus with their whole Spirit Body and Soul.

      I make full use of the music strand. I like knowing the lyrics are in front of me. I practice the song to capture the spirit of the song and ask the Holy Spirit to help me relay that spirit to the congregation. I want them to experience the Love of Jesus completely as I express my love for him through worship and praise.

      I am willing to do what ever it takes to give Jesus My Best Praise without any hindrances. Weather to use a stand, tablet etc. does not matter when it come to a personal relationship with Christ. The Holy Spirit will and does assist us when we put our whole heart, soul and mind into serving the Lord. I do not worship to impress or entertain anyone without the individuals feeling the love of Jesus surrounding them. Use me Lord. Use me as an instrument in your hands alone. Amen. We go first! We will be prepared!




  12.  
    Becky Lang

    Thoughts on memorizing the Psalms the best point on music stands no music stands ever!




  13.  
    Meredith DeVoe
     
     
     
     
     

    When we start zooming in on minor issues like this, we need to lighten up and take ourselves less seriously. Let’s focus on the praises!!




  14.  
    Plg

    As long as it is a joyful it makes no difference to me. If they are paid scale musicians….. Memorized!




  15.  
    melody

    I just want to say that with in an orchestra there are many other instruments playing. Having the sheet infront is not because they havent remembered their chord, its because there is a certain flow, sequence that has to be followed Precisely. As for mental or health reasons i can understand to have sheet music. BUT there are “worshipers” that dont even find it important to gather n practice. They dont know what song they are singing until the day of. So they wip out their sheets and begin to sing-a-long. No intimacy. No bringing the body of Christ into intimacy. So, eh, im not for music stands. Yes, each worshiper should know their music ( unless there are health issues) and be prepared. Cause if the Maker of heaven and earth has prepared for us such a marvelous day, we can at least be prepared to give Him the best worship and praise, fully prepared. Like true soldiers. My opinion of course. God Bless You all! :)




  16.  
    Giles
     
     
     
     
     

    Lots of useful viewpoints from the blog and the comments. The ones we strive for in our church (but often fall short of) are:

    1. Early sight of the songs the worship leader has chosen (Monday)from a panel of 50 songs regularly reviewed and refreshed
    2. Mid Week practice for the band that is on, plus 90 minutes for setup, soundcheck and run through on sun morning before the service
    3. Try to memorise the music & songs
    4. Give the Holy Spirit room (easier to do if you’re not trying to remember the word or chord progression). Especially important for the worship leader
    5. Do away with stands ( not a three line whip though)
    6. Engage with the congregation with nothing blocking the sight line to the worship leader
    7. Project the words on the back wall so the worship team have a fallback position
    8. Lead confidently so the congregation know the path and follow.
    Hope this helps, this is our aspiration but not always reality!!!




  17.  
    Zach campbell

    We’ve made the worship service a show and I feel like that’s where this requirement of memorizing music comes from. I’ve always memorized music but at the same time had it on a stand where I could use it if I needed it. That’s what the team I led did as well. If you argue that having music in front of you keeps you from being able to fully worship that tells me that you are imposing an opinion or expectation of what YOU think worship should look like. You also DO exclude some people who may not have the time or ability to memorize from being on the team. It also makes me wonder about the person making those requirements, sounds like a power trip. The gathered worship time should be where people can come and be themselves and use their gifts. If a musician needs or wants to have music then it should be provided. If a musician wants to memorize then good for them. You’ll have a hard time convincing me that your goal isn’t being awesome if you don’t want people to be able to use music. I don’t know why you would care otherwise? I’ve heard all the arguments.




  18.  
    John Gonzales

    I would say there are only two issues with music stands on the stage:

    1. When the music’s over, they block the screens or other things from congregational view (such as the pastor’s sermon slides).

    2. When they become an obstacle with connecting with the congregation.

    #1 can be worked around. #2, not so much. If your eyes are stuck on the page most, if not all, of the time and not engaged in the people you are leading or the Lord, that’s a huge problem IMO.

    The bigger question, and challenge, is this: as most worship teams are likely to be unpaid volunteers who rehearse a couple hours on a weekday, a few days before they are supposed to lead people into the glory of God on a Sunday morning, are there ways to get the team focused on the responsibility of leading people in WORSHIP and not in “getting the song right”?

    JG




  19.  
    David Gauthier

    I once saw a pastor read a verse from the Bible and he actually HELD THE BIBLE in his hands rather than quoting it from memory. How bush league :)




  20.  
    Stephen Creswell
     
     
     
     
     

    In my prior ministry we had the screen at the back of the sanctuary show, “HOW [G] GREAT IS OUR GOD, HOW [Em] GREAT IS OUR GOD” which worked extremely well. Obviously, this requires a separate video screen operator from the house lyrics screen operator. We put the words in rounded arial font white and the chord symbols in red italics on a black background. I would sometimes put lead notes in as lower case green letters as a hint. My friend and worship leader, David Thornburg (control43@comcast.net), often dreamed of selling the PowerPoint “charts” he created for the band. Now I am in a church that uses the stands because we have horns, strings and such instruments that need further control over the arrangement details. As long as the lead singers can keep their head toward the congregation to engage them, and not buried in their stands the whole time, I have no problem with it.




  21.  
    Robert McNabb
     
     
     
     
     

    Good thoughts, well articulated.
    Personally, I find the music stand an optical barrier between the congregation and me, so I memorize the chords for each song I lead. I can follow the lyrics on a monitor. I have the stand set just low on my right in case it’s needed.
    Setting the stand aside allows me to look out into the congregation, make eye contact and be a true leader and encourager during the music set. It also makes me more visible.
    I encourage my vocalists to set their stands aside, but other musicians can do as they please.




    •  

      I’m on the same page as you. I try to avoid the visual barrier as well, because a large black rectangle can indeed block our bodies and faces, and prevent us from modeling worship to our congregations.

      I keep my stand as low as possible, and require my musicians to keep their stands as low as possible to avoid this. Sometimes they’re limited by poor eyesight, but the reason I ask them to do this is repeatedly explained and expressed.

      A church I visited this weekend had the stands high in front of the leaders, and it honestly was still not visually distracting because there was a lot of open space around the stage, and the lead worshipers moved around a lot. They made good eye contact all over the place with their brothers and sisters, and it felt like family celebrating together, not a show. Exactly what many of us desire to achieve.

      One thing Paul Baloche has said many times as an encouragement is “take the music off the page and put it in your heart,” and I share this as a challenge often. It’s where we want to be… but the goal is down the road, and we have to operate in the reality of where we are, in broken, imperfect bodies that have problems seeing and learning. Grace and peace must abound.




  22.  
    James Damey
     
     
     
     
     

    I believe that I am on the less popular side of this conversation. I am a worship director with a band of over fifty musicians, and have seen each person grow amazingly in their gift and service by taking away the music stands. I feel that the issues against it are exaggerated in this blog, and the major ideas and responses have more to do with preparation in leadership, and personality conflicts than the actual topic. There seems to be a history behind your blog causing this anger because you are contradicting some of your points. I don’t believe it is about pride for everyone just as I don’t believe that you need a full score of music to remember a simple chord progression. There can be grace and excellence if the leader is open to this. We allow music stand for all rehearsal but I have found little to non of my team using them now during them. They love the freedom, and the connection with them gone. I love worshiping as a team and interacting like never before. It was a hard transition just three months ago, but we laid a foundation that lent to an easier transition. I agree that we can make more out of this topic than it deserves. I believe that is what this post did on the opposite angle. It seemed more of emotion explosion rather than professional dialogue.




    •  
      Benji
       
       
       
       
       

      Agree with James and Bill Whit. I train young worship teams comprising of youth who are busy with school, etc. I do encourage them to do away with the music and sheets after a couple weeks of learning songs. This has significant benefits this article doesn’t talk about. Engagement in worship is one. I personally play with more mature (musically) players who can’t (don’t) memorize and need music, and they are constantly dependent on the music, get scared when lights go out, lost if the sheet flies off the stand etc. The kids I work with however keep going. When the music is there, the default tendency is to constantly keep an eye on the music.

      Secondly, taking the music off helps musicians actually start listening to the notes they play, and after I started doing this, kids have developed better ears, and are now able to listen and hear the chords. Helps them easily learn new songs because they now know the ‘sound’ of the chords, etc.

      I personally don’t get how people can play the same songs for years and still not know the chords. Is it just me or is the example of a 4 chord song like How great is our God not being memorized the lamest excuse? I’m sure this friend has his SS#, phone #, address, etc. all memorized, but oh no, 4 chords, (I vi IV V) that’s tough.

      Once things get complex as in orchestrations and long arrangements, I can understand the need for music stands, otherwise work on getting rid of those, it will make you a better musician. It’s the same as a handicap. A person with no eyes automatically trains and develops his hearing to almost overcome his visual disability.




  23.  
    Ernie Paul's

    Let’s just go back to organ , piano and hymn books




  24.  
    Fred Korkosz

    I have to memorize my music. I would always lose my music books and leave phones/tablets/notebooks behind if I had to rely on them!

    -Fred Korkosz




  25.  
    Kelly

    Great article! I’ve played at churches where memorization is required, where music stands are acceptable and where the worship team is half and half on music stands/memorization.

    The thing worship leaders need to understand is that not everyone on their volunteer team has time to sit around all week playing their instrument or immersing themselves in music. We have 9-to-5 jobs, families and other work and personal obligations that may give us a very short window of time to practice. When a worship leader posts the songs for the week only 48 hours before a rehearsal, I’m lucky to have time to listen to the songs a few times in the car, let alone rehearse or memorize them.

    I do agree that worship leaders should train their band members to be less reliant on the charts… to engage more with the congregation. In my past experience that, too, has come from the worship pastor’s perspective on the band vs. the singers. If the singers are considered “worship leaders” but the band members are not, then the band members won’t act like worship leaders. They will only live up to the highest expectation the worship pastor has for them. If the band members are told that they are as important a worship leader on the platform as the worship pastor and singers are, they will make more of an effort to engage with the congregation and learn to become less reliant on the printed page.

    I have also worked with worship leaders who change the key of a song each time we do it, depending on who the singer is. We may have done How Great Is Our God a hundred times, but sometimes with limited practice time it’s hard to unlearn and relearn the muscle memory you develop in playing a song so that you can play it in another key.




  26.  
    Rob
     
     
     
     
     

    Thanks for addressing this subject.

    In my opinion, the “we don’t need music” thing is just pridefulness. Scripture says nothing on the subject one way or the other.

    Does God care whether we refer to notes when we lead worship songs? Or, put another way: are we (or is our worship) only acceptable to Him if we have good memorization skills?

    If He does not care about this, then why should we?




  27.  
     
     
     
     
     

    Thank you for this well written article. Too often worship teams are criticized for using music and music stands, but it always makes me smile when those that criticize are lost during a song because the words failed to appear on the security screen and they had nothing to reference to keep singing or playing without creating an obvious hesitation.




  28.  
     
     
     
     
     

    Our teams usually use music stands. We strive and encourage our teams to be familiar enough with the songs to pray through them. I often say that we should be praying through the music, not praying to get through the music. That’s the bar we work with.

    Our personal prep time should allow us to be comfortable enough with the charts to use them as an occasional reference, and not have our faces buried in the stands. The former leads to a good worship experience, even with the stands. The latter communicates that we aren’t confident and ready for our role, and that always translates poorly to the people we are there to serve.




  29.  
     
     
     
     
     

    If you’ve led worship long enough, and if you are truly diverse in your song catalogue, you have so many songs to choose from that there’s no way they can all be memorized.

    If you are a worship pastor who plays an instrument while leading, and you have enough time on your hands to memorize a given week’s setlist in its entirety (lyrics and chords/notes) then you might need more to do in ministry.

    If it’s lyrics only and not chords/notes to play, and you have rear projection for the team to view for reminders, then perhaps memorization is more within your grasp.




  30.  
    greg
     
     
     
     
     

    The performance of any spoken word or music is always better expressed and understood when the speaker/musician is fully prepared and the works are memorized. Unfortunately, this is impractical for those of us who have anything ELSE to do in our lives. If you CAN, great. Wonderful. If you CANNOT, play on anyway. Nobody benefits from any sort of musician sitting idly at home instead of coming out to play. Magical things can happen even if 100% of the band is using charts.

    Much ado about nothing. Is this content really worth publishing????




  31.  
    Joe
     
     
     
     
     

    Excuses, Excuses, Excuses. Face it, music stands are a crutch! There is an empirical difference between leading worship in church and orchestra performances Orchestral performances are typically 8 – 10 pages of musical score… Worship songs are typically 1 page of typewritten lyrics over written with three chords – Usually E, D and A.

    gross generality: music stand = lack of preparedness. (period)




    •  
      Ash

      Joe, I can think of several peices of music that are 4 – 5 pages in length that our pianist, keyboard player and violinist play. Also, what about new young musicians that you are looking to bring into your team (14 – 16 year olds). Do you tell them, “sorry until you can memorise all 40 to 60 songs we are currently drawing from you will not be able to be part of the team”? Not very encouraging really and all because of a music stand…. build a bridge my friend and get over it.




    •  
      Todd

      That’s pretty judgy of you to say.




    •  
      Reid

      Wow Joe. It must be a true burden to be as awesome as you are. And to be so humble on top of it. I am utterly amazed. Peace and all good…




  32.  
    Gary Filbert
     
     
     
     
     

    Spot on! When we bring our heart and familiarity with the songs we will be using, that is our “Spiritual Act of Worship” that is shared not only horizontally with the team and congregation but also vertically with God. I for one memorized scripture but for what ever reason either don’t put the time to memorize the tunes. i also use the cord charts for notes on dynamics of the song as well as any exhortation that the Spirit leads me in. We need to be careful as Peter said about “one size fitting all” and so that we’re conscious of not setting standards for how people should or shouldn’t be perceived.




  33.  
    Susan Coho
     
     
     
     
     

    Thank you for writing a well balanced article on this topic. Our multi-generational worship band’s age range is from 20 to 88 years young; being able to use charts and music stands is a very welcome resource to assist in praising our God and blessing His people.




  34.  
    Chris in N.Va.

    Well-balanced. There are well-meaning arguments to be made for both sides.

    Memorization is a worthy goal to reduce dependency upon the written page (tablet screen) and increase team-congregation engagement yet when, for instance, you’re part of a team whose leader(s) are continually introducing new songs at a frequent pace and who themselves don’t have them memorized, it just becomes another extra-Biblical “thou shalt” burden for those of us less-than-perfect saints who are still striving to live up to already-revealed Scripture that we know.

    I would have tried to make that sentence longer, but thought better. :o)




  35.  
     
     
     
     
     

    Terrific.

    Too often, on this topic, people get in a “one size fits all” that says if my pro worship team can do it without music stands, everybody should.

    It’s worship, not a concert.




  36.  
     
     
     
     
     

    Well said! And well received.




  37.  
    Ryan Stockton
     
     
     
     
     

    Yes. Also, yes.





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