Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Vocalist Solos in Church Service?

What do you think about vocalist solos in the context of the worship service?

If you're opposed, why? If you're a fan, why?

If allowed, what guidelines should be insisted upon?

In general I'm not vehemently opposed to it, but I've seen enough train wrecks over my church life that I get nervous about the issue. Also, if it's done too often it ceases to hold much in the way of being "special" and I'm thinking we need some guidelines.

For example, here's what I've been working up ...

  1. Lyrics approved by at least Music Director prior to performance.
  2. Performances limited to church members, with possible exception for special guests traveling through or some such (e.g., former member or Steve Camp rolling through perhaps).
  3. Some sort of "audition" with Music Director ahead of time. We don't need concert quality, but we don't want to embarrass anyone or the church either.
  4. Thought should be given to how the lyrics might fit in the context of the rest of the service.
  5. No mini-sermonettes or sharing of thoughts before or after. We don't want to give anyone the impression that it's "open mic" night at the Improv.
  6. Appropriate attire is worn. By this, I'm speaking to the area of modesty more so than formality. For example, I'm not as concerned about a young lady wearing jeans as I am about same wearing her "Daisy Dukes" or her bathing suit top.
  7. I would think about 1 per month would be wise to see how it goes for a while before entertaining the idea of increasing the frequency.
  8. We will never call it a "special," as in "Jay the Bennett is gonna sing a special for us this morning." I know that's the typical Baptist verbiage, but (a) it's such a lame substantival use of an adjective, (b) it declares all other music in the service as non-special, and (c) it's just silly.
  9. Vocalists are made aware that their objective is not to entertain or to promote self, but to glorify God by helping the saints to worship as they thoughtfully and heartfully respond to that which is said/sung.
  10. The performance should be such that we can actually hear the words. It's such a beat down to have the accompaniment tape louder than the singer so I can't hear what's being sung or to have the singer being too mousy so we can't hear. Get your mouth up to the mic and we can at least jack up the volume as needed.

That's all that comes to mind. I certainly don't think any of these will seem novel and I'm sure you're thinking they're common sense, but if we fail to mention them up front, bad things could happen.

Can you think of anything else?

I'm thinking we owe it to our folks not to subject them to tomfoolery or shenanigans.

Can a brother get an "Amen"?

P.S. Do you have a "horror story" you'd like to share?


Jared Nelson said...

I'd say Amen. I always feel uncomfortable with "performances" in the middle of worship. How do you know when something is a performance? When people clap after it.

GUNNY said...

Ah ...

Rule #11: No clapping! Ever!

Timothy said...

Excellent post, and very good guidelines.

P.S. No songs that still work if you can change the name Jesus, into say... Gunny, and have it still work!