Thinking Out Loud

October 13, 2014

Megachurch Musicians

Filed under: Church, music — Tags: , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:09 am

Warning: Run-on sentence follows:

I think if I joined a mega-church and aspired to be part of the worship team, and then jumped through all the hoops of auditioning and qualifying, when the moment finally came where I was actually on that stage, I would be so concerned about doing well and making a good impression, I actually wouldn’t really be worshiping God at that moment. 

Human nature is human nature. If you read the tags, I’ve tagged this post “ecclesiastical ambition.” It certainly describes pastors, but musicians have a more natural affinity to wanting acceptance; of wanting to be liked.

Today's post was written by this guy.

Today’s post was written by this guy.

So here’s what I’ve concluded: Everybody who gets up on a large (or mega) church platform should be forced to wear a mask so that nobody knows who they are. Yes, a mask. Think of what a motive-purifying thing this would be. Think of how this would respond to the church culture that sees the people on the platform as performers

If this goes against the grain, you could consider having the musicians (and people who do announcements) stand with their backs to the audience. Or they could present the worship set from the back of the auditorium the way many church choirs once stood in a balcony at the back; the manner in which the church organist (the only church musician at the time) once performed from the back, or with his or her back to the congregation. 

In the life of service to God through public ministry, there’s no room for ego. 

Update 10:30 AM: I had no idea when I posted this that the same day Talbot Davis would post a sermon text with the repeated refrain, “God’s word is better delivered in obscurity than by celebrity.” Take the time to read it by clicking this link

Somewhat related: “There is no limit on what can be done for God if it does not matter who is getting the earthly credit.”  Read that blog post here.



  1. Amen!

    Comment by angie — October 13, 2014 @ 9:47 am

  2. […] Paul Wilkinson on ambition, megachurches, and worship teams: […]

    Pingback by No Room For Ego | Worship Links — October 13, 2014 @ 5:02 pm

  3. Sounds a lot like Eastern Orthodox Worship

    Comment by Jon Mark — October 13, 2014 @ 11:43 pm

    • Yes, I was aware of that as I wrote. Obviously some of this is hyperbole. You wouldn’t have today’s contemporary worship style and have the band at the back. However, if you wanted to take this more literally, you could have the band in a pit off to the side the way they do in stage shows.

      The point is to somehow deflect the attention away from the musicians (or speakers) and toward God.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — October 14, 2014 @ 9:12 am

  4. Great proposition!

    Comment by sevennotesofgrace — October 15, 2014 @ 1:59 am

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