by Director of Music and Worship Trace Rorie
If you’ve spent any length of time on a worship team, at some point you have probably heard someone discuss the tension between worship and performance. For those of you who are unsure what I’m talking about, here’s a brief synopsis:
As artists on a platform we have a responsibility to lead others in worship—therefore we should be genuinely worshiping as well. We point others toward God, not ourselves. Therefore any conduct on stage that draws attention toward ourselves and away from God is a bad thing. Typically this is labeled as performance. It’s not the easiest of debates to find resolution to, because how can one argue against the above logic? But I think we’re labeling performance as a negative too quickly.
How many sermons, lectures or presentations have we all sat through in which the content was good, but the presentation was boring, disengaging and lifeless? If you’re able to look past a horrible delivery and focus on the content, you’re a better person than I am! In the church, we tend to focus on the content we’re delivering without giving equal attention to the way that we’re presenting it. At Granger, what we want from our artists is for the presentation to reflect the content. For example, if we’re singing about the grandeur of the glory of God, our visual presentation should be consistent with the magnitude of that idea. Why is this? Well, it’s primarily because the vast majority of people who are experiencing our services aren’t musical and therefore don’t understand musical things. Sure, they might sense that something is awry when the keyboard player misses some notes, but they likely can’t pinpoint the issue. But every single person in our services is an expert on human behavior. They can tell if that vocalist is on autopilot or the guitarist is unsure of where he’s at in the song. So delivering an engaging presentation is just as vital as the words we’re singing or the notes we’re playing, because oftentimes it speaks louder than anything else.
At Granger, we have come up with some guidelines that help us accomplish this goal. We’re a volunteer-driven arts ministry, so we can’t expect our team to be experts in this sort of thing. It’s our responsibility to help equip them so they can fulfill any expectations we have of them. We call it STEP. This is how we want our volunteers to prepare for, execute, and evaluate what they do in our worship experiences.
Continue reading on the GCC Creative Team’s Blog...
If you would like to learn more about Granger’s process for planning, promoting and executing weekend series come to our Creative & Communication Arts Workshop. In the morning, we’ll talk timelines, brainstorming, programming and decision making. In the afternoon, we’ll have small-group Q&A with your Granger staff/volunteer counterpart (like the Web Director, Production Director, Lighting Director, Worship Director, etc.), where you can ask any burning questions you have. Register today!