I’m often asked if worship team members should be allowed to sing or play during a service if they consistently miss coming to rehearsals or if they come late to rehearsals or services. My response is always a question. Do they miss rehearsals or come late because of family issues, because their car doesn’t work, or for another compelling reason? If their excuse is not reasonable, and if their tardiness or avoidance is chronic, then the person is not respecting the team, and they are not being a good steward of the time that God has given them.
As team members, we show each other respect through our actions, our words, and our attitudes. If someone is chronically late or frequently missing rehearsals, then they’re not respecting God, His ministry, the team, and the church people. They also are being arrogant, showing everyone that they are not willing to commit, submit, or prepare. These are character issues.
By allowing someone to participate on the worship team when they have not consistently attended rehearsals or they are chronically late—without compelling reasons—we are saying that worship ministry is something to be handled lightly. I don’t see that laziness and complacency are characteristics that the Bible condones.
Additionally, some worship leaders have said that their band members are so skilled that they don’t need to practice with the singers. I disagree. Rehearsal time should be more than a time where we just practice the music. It’s a time where we connect with each other, and more importantly, where we learn to flow as a team, and where we listen to what God wants to do through us in the coming service. Worship ministry is not just about musical skill or professionalism. It is ministry, and there is a difference between performance ability and the ability to be sensitive to what will bless God in worship.
We should be asking ourselves questions that make us evaluate our attitudes, actions, and character. Questions such as, what are the things I do that disrespect God and my team members? In what ways have I valued the gifts that God has given me? And, do I respect the congregation enough to be prepared for what He has inspired me to do in the church?
It all comes down to respect for people, for the ministry, and for God.