I don’t do auditions

I read an article today, in one of the magazines that comes to my office every month. It was written by a guy i respect – and have studied, and have read – and the title of it was “letting volunteers go.” The premise of the article was answering a “question” from a reader about how to let a volunteer go – one that has been involved in the ministry for years, simply because they weren’t a solo-quality voice.

I’d offer a different perspective.

I’m grieved at the thought that was would use “distraction” or “not-as-skilled” to justify excluding someone from worship ministry as opposed to setting up your ministry to use whomever God might bring. Instead of insisting that everyone be “solo-ready,” have ensembles, or a choir! where you can plug weaker vocalists in with stronger – which can do nothing but build their confidence and musical ability.

Have an acoustic guitarist that only knows 4 chords? Don’t cut him! He knows enough to play 95% of worship music. Instead – pair him up with a stronger guitarist. Be specific with him on what you want him to play, and how you’d like him to strum. Give it a few months, and you’ll have a more confident guitarist.

Has your congregation turned “solos” into an idol, and it’s dividing your volunteers? Quit doing solos! Take a break from them. Use that “solo” time to teach your congregation a new song – have a corporate prayer, read together a question from the Heidelberg Catechism.

Don’t forget – the object of our affection – the audience of our praise is One. Our job – not for people to notice us . . . for people to notice the Savior. By trying to exclude you’re taking your focus from a ministry to a program.

8 thoughts on “I don’t do auditions

  1. I have been a part of churches in the past that “auditioned” everyone involved in the worship team. The result was always a little sad for me, excluding some awesome worshipers. Since moving to B'ham, I am very happy to have found a church that centers around praise rather than performance. God has blessed OMPC and I am blessed that He led me there! Thanks Jason for allowing Him to use you!

  2. Thank you Mr. Jason that you are willing to use everyone's talents and abilities. I myself am in high expectation of what lies in wait for my growth in the worship ministry as the fall approaches. You have encouraged me not to ever give up trying even as I have been through my own personal struggles having had to go through voice rehab after my tonsillectomy three years ago. I am blessed and encouraged to have someone leading me (and everyone else) and never giving up me or anyone else. And I'm sure we wait with reasonable expectation for what the results will be. You don't give up on people and you don't expect more than you know is possible, but you encourage them and let them take that encouragement how they'll take it. I know I feel more confident and more strong vocally than I have in a long time because of your encouragement and God's strength.

  3. Rick –
    I do. I'll let non-xtians play in the band, but not sing on praise team. The difference may be semantic – but a praise team member is uttering and leading the singing of God's word, and truth – and I don't think it's appropriate for a non-believer to LEAD in that . . .

    Band members I see as a different category – and in fact, i encourage non xtians to be involved. I've got several stories of friends that came to christ by playing in the bands – it's good exposure to the gospel.

  4. I think I'm leaning towards that as well. I read an article by Tom Jennings not too long ago (maybe you've read it, too) that touches on that subject. His argument is the same as yours: non-christians playing in the band are only communicating sound, not theology.

  5. Just saw this post (I'm not a regular blog reader…sorry) and just had to say a big THANK YOU!! Because you have this philosophy, people like me can have the courage and opportunity to sing. It's a privilege and an honor…and it's FUN!

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