Performance vs Worship

When I hear people say that a church’s worship team should not “perform”, but should “worship”, as if the two were oil and water, it brings a few things to mind.

  • God gave His best for us. Can we not give our best to Him? If accepting excellence in our music equates to the definition “performance” for some… then I am a performer.
  • In a church that seeks those outside the kingdom, shouldn’t we use relevant music (and music styles) to engage them? If I was in an inner city gang, do you really think I would go to a church to hear a Gaither homecoming?
  • Even those brought up in church listen to “specials”… is that performance, or worship?
  • Engaging “worship” for a Christian could be called “performance” by a non-Christian. Ever been to a Hillsong concert? How about Israel Houghton? If not I would suggest you do. You’ll see performance, and worship.
  • Performance is like beauty, it’s all in the eye of the beholder. The same could be said of worship.

On our worship team we set a standard of significant excellence. We consider it an honor and a humbling responsibility to be chosen to be part of what God is doing at Cornerstone. Our worship team does what we as a team set our hearts on, and that is worship. What happens when you put a group of talented people in a band? To the outsider looking in, they perform, but to the One that sees into the heart, right down to the matter at the middle… it’s all about the worship. As for those that say we shouldn’t perform… maybe it would be better of them to say “I” shouldn’t perform, removing the beam from their own eye, while we tend to the splinters in our own, and worship God while we do. Performance, as a great friend reminded me, is a consequence of, not the reason for worship.

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