The Problem with Praise Teams

"[C]ongregational praise is a commanded duty that can be audibly discerned; we should hear congregational praise when it is sung, and nothing else (choir, organ, marching band, bagpipe) should be permitted to obscure the thing that is commanded."

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Interesting perspective, well articulated.

Sample..

I think we would agree that distributing Spam and Coke during the Lord’s Supper is “unbiblical” in the sense of being “not quite biblical.”  There are some biblical things about it, and some not quite biblical things about it.  I regard the Praise Band (or Praise Team) as “unbiblical” in this particular sense; it is “not quite biblical,” and I would like to explain why I regard it so.

Are doing the musical equivalent of Spam and Coke in our worship?  (or maybe cookies and koolaid .... or mega bacon burger with cheese fries on the side and large Snickers Blizzard to top it all off?) 

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

M Leslie's picture

It isn't the worship band that is the problem. It's the volume level of the instruments.

On a side note, Presbyterians argue about the same preferences as Baptists. :) I wonder how Warfield or Machen would reply?

GregH's picture

It is ironic that the author titles this article as he does while admitting that his real problem is anything that gets in the way of congregational singing including organs and choirs. I get his point but it feels disingenuous. And does he not know that there are numerous praise teams around the country that sing at a amplified level that does not overpower the congregation? I am sure that over-amplification does happen but I don't even know that it happens most of the time a praise team is being used.

What a praise team does is exactly what a song leader does--helps the congregation stay on pitch and in time. Is it at all sensible to pretend that it matters whether there is one person or six people leading the music?

Anne Sokol's picture

I don't know. this is a weird bit of logic.

I think praise teams can make congregational singing easier .. we also display all words with the music, and i know a lot of churches do that. Many have a music leader giving cues at the same time ... So he's making a lot of negative assumptions here.

the point of Col 3:16 might be more that we're to be teaching and admonishing each other through our music, not that music must be robust, congregational, and together. Otherwise, there are tons of things other than praise groups that can disrupt that balance. I think it's problematic if the praise group does cause others not to sing, but I think it's just as often a help to singing.

???

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Jim wrote:

The volume issue aside ...itsn't a choir just a big praise team?

  • Choir: larger in number ... further back from the congregation
  • Praise team: closer to the congregation

JIm,

Most of the time the choir is singing while the congregation is quietly listening. Most of the praise teams I have seen have been leading congregational singing. 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Jim's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
Most of the praise teams I have seen have been leading congregational singing. 

That would be a good thing - right!

What I don't like - and I don't have a lot of experience at this because I am a member of a conservative church with a choir:

  • Arm waving
  • Grunge-look (let's wear the worn blue jeans look)
  • Swaying
Seth Johnson's picture

**article dated May 2013?  

For all the emphasis on Scripture the author appeals strongly to anecdotes to support his assertion.  A single blind listener is certain to have a different experience in the service than a single deaf observer who might be thrilled to see more than one person and engage music with more visuals. It seems a weak and anecdotal position to refuse to sing just because there is a praise team and the chance that you might not know the song as well as the congregation.  This happens every time I visit brothers overseas and attempt to join in their singing knowing only a few words in their language!  

As a pastor of a few self described tone-deaf brothers and sisters (an assertion I have come to agree with but love to hear them anyway!) the use of a choir or even a praise team when we've been in churches that use them has brought my brothers and sister joy being just being a part.  

While I am nudged to be more be considerate of the details of our next church service, I think the author has painted with a broad brush those who have praise teams and is content to remain convinced of his position's superiority not having engaged with other reasons for their use.  

 

Shaynus's picture

To me the problem is mostly about the intention of the praise team/band/chior. Are they there to get noticed? They will, and it won't go well. Are they there to help the congregation? They probably will . . . if they're excellent musically, play singable songs well, and keep the volume in check. 

Steve Picray's picture

I have never joined a church that had a praise team, because that's not my preference.  I visited a church while out of town this year, and they had a praise band. Granted, I only had one experience, but it's all I have to go from. 

The band played a song, and the congregation was encouraged to sing along, but the band singing the song was significantly louder than the congregation.  Also, the band varied both the tempo and the words to the point that, as the author of this article states, it became almost impossible for the congregation to "sing along" because they didn't know when to sing or what to sing.  It seemed to me to be a perfect picture of I Corinthians 14:8 "For if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle?"  The uncertainty of the congregation was not worshipful. 

I can only compare that to a song I've heard over and over through the years: Victory in Jesus.  When this song is sung in the churches I've been a member of, the words are certain, the timing is certain, and the notes are certain.  What is also certain are the voices of the congregational singers:  they belt out the words because they believe the words, they know the notes, and when to sing them.  

I'd rather that than watching performers on stage. 

Anne Sokol's picture

my church in the US doens't use a praise group, but our church in ukraine does, and they also use phonograms-- pre-recorded songs? When the one piano player left, he recorded all the songs ... so everything is always exactly the same. And we all sing along just fine ... I think maybe I even sing along better/louder because my voice won't stand out when I do that.

Its interesting to think about ... When we have youth meetings in the evening, it's singing with no accompaniment-- just voices, and I think people are a little more shy about doing that. But in the church service, you can belt out and not worry about being a bother or attention-getter ...

?

pgerard's picture

I believe the problem often has  more to do with the fact that the congregation does not know the songs well enough to sing along.  This past Sunday on vacation I attended a church my friend recommended in south Florida--a huge church with a praise band.  I looked around and found few people trying to sing with the praise band.  My friend did not try to sing many of the songs; I did not know any of them but one.  They did include one old hymn in the mix and you guessed it, that was the one time I heard the congregation over the praise band--why?  Simple: they knew the words and music.
 

Bert Perry's picture

I've been in a few churches with praise teams, including as a member, and I would agree 100% with the writer that the temptation is to turn the volume "all the way up to 11", to quote Spinal Tap.  The overall effect is exactly what the author notes; the congregation is not "led" in singing.   This is worsened as a lot of the lyrics are so simple as to be shallow, and are all too often devoid of theological meaning.  And so there is yet more temptation to "turn up the volume" to try and generate enthusiasm.  The overall effect is similar to a high school pep rally (gag) or political rally (barf).

And now the corollary problem in more conservative (musically) churches; you can (as the author notes) do the same thing by opening up the piano or pulling out the stops on the organ.  Many good musicians complain about many  "church musicians" (as a stereotype to be fair) as such; that they do not understand dynamics (increasing/decreasing the volume as the mood of the music demands) or pace.  Everything is loud and fast, whether the music demands it or not.  

Other ways we do it is by using "medleys", and the trouble with these is that as soon as your mind starts to process the message, the message is changed.  It's almost designed to generate short attention spans.  It wouldn't do to allow music to fulfill its role of implanting God's Word in our minds and hearts now, would it?  One can also generate a man-centered mood with shallow theology with excessive use of "camp meeting" songs.  In my view, a lot of such songs, besides often being musical dreck, are lyrically scarcely better than CCM.  Come on, folks, it won't kill you to sing something by Wesley, Watts, or one of those German hymns from the 1600s now, will it?

Really, in my view, it comes down to what is our Biblical theology of music--why did God give us the Psalms, why does He tell us to sing Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs?  How does it differ from a spoken sermon?  

My take is that what makes music special is that it has the unique property of uniting heart and mind to the Scripture.  Hence our key questions about music are (a) do the lyrics come plausibly (if not directly) from the message of Scripture, (b) is the poetry of the words plausible (e.g. metric Psalms vs. word for word translation in GB/KJV/etc..), and (c) is the musical setting one which will allow the lyrics to take root in heart and mind?  A tremendous portion of church music--on both sides of the worship wars--fails at least one of these tests.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

M Leslie's picture

Bert Perry wrote:
 

Come on, folks, it won't kill you to sing something by Wesley, Watts, or one of those German hymns from the 1600s now, will it?

(a) do the lyrics come plausibly (if not directly) from the message of Scripture,

Those are good points, Bert. I appreciate the work done by Indelible Grace. They have updated the language, and refreshed the music for our time and culture. I'm not so sure that your second or third questions would be considered universal. You may not like my poetry, and my rhythm may not help your memory. It works for me.

The volume level is an excellent example of the subjective nature of music. Whose preference on the volume dial will win the debate?

Anne Sokol's picture

("note, note" --get it? pun intended Biggrin )

When I studied the First Great Awakening I remember reading somewhere about what a controversy it was in churches when some started singing hymns instead of the Psalms/Psalter. The pro-hymn people were saying how terrible the psalter songs often sounded ... But sheesh, to sing something other than the words of God ...?

It's an old, old issue ...

Bert Perry's picture

M Leslie wrote:

Bert Perry wrote:

Come on, folks, it won't kill you to sing something by Wesley, Watts, or one of those German hymns from the 1600s now, will it?

(a) do the lyrics come plausibly (if not directly) from the message of Scripture,

Those are good points, Bert. I appreciate the work done by Indelible Grace. They have updated the language, and refreshed the music for our time and culture. I'm not so sure that your second or third questions would be considered universal. You may not like my poetry, and my rhythm may not help your memory. It works for me.

The volume level is an excellent example of the subjective nature of music. Whose preference on the volume dial will win the debate?

Actually, regarding volume and dynamics, it's not as subjective as one might think, and what I'm really getting at is that the "mood" of a song will often demand that the volume change.  For example, I'd argue that the first verse of "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" ought to be played a lot slower than is typical, and much more softly--the mood of the poetry is that of a man trembling as he approaches the Cross.  And it ought to be played a lot more often. :^)

The same thing goes with poetry--a lot of CCM likes to use free verse, and that's a genre that very few poets can pull off well.  Moreover, while it plays well in coffee shops, it doesn't play well to the heart and mind unless you've got someone pretty good at it.  On the flip side, there is a tremendous amount of doggerel written in tetrameter--one must avoid the urge to allow the poem to go "da-dA da-DA da-DA da-DA" interminably.   There is subjectivity to it, but those trained in the art (and fundagelicalism needs more) can recognize it.  

Don't get me wrong; I have nothing against the idea of using modern musical forms for the service of the Gospel.  It's just that church music in general, and CCM in particular, needs to sit down and learn something about musicality.   Speaking as a guy who's done a touch of singing and instrumental work, there is something almost magical when the poetry and message resonates with a musician, especially when poetry, pace, and dynamics come together to tell the story.  Churches need to start figuring it out.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Shaynus's picture

I have some good friends that write and sing for Indelible Grace. One is my neighbor. One thing they say is that no one tune can express the full range of what a text is trying to convey. In re-writing a tune, they're not necessarily saying the old one is bad. They may still continue to sing it actually, but a different tune may change the mood or emphasize different aspects of the text. 

pvawter's picture

As several have already mentioned, the familiarity of the music is important for congregational participation. This certainly doesn't preclude the introduction of new music, and I think that a healthy church will naturally desire to seek out and include new music (even if it is originally from the 1600's). It seems to me though, that many who say they desire to experience some form of congregational "worship" on Sunday give very little thought to how the congregation can be involved in the different elements of the service.

Whether a church uses a praise team or a song leader + choir is really irrelevant (as, I believe, Jim already pointed out), because what matters most is that the service is planned intentionally to get the people involved by prioritizing things they already know and are familiar with and then leading them through the unfamiliar.

In my mind, the familiar ought to make up 90% of the service (just an arbitrary number used to illustrate my point), while leaving room for a little bit of creative artistry. Of course, we must always seek to avoid getting stuck in a rut, but I think that the tendency has been to seek wholesale change rather than to introduce the new incrementally as it is fitting. 

With respect to the question of volume, certainly, it is important to avoid drowning out the congregation, but many people are helped to sing along when they feel there is enough volume that their voice will not be singled out. This is especially important for those who feel they are not good singers, and increasingly so in our society which discourages "average" singers. When we sing a song in church that is performed by some Christian music star, it can be very intimidating for those who do not have the same skills & quality of voice. 

Just my two cents. Carry on.

AndrewSuttles's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

My take is that what makes music special is that it has the unique property of uniting heart and mind to the Scripture.  Hence our key questions about music are (a) do the lyrics come plausibly (if not directly) from the message of Scripture, (b) is the poetry of the words plausible (e.g. metric Psalms vs. word for word translation in GB/KJV/etc..), and (c) is the musical setting one which will allow the lyrics to take root in heart and mind?  A tremendous portion of church music--on both sides of the worship wars--fails at least one of these tests.  

Excellent thoughts, Bert.  It would be really profitable for us readers if you further developed your thoughts into a short article or blog post.

M Leslie's picture

I try to make it every year to the Basics Conference held at Parkside Church, pastored by Alistair Begg. Parkside has a worship band that leads the Sunday music as well as the conference. It does not overpower the congregates. At the conference, it is the voices of 1500 men that drown out my own voice and the people beside me. On Sunday, the voices are not as powerful, but the instruments are still below their volume.

In any church, the sound engineer should have control over the final volume. It shouldn't take a passage of scripture or a blind woman to figure out what edifies the church.

AndrewSuttles's picture

My problem with modern 'praise music' is that it tends to be more sappy and sensual than historic Christian music.  Play any hymns from the past 1500 years and it is instantly recognized by 95% of people as 'Church music'.  Play a modern praise song and if you ignore the words, you think you're listening to a sappy teenybopper love song from the radio.  The music is written to be nice, safe, clean, uplifting, and emotion (ie sappy).

A good antidote is the stuff they plan on 'Lutheran Public Radio'!!!  (...and I'm no Lutheran, by the way)

Anne Sokol's picture

Andrew, these arguments have been made in many decades ... some hymn we sing today was extremely "contemporary" and "dance-ish" in a former time and was criticized in that time for it's style ( I don't remember the hymn, but remember Dr. Coleman explaining it.) So, it's not a new criticism.

The more I grow as a Christian, the more I am able to worship .... with liberty. I don't have to groan over old hymns or 7/11's, or Getty or some beat. ... well, it does require understanding the words, which some genres I just can't do that from lack of experience with that genre ... But worship is in spirit and in truth. And God ... like in salvation, has very low standards in his graciousness towards us.

RickyHorton's picture

I'm the music director at our church and have learned over the years that it is absolutely positively impossible to please everyone.  Simply singing the most conservative music possible doesn't solve your problems either!  In fact, you will offend or upset someone no matter what you do.  One person's choir is another person's praise team.  One person's sappy is another person's reverent.  One person's loud is another person's soft.  One person's reverential hymns is another person's cold and dusty relic.  And I could go on and on.  As someone else alluded to, this has been happening for centuries!  I went through the history of music in the church with our congregation recently and covered many of the different controversies:  Psalms only vs. hymns, instruments vs. no instruments, simple vs. elaborate music, singing in unison vs. singing in parts, congregational singing vs. professionally trained singers only, and then we have the modern worship wars.  It really highlighted the fact that it is impossible to please everyone.  So how do we handle that?  I have studied music in Scripture many times but I was struck this time by something in Colossians 3:16:  "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God."  When I sing, it is for the purpose of helping to teach others and also (more importantly) singing to God.  This verse does not emphasize my wants/desires/preferences.  Ephesians 5:19 has a similar if not more dramatic emphasis.  In fact, it seems to emphasize others and God, and I am practically left out of the equation except for being the mouth-piece (and letting Scripture dwell in me).  However, the controversies throughout history seem to be more about what "I" want rather than how can I help to edify my fellow church member and bring glory to God.  When you figure Romans 14 into the equation, it seems like both sides of the fence should be a bit more willing to give a little on the topic of music. 

 

JD Miller's picture

Ricky wrote:

Simply singing the most conservative music possible doesn't solve your problems either!  In fact, you will offend or upset someone no matter what you do.  One person's choir is another person's praise team.  One person's sappy is another person's reverent.  One person's loud is another person's soft.  One person's reverential hymns is another person's cold and dusty relic.  And I could go on and on.

I have said that being the head usher in charge of the thermostat was the hardest job in church, but I may have been wrong :). 

Anne Sokol's picture

JD Miller wrote:

Ricky wrote:

Simply singing the most conservative music possible doesn't solve your problems either!  In fact, you will offend or upset someone no matter what you do.  One person's choir is another person's praise team.  One person's sappy is another person's reverent.  One person's loud is another person's soft.  One person's reverential hymns is another person's cold and dusty relic.  And I could go on and on.

I have said that being the head usher in charge of the thermostat was the hardest job in church, but I may have been wrong :).

(laughing) Ha! At least you HAVE a thermostat! ... As a pastor's wife, I will raise my hand and say how true this all is ... Biggrin And let's not mention the budget! Please.

Back to music **shifty eyes** I will not point out the person in this conversation who actually even (gasp) raises her hands during some songs.... Oh no, that person will remain anonymous...

 

Larry Nelson's picture

 

RickyHorton wrote:

I'm the music director at our church and have learned over the years that it is absolutely positively impossible to please everyone.  Simply singing the most conservative music possible doesn't solve your problems either!  In fact, you will offend or upset someone no matter what you do.  One person's choir is another person's praise team.  One person's sappy is another person's reverent.  One person's loud is another person's soft.  One person's reverential hymns is another person's cold and dusty relic.  And I could go on and on.  As someone else alluded to, this has been happening for centuries!  I went through the history of music in the church with our congregation recently and covered many of the different controversies:  Psalms only vs. hymns, instruments vs. no instruments, simple vs. elaborate music, singing in unison vs. singing in parts, congregational singing vs. professionally trained singers only, and then we have the modern worship wars.  It really highlighted the fact that it is impossible to please everyone.  So how do we handle that?  I have studied music in Scripture many times but I was struck this time by something in Colossians 3:16:  "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God."  When I sing, it is for the purpose of helping to teach others and also (more importantly) singing to God.  This verse does not emphasize my wants/desires/preferences.  Ephesians 5:19 has a similar if not more dramatic emphasis.  In fact, it seems to emphasize others and God, and I am practically left out of the equation except for being the mouth-piece (and letting Scripture dwell in me).  However, the controversies throughout history seem to be more about what "I" want rather than how can I help to edify my fellow church member and bring glory to God.  When you figure Romans 14 into the equation, it seems like both sides of the fence should be a bit more willing to give a little on the topic of music.

I couldn't agree more.

I love "traditional" church music.  I grew up with it.  Give me a big pipe organ, a grand piano, and a couple of violins, and I just soak it in.

On the other hand, I am just about equally comfortable with many contemporary Christian music songs.  There are some CCM songs that speak to me & touch my heart in ways that older, more familiar music does not.

You might say that I really don't have a preference anymore.  Traditional or contemporary: either one, praise God!

---------------

I was at another local church this weekend for a Saturday night service.  They use either a 7 or 8 person worship team (drums, guitars, bass, etc.).  One of the songs they sang was this one:

"This Is Amazing Grace"

[Verse 1:]
Who breaks the power of sin and darkness
Whose love is mighty and so much stronger
The King of Glory, the King above all kings

Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder
And leaves us breathless in awe and wonder
The King of Glory, the King above all kings

[Chorus:]
This is amazing grace
This is unfailing love
That You would take my place
That You would bear my cross
You lay down Your life
That I would be set free
Oh, Jesus, I sing for
All that You've done for me

[Verse 2:]
Who brings our chaos back into order
Who makes the orphan a son and daughter
The King of Glory, the King of Glory

Who rules the nations with truth and justice
Shines like the sun in all of its brilliance
The King of Glory, the King above all kings

[Chorus]

[Bridge:]
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy, worthy, worthy
Oh

[Chorus]

- http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/philwickham/thisisamazinggrace.html

-------------

For those not offended by CCM, here is how it sounds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjXjkbODrro

-------------

The roar of over 1,000 people joyously singing this song, to their Savior, was awe-inspiring!

 

 

M Leslie's picture

That's a great example of beautiful modern worship music.

Ron Bean's picture

M Leslie wrote:

That's a great example of beautiful modern worship music.

I agree but I personally don't care for this. I'd find it hard to sing if I were in the congregation. It's kind of like my view of Shai Linne. I love him and what he does. I find his work meaningful and it brings me joy to know that others are blessed by it. And while it took me a number of listens to get my aged brain around "Jesus Is Alive" and "False Teachers", I don't have any of his work in my personal music collection.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

SamH's picture

Regarding RickyHorton's earlier remarks...

Is the matter of a Christian's conscience important? Is conscience more or less important (in the matter of worship--let alone worship music) than preference? Granted, there is a pluralistic nature to Col 3 & Eph 5, but that is part of the point--worshiping together. If a Christian is convicted (and is good-willed about it, and not being a crank) that some element of the worship service is wrong, should he simply get along to go along since there is little to no(?) individuality allowed in your interpretation of the passages? Or is there another response they should have? Or is there room for convictions that I am not seeing in your interpretation?

Mentioning Romans 14 could be a bit of a red-herring since both activities mentioned there are actually not truly matters of sin anymore in the New Covenant. The issue is how the members treat one another amidst the differences. Would we agree that it is quite possible for sin to truly reside in elements of more progressive (as it were) worship, and as such Rom 14 does not properly apply? I think we could agree that certainly more conservative worship could contain sinful elements.

What if Col 3 and Eph 5 were actually helpful in determining a metric for God-pleasing worship music (worship elements overall) in that if a good-willed Christian cannot with good conscience participate in something, the pastors and possibly the church should consider making a change regarding that element? I.e., if such a circumstance occurred, might not the pastor(s) and leaders consider it a worship fail if they kept pressing forward with the specific element(s)? 

Of course this would be dependent on the worshiper being able to properly differentiate between convictions and preferences, but that is what good pastoral discipleship effort is about.

SamH

RickyHorton's picture

SamH wrote:

Regarding RickyHorton's earlier remarks...

Is the matter of a Christian's conscience important? Is conscience more or less important (in the matter of worship--let alone worship music) than preference? Granted, there is a pluralistic nature to Col 3 & Eph 5, but that is part of the point--worshiping together. If a Christian is convicted (and is good-willed about it, and not being a crank) that some element of the worship service is wrong, should he simply get along to go along since there is little to no(?) individuality allowed in your interpretation of the passages? Or is there another response they should have? Or is there room for convictions that I am not seeing in your interpretation?

Yes, conscience is important.  However, I've found that when it comes to music what many people call conscience is simply an unfamiliarity with what they are hearing.  In other words, I know people who have never been around any music except hymns from a hymnbook.  Anything other than a hymn causes them to cringe.  That does not mean anything is wrong with what they are cringing at though.  Our consciences should be formed by Scripture not with what is unfamiliar to us.  Going back to worship teams, this is very unfamiliar to many people in the IFB world but that doesn't make it sinful.  I really do believe that much of this goes away with a study from Scripture.  Doing this is an answer to your example of the Christian that is convicted about an element of worship.  Why are they convicted?  What does Scripture say about that element of worship...not what I say, but what does the text say?  These "convictions" should drive us back into Scripture, but unfortunately Scripture is left out of many of these conversations. 

SamH wrote:

Mentioning Romans 14 could be a bit of a red-herring since both activities mentioned there are actually not truly matters of sin anymore in the New Covenant. The issue is how the members treat one another amidst the differences. Would we agree that it is quite possible for sin to truly reside in elements of more progressive (as it were) worship, and as such Rom 14 does not properly apply? I think we could agree that certainly more conservative worship could contain sinful elements.

My use of Romans 14 definitely was not a red herring as a red herring is something that is intended to be misleading.  That certainly was not an intent of mine.  But let's apply this to the matter at hand.  Are worship teams a matter of sin in Scripture?  I don't see how anyone could say Scripture prohibits worship teams.  You could say that some worship teams sin in what they do perhaps, but that is a different topic.  If there is actual sin, then you are correct that Romans 14 doesn't apply, but worship teams aren't sin.  Taking it further, I would even say that style of music is not sin as I personally do not see Scripture addressing anything about style of music.  Therefore, I see the style of music as a Romans 14 issue as well. 

(Funny though that I have seen conservative music "scholars" use Romans 14 as their reasoning behind telling people that CCM should not be used.  The thought is that conservative music doesn't offend anyone, so it is all that is fit for church.  I thought that strange as they were basically saying, "I am the weak brother of Romans 14 so do what I want!")

SamH wrote:

What if Col 3 and Eph 5 were actually helpful in determining a metric for God-pleasing worship music (worship elements overall) in that if a good-willed Christian cannot with good conscience participate in something, the pastors and possibly the church should consider making a change regarding that element? I.e., if such a circumstance occurred, might not the pastor(s) and leaders consider it a worship fail if they kept pressing forward with the specific element(s)? 

Of course this would be dependent on the worshiper being able to properly differentiate between convictions and preferences, but that is what good pastoral discipleship effort is about.

I think your last sentence answers your question.  You cannot stop using an element in worship simply because one person has an issue that is extra-biblical.  If they have an issue with something and take it to the pastor, a study of Scripture should begin.  Why is this person having an issue?  How does Scripture address this issue or does it address it at all?  If Scripture addresses it and it is wrong, then it must be stopped.  However, I've found that if only one person in the congregation comes forward with an issue about something, it generally is an issue only in that one person's mind and not in Scripture (i.e. the worshiper not "being able to properly differentiate between convictions and preferences).  It still should drive both parties back to Scripture though. 

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