Question: how does playing in secular gigs improve your service as a musician in the church?
- In some gigs, you learn to fade into the background and not outshine the true stars (think wedding gig). As it is in the church, your musicianship should allow Christ to shine and not steal the show.
- The best band isn’t the one with the most instrumentalist. Often times, less is more. A jazz gig can be done effectively by a solo pianist/guitarist, a duo of almost any combination, a trio, a quartet… All the way to a big band. Same songs, just adapted for the situation.
So it is in the church, stop complaining that you need a second keyboardist/guitarist to do that Hillsongs riff. You don’t need that riff, you need creative musicianship. The congregation can sing the song just fine without the riff.
- Show up rehearsed, prepared and practiced, or don’t expect to be called again. Professionalism is expected in secular gigs. Don’t show up at a corporate gig drunk, reeking of cigs, in casual attire, without your instrument or set list.
Service in church might be voluntary, it still requires the same professionalism. Dress well, prepare before hand, sleep early on Saturday.
- You will NEVER have perfect monitoring. Can’t hear the bass? Keyboardist too soft? Drums overpowering? Deal with it.
As it is in every gig of every venue, so it is in the church.
- Don’t point the finger. Guitarist/keys, don’t blame the drummer for your inability to keep time. Vocalist, don’t blame the other vocalist for your inability to pitch/harmonise. Don’t blame others for throwing you off. Don’t highlight others mistakes and point the finger after the gig (even if you were perfect). No one likes an arrogant prick.
Ditto in the church. Think of the verses in the bible that speak of taking the plank out of your eye before trying to remove the speck out of your brothers, pride comes before a fall, encourage one another in love, etc.
As I reflect on what I have learnt from my secular gigging experience and how the experience is applied in the church, I admit that I’ve been guilty of all of it and some I continue to err on. But I’m working on it and God is working on/in me.