A while back I started a message board thread at worshipfrequency.com about having musicians on a church music team that aren’t followers of Jesus. It spawned a 12 page discussion, which was pretty far beyond what I expected. Some people have very strong feelings about the subject, while others were trying to hear both sides to form their own opinion. In the end we made a decision at Connexus on our own, but it was still interesting to be a part of the conversation.
For myself, I am open to having people who don’t consider themselves followers of Jesus to be part of our music team. I think that as a church we need to be opening, not closing, as many doors as possible for people to step into a relationship with Jesus, and this seems like a very logical door for a lot of people.
There are many people who base their position in this matter on the worship services in the Old Testament. They argue that because of the high level of “cleanliness” (or holiness) needed to be a part of the worship services then, that we need to be as careful of our personal holiness when approaching God in worship today.
Personally, I look at the way Jesus invited people to follow him. He didn’t even expect them to believe he was who he said he was (really, they didn’t get who he was until after he returned to heaven). All he asked was that they take a step and follow him.
Now, I am not saying that we allow someone to lead before they’ve decided to follow Jesus. In fact, because of the high level of responsibility that I do believe rests on the worship leader, I think we do need to be continually calling our worship leaders to a higher level of character and devotion. But, when it comes to the musicians themselves, I really believe that if we want to be a church for everyone, then we need to be including people in as many of the church’s life activities as possible, and that includes being a part of the music team.
What do you think? What does your church do? Are you willing to reconsider?