Tolerating Mediocre Talent in Church

We’ve all been there.  Sunday morning, the soloist gets up to perform the special music.  It’s not that it’s not your style, it’s the fact that it hurts.  This person simply cannot sing.  For whatever reason, they got the chance to sing a solo, and you are wishing they were singing so low you couldn’t hear them (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

What’s interesting is that we tend to lavish these people with encouraging words.  We lie, I mean exaggerate, and say, “Oh, you sounded so good this morning.”  Around other people, we might say, “God doesn’t hear the notes, he hears our hearts…he told us to make a joyful noise to him.”  But then with those people we know really well, we tell them our real thought on the whole ordeal in that our prayer life had never been so strong as when we were praying that song would end ASAP.

Fact: We tend to tolerate mediocre talent in worship because it’s “only church.”

Since we are supposed to be nice in church, we don’t let those that have been gifted to sing, we let those who want to sing the chance to lead people to God’s throne.  What does Scripture tell us about it?

Psalm 33 – 1 Sing for joy in the Lord , O you righteous ones; Praise is becoming to the upright. 2 Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings. 3 Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy. 4 For the word of the Lord is upright, And all His work is done in faithfulness.

This passage indicates that righteous people are to sing praise.  Musicians are to offer their skills to the Lord.  It is imperative that singers and musicians lead skillfully at their craft.  Why?  Because the word of the Lord is upright.  If we are to declare his truth and goodness, we better do it in the best possible manner that we can.  It is deserving of the best we can offer.

This translates to worship teams today in a few ways.

  1. Let people whom God has gifted musically lead musically.
  2. Just because someone has the musical desire does not mean they should have that right or responsibility.  Stakes are high here, you don’t just “get by” when you are leading worship to God.
  3. Every musician better work at their craft.  Just because you have skills doesn’t mean that your old chops are glorifying to Jesus.  We can’t get lazy and stagnate.  God gets glory when we work hard with what he has given us.
  4. The heart of worship is still priority, but you just don’t want your mediocre voices of worship to hinder others’ hearts of worship.

Every believer has the right to sing.

Every believer should make it a priority to sing, but not everyone should have a microphone.

Work at it, because He’s worth it.


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