Worship Teams: Your Relationships Matter

This past Saturday our whole worship team gathered together for a “Spring Jam” – a day of fellowship, discussing the dynamics of playing together, learning new songs, and seeking to build our friendships. I talked to the team for a few minutes on why our relationships are so important. Here are some of my notes…

Eventually all of us will be in heaven worshiping Jesus together before his throne. Side by side. So how is it that so often believers won’t work out their differences? How can we not obey Jesus’ commands to go to one another and be reconciled? How can it be that so many believers will have nothing to do with one another? I know leaders who once were on the same team together who today won’t speak to each other. How can this be? It is so grieving to God when his children remain unreconciled and don’t work out their differences. It grieves the Spirit of God when believers are divided.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. EPH 4.30-32

Bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and slander grieve the Holy Spirit. What pleases and glorifies God is when his children are kind to one another, tenderhearted and forgiving one another as God forgave them.

Eventually all of us will be in heaven worshiping Jesus together before his throne. Side by side. So how is it that so often believers won’t work out their differences?

As a worship team, our relationships matter. They matter more than our gifts, talent or musical ability. If we can lead the most incredible set of worship, with amazing music, fantastic vocals, outward expressiveness, smiles on our faces, yet allow strife and disunity, we grieve God. We don’t please him. The congregation may not know it but God does.

On the other hand, unity brings joy to God:

Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Philippians 2:2

If Paul said the unity of the Philippians would complete his joy, how much more joy does our unity bring to Jesus, who on the night before he died, said:

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. JN 15.12-13

As a worship team, our relationships matter. They matter more than our gifts, talent or musical ability. If we can lead the most incredible set of worship, with amazing music, fantastic vocals, outward expressiveness, smiles on our faces, yet allow strife and disunity, we grieve God.

When my Dad died, my sisters and I had to settle the estate. Both my sisters are believers, and thankfully, we have good relationships. We didn’t quarrel about who got what. If one of us wanted something of Dad’s the others said you can have it. There was no strife. Our lawyer told me I would not believe the strife that many families have over their parents estates. I would be so sad, if my children fought and strove and hated each other over whatever I might leave them. That would grieve me.

It is interesting that God describes relationships using musical terms. For example,

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:14

The Greek word for “harmony” here means perfection. Harmony is pleasing to the ear. Harmony in relationships is pleasing to God, like a perfect vocal harmony. When our relationships are strained, it’s like voices singing in discord. Like voices singing out of tune and off key, which is not at all pleasing to listen to.

Our unity in relationships affects our worship:

May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. RO 15.5-7

There it is again – “to live in such harmony” – the Greek word here means to be like-minded, of one mind together. And our “harmony” is “in accord with Christ Jesus” – the way Jesus himself acted and taught. We are to imitate the way he loved us and laid down his life for us. Paul tells us “that together”- with one mind and in one accord – “you may with one voice glorify” God – with one voice. Our unity, our singing with one voice, with one mind, with one accord GLORIFIES God. And we are to welcome one another as Christ has welcomed us – with all our imperfections, failures and weakness. We are to welcome one another, again, “FOR THE GLORY OF GOD.”

This leads us to the BIG QUESTION in relationships. Whenever we are tempted to be angry and distance ourselves from others, we must ask ourselves, “WHAT WILL MOST GLORIFY GOD?” Does my anger glorify God? Does my pulling back in this relationship glorify God? We want to praise God WITH ONE VOICE. We want to lead our church in worship WITH ONE VOICE. Because that GLORIFIES GOD. I know this is why you are on the worship team. Because you want to glorify God. So let’s remember how much relationships matter to God, and do all we can to work in harmony with one another. We need God’s grace for this don’t we? Because as musicians and singers we tend to have strong opinions. But God’s glory is more important than our opinions and preferences.

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 1 Peter 3:8

Are we pursuing unity of mind? Do we have sympathy for one another? Do we have brotherly love? Do we have tender hearts toward one another? Are we genuinely humble? All these traits are so critical for believers, and especially those who serve together on worship teams. Let’s pursue these things for God’s glory.

Mark Altrogge

I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I enjoy songwriting, oil painting and coffee, not necessarily in that order.