So true. You know what inspires me is someone like Patti Labelle, and I try to do the same. If you see that people like what you play in the secular atmosphere, perhaps invite them in thanking the same God (whether they are believers or not) that you know is responsible for what you have been playing that night in a pub (or even a gang patch depending on the type of music you play).
I guess no matter what type of secular music you play there will be an appropriate song (or a cover thereof) that would suit the environment. Personally, I have worked out songs like How Great is Our God, This is My Desire/Lord I Give You My Heart, Light of the World?Here I am to Worship, and Amazing Grace ready to play in any kind of setting or groove, from plain hymnal to the heaviest of metal with all that is possible in between.
I f you commit all you do to the Lord, you may well find that those that are out there in the "dark places" are actually your evangelists. So do not condemn but equip.
Although relatively new to being part of a worship team, this is how I tend to look at it:
While there may be merit in leaning to play a song note for note as recorded by someone else, there is also the point that that someone else's congregation, church, concert visitors, are not necessarily the people from your church. Perhaps the first focus should be on what helps the church focus on God, connect with God, what on average gets the congregation singing their praises. I admit that I can say that easy because I have been trained to do both as a jazz musician, but there is something to be said for the average attitude of a jazz musician: "this is how others play it and this is how I (individually and as a band) do it." In the end it is never about the people that are playing but the people you are trying to lead, you are a servant. Do they need the note for note, lick for lick approach?
You are there to serve and for some songs that may require a note for note the same approach and for other songs that may well require a completely different approach. Another matter to consider is how your team is made up. In our church (www.harmony.org.nz) we love the Israel Houghton material as an example, but also classics like How great though art, Blessed Assurance, How Great is our God, Here I am to Worship, This is my Desire To Worship You. What I have found is that the "organic approach" serves better, if you do not have a band like Israel Houghton (with the horn section and several keyboards, you will have to adjust to make things work. No instrumentalist can get away with note for note as recorded as you will need to work to fill in the gaps and make adjustments. Additionally the place of a song in the service may require a different approach.
Could it maybe be that your bass player is trying to cover up a lack of flexibility in that he may be able to copy without understanding what he is doing? Instead of getting upset, perhaps try to invite him to some one on one time where you jam away on the songs creating different atmospheres from quiet and contemplative to banging out loud full on worship.
In the end you don't need the licks, you need the ability to lead your church and be lead by your church to take a song somewhere else. It is good to remember that leading is serving, no matter what instrument you play and sometimes leading thus means following. I can say this easily being part of the music ministry ion a church where there are many very gifted musicians, but at thew same time, just like in my jazz background, the real beauty comes not from your ability to play but from the ability to listen and respond and to be able to play songs in a way that fits in with the particular place in the service, the message that is conveyed and the atmosphere created as a result of that.
Leading is serving. Perhaps make experimenting with a song part of the practice routine.
Hope this helps.
I totally agree with this point: "Could it maybe be that your bass player is trying to cover up a lack of flexibility in that he may be able to copy without understanding what he is doing? Instead of getting upset, perhaps try to invite him to some one on one time where you jam away on the songs creating different atmospheres from quiet and contemplative to banging out loud full on worship."
I wish I thought of that! :)
Galatians 5:20 describes "party spirit" as hell. Keep doing the right thing. People in your congregation see this extreme bad-boy behavior and recognize it for what it is. But if it takes hold and generates into a faction, you may need to impress the board or whoever is the responsible body in your church with the seriousness.
I have actually had people come into the church I ministered in because they saw how I was able to work with such a blatant aggravater of people. It was paradise for awhile; I was a sort of "great uniter." But the person never really repented, and sowed seeds that eventually drove the pastor out and undermined the music program to the point that the church needed a total overhaul (again)... and that's what brought me to Oregon.
Hey, I'm talking Galatians 5 party-spirit animals, metaphorically:)
I get over the top on word-pictures, sometimes. I never metaphor I didn't like.