In this post, I want to talk about how a praise team should work together. This is something that I think most teams could work on and get much better at. With doing so, praise teams could be much tighter in their music and song, in turn, being much more effective worship leaders and causing less distractions.
A common problem that I see when listening to churches and worship music in general, is that their singers and musicians are totally disconnected from each other. It's important that singers and musicians are on the same page; after all, both parties are a part of the same team. Sometimes it can be so drastic, it seems that the singers and musicians aren't even doing the same song. For example, a lead guitar player may be soloing over a chorus of a song while the singers are trying to sing. What you get from that is two people attempting to step out and take the 'lead' on that section. That is exactly what we want to avoid.
In that particular situation, some people may say that the lead guitar player has a problem with being self centered and that may be so in some cases, but I believe it's more likely that it comes from a lack of knowledge or experience with how worship music should work. The goal in your praise team or worship music should be, well...worship. Just like I have said before, leading your congregation to a meeting with the Lord is what we are after.
Something else I see happen is the band itself is not being mindful of what each other is doing. Sometimes guitar players can get so caught up in what they're doing and staying out of each others way, that they aren't even thinking of what the piano or bass player is doing. This can happen in every way imaginable and it's very easy to do. I'm sure that anyone involved in music knows exactly what I am talking about.
So, how do we fix it? Well, listen to the music. Don't just hear it, but listen. If it's a song that your team is doing written by someone else or is a well known song, then encourage your team to listen to their specific part. But, not only their part, but other instruments and/or vocal parts as well and where other instruments step out. Make sure everyone on your team is mindful of what the outcome is supposed to be and that everyone has a good idea of what is going on. Make sure that you are using your rehearsal times to fine tune the song, not just learn it. If you're using rehearsal times to just learn songs, you will miss details. If it's a song you or your team has written, then have everyone get together and learn their parts and stick to them. Make your song solid and work well by learning from other 'successful' songs. Whatever the case may be, make sure what you are doing blends in with the song and adds to the music, not detract from other things within the song.
Instruments and vocals are only tools to make music, which will lead to worship in your congregation; make sure that you and your team are blending well and working together to reach the common goal.