So we've hashed and rehashed performance based playing versus purely worship during service times.
But my question is this.
If you are putting on a show / outdoor gathering to reach your community. Is performance / showing off / solos acceptable in your eyes.

This last Saturday, we held an outdoor Safari.carnival totally free to the public. We were gathering supplies for the Hurricane Ike refugees.

In an event like that, you aren't necessarily there to "worship". But you're still doing it for God's glory. Is is okay to go a little "overboard" there. To do the crazy leads.solos.etc?

Im curious as to what responses this will get.

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Well one way you could look at this is this - a) the public come along to something to be entertained, b) You want to give them a good time, c) Therefore you serve them d) To do this you give them the best "entertainment" that you can (whilst hopefully communicating some truth and it's up to them whether they take any notice of the truth!) e) To serve them and to give them a good time you do the best you can to make a good "show"
f) they come back next time 'cos they enjoyed themselves
g) maybe they'll check out your church sometime h) hopefully some of those who check out hte church will stay and commit their lives to Jesus and be won from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of heaven!

So I guess, for me, the answer is YES, GO FOR IT!

Well, let's just say that if you can do keyboard solos AND dance at the same time, you will leave a downright unforgettable impression. Too bad I'm over here in Singapore, or I'll jump at the opportunity to show all you youngsters a thing or two about putting on a good show... :)

Just kidding! So how did the whole thing go? :)
Hey thanks for asking.
We collected a great deal of non-perishable food and water.
Im not sure how we did on the supplies collection (chainsaws, etc).
But there was a pretty good showing.
We asked the bloodmobile to be there, along with pet adoption, recycling, and a number of other local businesses came out to do giveaways.

I didnt do any showing off as Im pretty new to the band setting.
(This was my first "gig" as the other band members called it).

Our bassist had a wireless plug so he was able to run thru the crowds and get some audience reaction. that was pretty cool to see. We were on two flat bed trailers so there wasn't a whole lot of room for any funny business. (two electrics, one acoustic, one alternating singer, drummer with full kit, bassist and myself on keys).

Although I could not hear myself, due to the monitor setup, we got a lot of great feedback. There were a few new faces at the 11am service so that was awesome to see.
We do this every year for a big cancer event, Relay for Life. We even like to mix in some secular songs that are just fun to play. I agree with everything Mark posted. Serve God's people and maybe you will bring someone to Christ in the end.
We just went through about 3 of these over the summer jsut trying to create community interest for our church plant and we played everything from Tomlin to Lynard Skynard and I must say, right or wrong, we had a blast! My guys were hamming it up every opportunity they could. I think that it is okay for worship musicians to just be musicians sometimes.
thats good to hear.
I know that often times we can get so carried away with the concept of being "reverent" that we forget the joy of the Lord.
thanks for the replies
I think the public hears such great music all the time, if we DON"T show them that we can be talented and entertainers in the church, it's just one more reason for a person not to be interested. I'm all for providing a great show at an outreach. But not during church worship.

My friend Jerry Hotrod Demink ( or spent his secular days learning from and playing with blues greats - and now he's saved, loves Jesus, and totally rocks for the Lord. We hired him last year for our fall festival which is an outdoor outreach event. Key word: OUTREACH.

Jerry wears a motorcycle helmet and does handstands while doing the splits in the air and shredding the guitar solo the whole time. He always jumps off stage, goofs off with the crowd etc. But Jerry is verytalented musician and can pull it off professionally.

I think he's good example of excellent OUTREACH type of minister.. Last year we had neighbors show up at the church who heard the music and wanted to know what was going on. They stayed for the whole concert. These were not Christians!

For worship during a church service - Jerry goes acoustic and mellow usually. No showing off.

Oh - I forgot the best part - Jerry set his guitar on fire last year on stage (nifty trick he has), and when the fire burned up the back of the guitar read "Know Jesus?" great segway into an evangelistic sermon :)
What's the difference between my friends and I warming up on wednesday night and letting loose with some 1980s rock, and letting loose with some Christian rock? We're just warming up, and one vs the other HAS a message, even when that's not the point. Does it hurt to have a little fun? Do we have to APPEAR Pious all the time? Let me be the 'Jerk' here. If we don't actually care about the human element, and how we present our music to non-believers, then we do we work so hard to make sure we please the human side in our churches? Coffee, Air Conditioning, Etc.

Another side to why you should: What if Joe Sixpack-Biker Dude is riding by a church, and hears a burning solo across the parking lot: He might find out we have fun in church! :)

I personally used to have a problem with playing solos at church, til our associate pastor pulled me aside, and told me that's when he let go the most during worship events. Again, I try to play it like the record so there won't be distractions, but that's another thread

I'll be missing our Outdoor event this saturday, for the first time in years. Some Doctor is gonna take out a couple of discs, and add a nice steel plate to my neck with six shiny new screws!

Great Post

I am sorry to hear about your surgery. You are in my prayers.
well i for one, believe that the main thing that worship bands (Mine included) have forgotten about, is stage presence, if you can solo like crazy on guitar, why not do it? God gave you the ability so show him how you have cultivated and practised your playing all for him :)....
just make sure it isnt for personal glorification, if thats what its for then no dont go near it. but if you genuinly want to show God that you appreciate your talent show God :)
Well there is a group on facebook called "Christian music should have more guitar solos"
I agree with Robby, we are all musicians and im assuming we all love playing so... i think its cool to just rock out sometimes :)
I dont think its so appropriate for during services, unless its perhaps a song that the congregation isn't singing along to. But i think for festivals etc its cool. We gotta show people Christians know how to have fun while playing music.. So long as we remember that the reason we doing this is to bring God glory and not for us.
this is a tricky subject to say the least. Whenever we play/sing we are on some level performing and if we are honest with ourselves we all probably enjoy the "applause" we sometimes receive. Yes we are doing it for the glory of God but I know that there is a part of me that needs the affirmation of the gifts He gave me. It's part of the reason I play at coffeehouses and festivals. When I lead worship, though I still love to hear that I did well, my all time best compliment is: "Bizzy, when you lead worship, it's like you disappear and all I can see is the cross" We all should seek to be invisible when we lead but strive to excel at whatever we are doing for His glory.


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