It’s a good rule. The absence of music stands makes for a cleaner stage, better lighting and more prepared musicians. By enforcing that kind of rule, you raise the bar for excellence and put some healthy pressure on your team.
I’m neither pro-music stand or anti-music stand. My point is more subtle than that. You see, I think churches are still too obsessed with copying what other bigger, more famous churches do. I want worship leaders in small, local churches to realize that every church is different.
Don’t believe me? Take a month off and visit four churches within a five mile radius (or 20, if you don’t live in the South.) You’ll find out that no church is exactly like yours!
When it comes to music stands, there are some good reasons why some churches should leave ’em on stage.
Many of use volunteer musicians. That means our teams are comprised of folks with full-time jobs, and in many cases, very stressful full-time jobs. And yet these people serve; they learn their music, they lug gear to rehearsal, they’re prepared on Sunday and they keep coming back for more!
Why in the world would I threaten these people about something as silly as music stands? My team is good with music stands. They make notes, they remind themselves of changes, they write down effects and patch settings. I start pulling stands off the stage and all of sudden, everybody gets frustrated because the quality is gonna’ drop.
YOU’RE GONNA’ GET OLD
I recently had a conversation with a young worship leader who tried very delicately to avoid calling me “old.” Believe it or not, that didn’t bother me. Because I am getting old. And you are, too.
You know what happens when worship leaders get old? They start forgetting stuff. Like lyrics. Or chords. Or where they put their keys. Before you start making all sorts of rules about knowing the material, leave a little room for grace. Because it might end up that you need it more than anybody.
SEEMS TO BE OKAY FOR EVERYBODY ELSE
You know who else uses a stand?
YOUR PASTOR. How many people walk out of your service going, “Gosh, that preacher must have been totally unprepared! He had to use a stand!”
Guess who else uses one? THE PRESIDENT. “Washington is abuzz tonight with accusations that President Obama doesn’t care about our country. The proof? He used a stand.”
See how dumb that is? If you’ve got important stuff to say and do, use a stand.
Do you have a “no stands” rule at your church? Why or why not?