Church consultant and Christian Post contributor Chuck Lawless just summed up the top 10 distractions of worship music, which he hopes to help improve the musical element of worship, and not come across as judgmental or offensive.
The first he pointed out was incomprehensible choir or praise team words. "I start with this distraction simply because we face this issue so often. The sound system may be poor, the singers may not enunciate well, or the music may drown out the lyrics - but in any case, we miss the message while straining to understand the words," he said.
The next is the unsmiling faces of those leading worship. He clarified that some solemn hymns naturally do not require happy, vibrant faces, but he reasoned that "something is lacking in singing about the joy of the Lord when the singer's facial expression suggests something different." He has noticed some praise teams showing little expression during worship, and that unfortunately does not convey their message.
The third are poor musicians or singers. The next are unprepared singers, which he said are not a result of lack of talent but rather lack of preparation. "Sometimes it seems - right or wrong - as if no one practiced this component of the worship service," he said.
The fifth distraction is "preachy" music directors, who are guilty of "too much talking," which Lawless believes actually disrupts the worship instead of helping it.
Next are songs that are disconnected from the sermon of topic. "It seems strange, for example, when the sermon series is about family but none of the song selections moves in that direction. On the other hand, worship is often facilitated - and the teachings of that service's content are easier to recall - when the musical selections and the sermon content focus in a single direction," he stated.
The seventh is difficult songs to sing, which would pose a problem for the less-gifted singers of the congregation.
Eighth is the weak use of media for lyrics. "If the phrase and sentence breaks on the screen don't match the breaks in the singing, the worshipper may still struggle with knowing how to sing the song. Lyrics on the screen do not generally help worship participants learn the melody," Lawless explained.
Next is the poorly done blended style and last is the introduction of new songs without teaching them first.