The Durban Central Baptist Church is one of the oldest churches in Durban, and South Africa in general. The church is situated at the heart of the city of Durban, in the eThekwini metropolitan and is home to many believers from different nationalities making it one of the most cosmopolitan churches in the city and in the country.
The Praise & Worship ministry is one of the many ministries within the church contributing to the advancement of the work of God and keeping the light of the gospel burning. The ministry is led by young people and offering the bridge of youth ministry whereby young ones in the church learn different musical skills – playing instruments: piano/keyboards, drums; and vocal training.
Our mission as the worship ministry is to lead others into all-out, uncompromised worship of God. Our primary purpose is to give God the glory, honour and praise that He deserves.
As the ministry we envision to be true and greater worshipers of the Lord in humility, intimacy and passion.
As the ministry we learn to lead others living a life of faith in calling, competence and character as we worship the Lord.
- Learning: as a group of people we work to improving our effectiveness at leading worship and as disciples of the Lord Jesus. We desire to live the likeness of Jesus by growing and maturing through disciplines of personal worship, prayer and fellowship.
- Lead others: as a group we lead the people here at DCBC with regard to worship, and desire worship experiences that bring others into very presence of the Lord, thereby allowing a profound opportunity for the Holy Spirit to touch souls and heal hearts.
- Living a life of faith: all believers are called to be worshipers of the Lord and we are called to serve in the Body of Christ. We embrace His hope and direction, and seek the Lord about our own personal calling. Ephesians 1:18-19
- Competence: we serve the body with our gifts and talents and we strive to improve ourselves as musicians and technicians in order to bless the Lord with our very best; not for our glory, but for His. 2Chronicles 34:12; 1 Chronicles 25:7; Colossians 3:17.
- Character: integration (integrity) of character with the principles and values of the Christian life are critical to serving as ministers of worship. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.
- Humility: this is a very public ministry that is under submission to the Lord and to the authority He has placed over us. We are a group united by our service to the Lord and we are intent on living out Philippians 2:2-7
- Intimacy: the ultimate goal of worship is intimacy with God. We seek His presence. It is one of the greatest mysteries of the Father’s boundless grace that God, the Creator of all, makes Himself accessible through His Son, Jesus so that we can have relationship with Him. Deuteronomy 33:12 Song of Solomon 2:4-6
- Passion: without it we are only doing some kind of intellectual exercise. God made us with a mind, emotions and a will. He desires us to come to Him with our whole selves offered as living sacrifices as our act of worship to Him. It is passion that drives us, that keeps us running the race with endurance. Psalm 108:1-3
As a group of individuals and seeking to serve the Lord, there need to be some commitments and one way to measure such is always to have some minimal requirements to which potential members measure themselves if they have what it takes to be part of the ministry. Yet again in case one feels they do not meet the requirements, this offers something to shoot for so they might join when they feel the time is right for them. Below are some of requirements to join the praise and worship ministry:
- Being an active Christ-follower or believer
- Skill with instrument/voice
- Free from addictions
- Being a regular church attender
- Outgoing personality
As group we are bound by certain values that keep and/or tie us together. These characteristics are linked to the work we do and in relationship to the one we serve, our Lord. Values need to be kept in check firstly at individual level – as individuals we watch personally over these pieces of the art; and the leaders provide more guidance and leadership watch over all members.
- A passion for God
- Constantly learning
- Assuming the best about each other
Members of the Praise Team need to be Christians and should live lives that reflect Christ in them. If there are problems along the moral line the leader needs to deal with it, if there is no improvement that person may be asked to step down from the team until further notice; this because the Worship Team is a position of leadership it is not the best place for Christians that struggle spiritually and are not living a lifestyle that reflects Christian maturity.
Team members need to make worship and practice a priority in their lives. Ministry often involves a sacrifice – this often expresses itself in a time commitment. Being faithful to a ministry means committing to being there and being there on time. This means being there on time to practices and also being there in adequate time on Sunday morning.
Team members who disregard starting times for rehearsals and meetings or fail to come to them have evidenced this lack of faithfulness and will not be allowed to play/sing in the service.
In Private Worship – Team members need to be worshippers throughout their week and worship God in their own private devotional lives not just on Sunday morning. Every member needs commit to enter into a spirit of worship on Sunday morning before church starts.
In Spiritual Growth – Each member of the team needs to be responsible for their own spiritual growth and commit to developing their spiritual walk with the Lord. Stagnant spiritual lives means a stagnant praise team. As a group we need to encourage and challenge one another to go deeper, not just play and sing music.
In Public Worship – you as a leader need to initiate singing, clapping (lifting hands if appropriate). Confusion results if there is no definite initiating leadership.
No one has ever “arrived” – when we think we have we settle into complacency and are already on a downward slide. This means being open to one another, to new ways of looking at things and open to correction (ask others what they think of how you are doing).
We need to point to Christ and not glorify ourselves or our musical ability. “He must increase and I must decrease.” John 3:30
Humility will receive constructive criticism and be open to the comments and ideas of others.
Pride and stubborn insistence on our way is what causes fights. Christ’s attitude of humility needs to be reflected in thinking about the needs and ideas of others first.
We should never “wing it” in any ministry and this should be reflected in our worship with careful planning, practicing and execution. This does not mean we are there to entertain people but we need to do our best and bring God glory through our ministry.
Musicians and vocalists need to work at their music so that they are proficient and it flows well.
Mistakes and bumbling should not distract or detract from worship.
We should never be content with where we are at but always seek to become better at what we do and serve God with excellence. Therefore we need to be committed to improve ourselves and our abilities.
Kids are an exception to this rule as they are learning, but people are usually very forgiving and encouraging when kids play/sing. People are not as forgiving with adults and visitors only give us one opportunity to lead them into the presence of God in worship.
Every praise band needs to view itself as a small group and a team. Our musical goal is to flow as a team and draw people into the presence of God in worship. Our heart attitude should not be to shine forth our own talent or skill but to work at the ministry of worship as a team. As such individuals should not be seeking to showcase their voices or musical talents. We need to lead in such a way that the people do not even see us up there.
It also means that we need to be careful that we don’t take a “my way or the highway” attitude (James 4:1-3). Maturity in Christ means being able to work with each other and thinking of others and their ideas before our own (Philippians. 2:2-4). Any differences need to be dealt with in love and seek to foster peace (James 3:17).
Some people are very gifted musicians and/or vocalists, but they find it hard working with others and have trouble flowing with the team. We want to encourage these individuals to please look to Jesus, ask him – how do you want me to serve you?
Praying with your team at practices and before services, and during on demand/period intersession prayers. But most importantly be a person who seek God’s face and find delight in his presence.
Building each other up with positive comments and affirmation. As a team members we need to always assume of the best of others. Where and when a friend stumbles, we need to encourage them with positivity.
- Attend Practices – Every team member is required to attend practices (and Sunday morning warm up). If you cannot commit to be at the practices you will NOT be prepared to lead worship – you will end up “winging it.” This is not acceptable and you will not be allowed to serve Sunday morning.
- Lead in Worship – initiate don’t hesitate (that only brings confusion)
- We should not have wishy – washy worship where people don’t know what they are supposed to do. Announce to people when to stand and when to sit.
- Be right on with your starts and closes – practice, practice, and practice so that you know when to come in and if you will be doing the song more than once etc…
- If the song lends itself to clapping or some other action discuss it with the team as you practice.
- Know who is doing which components of the service (Welcome, Scripture, Praying for Offertory…). The leader needs to discuss these things beforehand.
- Pray for the service beforehand with the pastor and the team.
- Help – your team and team leader in any way that you can. Your Praise Team Leader should give different people opportunities to plan and lead the worship and you can help by volunteering to do different components.