BLENDED 

WORSHIP

BLENDED 

WORSHIP

BLENDED 

WORSHIP

BLENDED 

WORSHIP

Music ministry has always been an important part of The Salvation Army. Over the years, our brass bands, songster brigades and worship teams have supported our congregations and communities through music. Whether it is providing music and leadership for congregational worship or going out into the community to reach others, Salvation Army musicians have continued in their calling to lead others to Christ through music. 

When we look at our brass bands, songster brigades and worship teams, it’s easy to see how different these groups are from one another. The technical set-up for each group is very different. The style of music can vary between the groups. The way we have to learn and approach the music in these various groups can also be different.  If we are to be completely honest with ourselves, this can often leave a platform, and a corps, feeling divided.

The idea of blended worship encourages the coming together of these various music sections for a common purpose – to provide a meaningful time and space for people to enter into worship and meet with Christ. That purpose drives our individual musicians to do what they do, so imagine how effective it could be as a united group. 

The most important task of blended worship is the unity that can be exemplified by music sections coming together. As a body of believers, we come into worship with various backgrounds, personalities and experiences. It is important to recognize that as musicians, the moment we stand in front of our congregations, we are a leader and we are setting the example. We want that example to be one of unity, despite our various backgrounds. This can encourage and demonstrate to our church the importance of unity among believers. If our music sections, as different as they are, can come together in music and provide a unified corporate worship time, we will truly be leading by example.

If our music sections, as different as they are, can come together in music and provide a unified corporate worship time, we will truly be leading by example.

 

 

There are resources available that allow traditional brass and choral sections to join with groups that are driven by piano and guitar. The Hallelujah Choruses series (USA Central Territory) is designed specifically to facilitate this and is arranged to fit worship within our Salvation Army context. This means that full brass band parts and condensed praise band parts are offered. Lead sheets are provided as well as SAB choral arrangements. This allows a worship team and a brass band to play a song together with the songsters joining in as well. What a musical contrast to incorporate into our worship times. Other resources like PraiseCharts also have brass, choral and other musical instruments scored to complement the lead sheets that are available. Just looking at the music aspect alone, this creates a contrast from perhaps the normal way each group does their own thing. It can provide a dynamic contrast and change in tonal color that takes a song to another place musically.

 

Some corps have large music sections such as brass band, songsters and worship team. In other corps, it is a challenge to find enough musicians to provide musical support without laying the burden on a handful of people. This is where blended worship can be tremendously helpful. Maybe a corps only has a guitar player or a pianist, and three or four brass players.  Blended worship, using the resources discussed above, can help cover more parts and congregational singing becomes supported by a fuller sounding accompaniment. It also helps alleviate the workload of each musician as they are able to support each other in the musical accompaniment.

 

Blended worship allows us to present ourselves as committed musicians as we explore new musical ideas. It also allows us the responsibility to lead by example as we demonstrate the importance of Christian unity. When it comes to worship, we cannot worship for each individual. It has to be personal and from their own heart. We can, however, provide a meaningful time and space for them to enter into worship. Blended worship then becomes the entire church worshipping together. 

 

 

 

Article by Heather Osmond

Assistant Territorial Secretary for Music and Gospel Arts

Canada & Bermuda Territory

SA Worship magazine is a cooperative project that has contributors from around The Salvation Army World. If you would like more information on how you can contribute, Please write to your local Territorial Worship Representative.

Editor: Simon Gough - Canada And Bermuda Territory 

Music Type Setting: Nik King - United Kingdom and  Republic of Ireland Territory

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For more information please Contact Simon_Gough@can.salvationarmy.org