“Let all things be done decently and in order.” -1 Corinthians 14:40 (KJV)
And now for the question that will be the premise of this blog series:
How often do you walk into a completely dark room, close the door behind you, and just stand there hoping that the flashlight app on your phone will light up the whole room (assuming you have one)?
I would imagine that most, if not all, of you out there in Blogland would say “Not often”, “Not at all”, or counter with “Why would anyone ever do something like that?”
And guess what? Those are the appropriate responses.
A HUGE pet peeve of mine is church musicians who invite themselves to play when they haven’t been invited. The “dark room” scenario is the closest real life parallel that I could come up with to illustrate this phenomenon. I’ve only experienced this in church and, after so many years/decades of being a church musician, this is still one of my BIGGEST annoyances. Therefore, for my own sanity, I thought I would put down in “writing” times when it is appropriate to play and times when it is NOT appropriate to play in a given church service… and for the sake of my sanity (yet again), let’s start off with when NOT to play:
FIVE INSTANCES WHEN NOT TO PLAY
1. If there are already musicians in place and you don’t know/recognize any of them, DON’T PLAY.
2. If you don’t know/recognize any of the singers, DON’T PLAY.
3. If your thought/intention is to just “follow along”, DON’T PLAY.
4. If you haven’t rehearsed with the group, DON’T PLAY.
5. If you have NOT been invited/requested to play, DON’T PLAY.
Even a musician with the best of intentions is introducing an X factor when they voluntarily push their musical services into a situation that doesn’t require it. These five common sense instances are a great litmus test to KNOW through and through when NOT to play because the goal (ESPECIALLY in church) is for all things to operate decently and in order.
And yes… “all things” means “all things”. Selah.