This is a great question that I’m sure some of you are still struggling with. To be honest, when I was thinking about starting this blog, I had to ask myself this same question several times!
What is a Worship Drummer?
To answer this question, we need to look at and answer two other questions:
- What is worship?
- A Simple working definition I use is “worship is worth-ship”. That is to say we show worth to someone or something by giving of ourselves, our time, our money, our resources. In our case, as Christians, we’re created to worship God and are called to live a life of worship and to do it in spirit and in truth. (Roms 12:1-2 // John 4)
- What is Drummer?
- For now, let’s just agree that a drummer is someone who plays drums 🙂
Now that we quickly have a working definition we can answer that bigger question of what is a Worship Drummer.
Simply stated, a worship drummer is someone who puts the heart before the beat. Without this distinction, we would just be drummers. As worship drummers, we have a whole other responsibility which is of no bearing in secular music — the heart of a worshiper:
- We play for an audience of One
- We lift the name of Jesus above any/all names (yes, even our band’s name)
- We wage war with the unseen world
- We follow the leading of the Holy Spirit (and the worship leader, of course)
I know it’s sometimes a struggle to be humble and serve, while at the same time being in the spotlight and being applauded by hundreds of people. Let’s come together and challenge one another to a higher standard of living and playing.
What do you think we should add to our definition of a worship drummer?
Join the discussion 12 Comments
I also think that worship is no time to hold back. if you play with lots of power when you at home just messing around, dont you think Jesus would want to give him you all?
I agree… but the next question I would ask is how do you play with power and still play to the room? (i’ll write a post on this in the near future)
9drums is a percussion instrument
Agree with you, Chance! Worship is no time to hold back. If anything, it is the time to lay it all out there. A max-effort love offering to the One that is my reason for being behind the kit anyway. It’s not “me” time it’s my offering to Him time and to praise Him for opportunity to join with others leading His people into his presence with song.
I love Psalm 33:3 and it’s message to the musician…give it all you’ve got! 🙂 He is worthy of our best!
Amen to that!! Make sure you have extra sticks in your stick bag 😉
I’m really enjoying this worship drummer blog. Excited to see what other topics you come to discuss. I’ve been playing on worship teams both youth and adult services for 12-13 years (not that that’s important), but I say that to say spiritual maturity is important and mindset is more important drumset. I’ve seen SKILLED drummer ruin worship services because of fancy rolls and uncalled for fills and chops. To me, a worship drummer is a servant behind the drums. He’s the foundation of the music. We gotta carry the songs in such a manner that it’s looked at as offerings to God. Im not trying to get all deep and stuff, drums are drums lol. To make a long comment short, a worship drummer is to put himself last and to LISTEN to his team.”
Great perspective Gabriel. Hope to hear more from you. Glad your a part of our new community 🙂
i agree with the point made here by Gabriel. what you saw though was not a “skilled” drummer.. just someone who knows some ‘fills’ and ‘rolls’ etc. A truly skilled drummer would not ruin a service in such a way, he/she is nuanced and know when to hold back or when an appropriate fill is needed. just my ‘two cents’ = )
Hey Lisa, thanks for sharing.. even if it was only your “two cents” 😉 it’s appreciated!
Good point! It gets somewhat frustrating at times when you speak with those in the congregation / audience who are not musicians (and in this case especially not drummers)because so many of the comments are from honest ignorance about drums & percussion (the so-called compliment “way to ‘bang’ on those drums”, etc.). This is all the more reason to emphasize that you are serving the Lord by helping to lead in worship…not performing. I play in a small church and it calls for extreme control and professionalism in the way I play so it does not detract from worship. Some still believe that the “sound shield” is to quiet the drummer…when I continually have to teach them that it is primarily for sound system control purposes and the drummer should be enough of a musician and sensitive to surroundings to control dynamics. Life is a learning process…I still enjoy playing for the Lord after years of playing for myself 🙂 Love the site by the way!
5am, 3hours before church and I asked myself this question. Psalm 33:3, wow beautiful. Definitely sharing this with my team today. Thank you so much, it’s not about the spotlight, it’s all about God.