Tuesday, August 16, 2011

#241- The Imperial Praise Team

There are situations and then there are Situations. I think we are dealing with the former here, but I could be wrong.

Once upon a time, the Platform served as the facilitator of the distribution of Prestige within the Church. There was the Pastor. And then the elders. And then the Platform Musicians. While the spiritual demand was not nearly as high for the platform musicians, their place on the platform was a testament to the relentless Ego of men and women to claw their way to fame. If you don't know how to preach in the UPC, dont fear, because you can always  try and become a musician.

There the stakes are much more glorious and far more violent than the tyranny to be a speaker. TO be a UPC musician does not mean you have to be called to it. All that's requested is that you have a drive to be a musical force....

I'm wandering. I will go back. I apologize.

Okay, the point is the Praise Team Man.....

At the likes of Bible Colleges and big churches, there is a healthy bit of competition to look good and sing good so people will notice you. Of course to get noticed you need to be on the platform, singing.....

A hierarchical ladder is thus created within our ranks where the best looking and/or the best singers can sing.

And the Ego's, my goodness.... The Egos of the Platform. You should know about them..... But that's a different post which I will probably always be too lazy to write about....

But there are also people who love worshipping the Lord. I don't want us to forget about them. They exist.

But the real controversy, to me at least, is the decay of the Praise Team as we know it. Traditionally, the Praise Team consisted of 3-4 singers on the platform leading the church in wonderful chorus.

But, alas, we live in a day of tolerance... Where kids are forced to enjoy bike rides with helmets on their head and one can no longer say the word "handicap."  And likewise, within tolerance, there are no winners and losers.... There are just people who really believe in themselves and others who have less faith in themselves..... It is not a coincidence that those who "believe in themselves and chase after their dream" are also ridiculously good looking or gifted with an amazing amount of physical talent.  

The point is, with the rise of a society of tolerance, we have lost the platform to tell people they are bad.

And thus Praise Singers keep singing. Bad Praise Singers. And no one has the guts to tell them to their face, "hey kid, you don't have what it takes." Now I am all for Bad Praise Singers. Give me a team of mutant singers still worshiping God in spite of themselves, and I guarantee you the Holy Spirit will be there because they won't be able to fake God being there. It's a platform of the Talented musicians who try to perfect their craft that I am deeply suspicious of.....

Anyways, in this age where one can't say "Bad is bad" but rather "Bad just means Try harder" the one symptom that goes unchecked is the Ego. Now we have a day where Bad singers think they are just as good as good singers, and good singers just talk behind the back of the Bad Singers smirking at how stuck up the Bad Singer is.

What's the point? Well the analysis above is my one theory for what I observed in a video of youth Congress....

Evidence Here:

 In the above image, there are 10 "Xs." Each X designates a Praise Singer. Now if each X is a Praise Singer, and there are Ten 10 Xs, then if my math is right, there are 10 Praise Singers for the worship service at Youth Congress. That's right, 10 praise singers....

Now, perhaps the need for ten was simple: There were bad praise singers originally, and the only hope of drowning their voices out was MORE PRAISE SINGERS. Perhaps Phil Specter had it right when he invented the "Wall of Sound." The more praise singers, the more that bad disappears.

I highly doubt this theory...... Because I know most of those singers on the platform (if not all) are indeed good singers....

So perhaps what we see, in this age of tolerance,  is the inability for someone to pick the best singers over the really Good singers....

Maybe, but i'm not even convinced of that....

I don't know what's going on, but ten praise singers is definitely not necessary. I can't hear the difference between two voices, let alone ten voices.

Keep in mind that Youth Congress is just an example (which has always had a cluster of singers way beyond the designated four), and that I have observed the trend of the Imperial Praise Team who is always growing in numbers at many churches and youth rallys.

So this problem only results in more questions: At what one point does a Praise Team stop being considered a Praise Team and start being considered a "Praise Choir?" If we have passed that point, then the only reason we still call the Praise Team a "team" is because it still implies a distinguishing of personalities and faces on the platform. Once a choir is formed, the individual identity is crushed to a mass of formless faces. Egos couldn't stand that.

Is anyone else noticing this problem or is this in my head? And if your church needs someone to come in and tell a few girls "hey, I know you mean well, but your voice doesn't mean well to our ears," I am your guy. I will do the job for fifteen dollars flat.


  1. It's just you. Next you should probably trash the preachers that preached at YC2011. Or how about the Bible Quizzing Promo guy who in 5 minutes promoted not only Bible study but a Holy lifestyle...What was he thinking. Hoe dare he tell us to live right PFFT

    In fact, Change this Blog to "Stuff Rebelious Appos Hate" Fits right along with your Heart.

  2. You make my heart go BOOM BOOM BOOM John...

  3. This post shows that this blog lost its purpose a long time ago. At what point do you say "You know what, I think we covered it all by post 200." This blog was fun to read for awhile but now its just ridiculous.

  4. Oh another person with a clever name for the blog! So unique! So original! Get this man a medal.

    As for the anonymous commenter-we here at Stuff Apostolics Like, INC. we admit, there's not much more to write about, so we write about lesser common nuances that we see in our individual experiences. Posts have become sparse, and we apologize that our newer posts aren't as strong as when we first started out. We admit a partial loss of interest and a narrowing of topics to write about, and we apologize. Topic suggestions are always welcome.
    Otherwise, we will continue to write because we enjoy it, but we recognize the subject matter is becoming more limited.

  5. @john you know the 90 foot Adam might be worth a post. Or the guy that went on and on about needing more young men to inter full time ministry (not disagreeing) and not once mentioning the young women or bi-vocational ministry.

    btw totally loved NAYC11 and I wish I was not too old for NAYC13.

    @joel how is it after 241 posts the blog search does not get a hit on Iving Baxter, and only one on the antichrist (#87 Plastic Bracelets and Headbands: ...)? And were is the article on the GOP? What is more Apostolic than proclaiming the Democratic presidential nominee as the antichrist?

  6. John it is so on like whoa....,

    I think i asked you a while back, but as a more rational and practical Apostolic, do you want to write for the blog?

    I need energy. I have lost the spunk, but it's also me just getting sick of my self and the niche i carved for myself which only allows for a playful postmodern cynicism for the most part....

    But yes, good suggestions and I will write them soon...maybe.... and as for Baxter, i try keeping names out of the blogs which takes much of the potential comedic value for this blog away...

    But seriously, you want in to write for this joint (if I haven't asked you already)?

  7. I see so many petty things on this blog. Why is no one encourging people to reach souls. As far as the praise singers what difference does it make they are there to lead us in praise no judgement. I truly question the Christianity in most peoples life because few are truely Christ like.If it is not your hearts desire to see souls saved they why even go to church or do you go to try t pick the splinter out of someones else eye. Just saying.

  8. So in your noble quest to reach souls, what brought you to this blog? How did you have time to read and type your comment? Shouldn't you be witnessing?

  9. Puzzled why if there are a dozen competent Christ-committed singers or other musicians in a gathering, only 4 should be allowed to bring their gift to the congregation in helping lead the musical part of worship. Churches should not be so oriented to "the show" that they discourage people from developing and using their gifts.

  10. There is no need for "Praise Teams"! God hears our worship of Him in perfect harmony.