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This continues to be one of the greatest challenges in church music: not only to perform the masterworks with authenticity and integrity, but also to choose and present the simple song or the prayerful response in just the right way.
—Howard Stevenson

A well-rounded worship service will allow people to express their individual gifts. Some can sing solos beautifully; others are trained at keyboard or orchestral instruments. Still others can perform drama or read Scripture effectively.

Yet how are these gifts recognized? How are these people chosen to use their gifts in worship? When and what may they perform? How should the congregation be encouraged to respond? These questions confront every leader of worship. On the one hand, we want people to share their gifts. On the other, we want to offer a unified service that engages the entire congregation in worship.

I've wrestled with these questions often over my years of music ministry. Many times after inviting someone to offer special music, ...

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