I read Way of Life literature fairly regularly and get updates from them. While I don’t agree 100% with everything that they say, in general, their views are very biblical and solid. In the Sep 3 2010 Friday News Notes (a collection of news items and comentary from the previous week), there was this:
DOES EVERYONE GET A CHANCE TO PLAY? (Friday Church News Notes, September 3, 2010, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143) – The following is by Brian Snider : In many cases, Baptist churches tend to use one church pianist to the exclusion of anyone else who might be able to play an instrument. Having had long experience in independent and Southern Baptist churches, we have seen where this can cause friction and unnecessarily exclude someone from using their talents and abilities for the service of the Lord. One way that this can overcome is by rotating musicians so that everyone has an opportunity to play their instruments in church. One large independent Baptist church in Alabama, for instance, has a head pianist who is in charge of scheduling and music selection for the various instrumentalists. Musicians of any age are allowed to play as long as they meet certain standards of ability and as long as their musical selections are appropriate. They can play offertories, specials or fill in other areas as needed. By using all the musicians in a church who want to play, you give the younger musicians experience playing before an audience, and this practice can eliminate jealousies and other issues that arise when only one person does most or all of the music.
I think that most churches I have been in fit the one described (where one pianist and/or organist) plays regularly. I thought Brian’s suggestion was a good one. Not only does it give others the opportunity to use their gifts, but it lets others hear someone new and lets the player gain experience.
[Update 2012-12-26 12:44:56] The link to the friday news notes was wrong. I updated it.
Image from samhong198 via flickr