Churches across our nation are experiencing a shortage of instrumentalists, which is greatly affecting the quality of worship.

For many, the pianist has retired or moved away and there is no one in the church with the skills to fill the position. For churches with organs, perhaps no one is available and capable to play them. For our churches that want to incorporate a worship band, they often are not able to find suitable musicians to fill out a full band.

I see at least two ways the church can address this issue.

First, and most importantly, we should strive to raise up new instrumentalists. Encourage and equip young people in your congregation to learn an instrument and use their gifts in the context of the local church.

Whether it’s piano lessons or taking up a band instrument, we need to do all we can to train these students for the future. Our churches should be incubators for raising up church worship musicians.

For many years, the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina has invested in budding musicians through the All-State Youth Choir to develop singers. Now, this summer, we are offering a new Student Worship Academy to train high school worship leaders. This experience gives students a week of intense instruction in instruments and technologies to prepare them to lead in worship in their local churches and beyond.

The second way the church can address the problem is to utilize technologies to fill in the gaps where we do not have adequate instrumentalists. Whether your church uses a piano and/or organ or a band-driven approach, a number of great options are highlighted on this blog.

In response to this shortage of church instrumentalists, we have developed a new seminar titled “Worship with Limited Musician Resources.” This new training showcases the many possibilities for churches lacking instrumental accompanists.

Encourage the young people in your church to explore the musical gifts, talents and abilities that God has given them. Don’t be afraid to utilize technology and other resources to aid in your worship services until the day we have adequate musicians prepared to lead our churches.

In all we do, may our worship be an outward expression of the glory that is due to our Lord.