Track or No Track?

by Brian Nelson

As worship leaders in today’s music world, the question of track or no track is very real. Using programs to create and cover keys, percussion, or the elusive 2nd electric guitar part, is becoming bigger and more popular. What used to be something only artists did, has been simplified, duplicated, and spread around to the masses.

Tracks have become an incredible tool for many churches. They have complimented bands and made them tighter. They have filled holes created by sudden sickness (see 2nd electric guitar part) and helped bridges be the epic moments of worship they’re meant to be.

However, some leaders overwhelmed by the whole idea. To think about putting these tracks together is too much. Others are too busy. They oversee small groups or other ministries. Or they’re part-time.

Some have consciously decided they don’t need them. It represents a lack of “realness” to them. Having people in the audience hear things that they don’t see feels strange. Still others don’t like their inability to follow the Spirit’s lead (actually tracks can change on the fly, but many don’t know that).

So what’s the answer to the question? Should you use track or no track?

Of course, that question can’t be answered here for your church. But maybe looking at the way we get the answer is more important. How do we decide?

Deciding on tracks is no different than determining solos, lighting, clothing, band size, number of singers, use of choir, song keys, worship style, or countless other decisions (maybe slowly read that list again). Each must be closely examined and separately discussed. Each is important. Looking at other churches, reading magazines and attending conferences will help guide us. Gathering opinions from our team will shape our thinking.

But one question should always trump all other research. One question should trump cool. One question should dominate our prayer times. One question should be the MAIN question we ask ourselves and our team:

Will the people I’m leading worship God more deeply, in spirit and truth, because of my decision? Examine, think, pray, discuss.

If yes, do it. If not, pull it. Even if it’s cool.

Colossians 3:17 – Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.