Just keeping you up to date with what I’m doing regarding my PhD.
So two weeks ago I visited a church that my friend goes to called The Gospel Centre in Wood Green N8. Yeah it was totally great I had a really good time the people were friendly as well.
Here’s what I learned:
- The person who greeted me at the door was a man
- The people who greeted me the most were men
- Their lead pastor was a man
- They have male as well as female worship leaders
- Their worship sessions are split into two sections
- They will happily have a male lead one section and a female lead another section
- The worship leader is not necessarily placed at the front of the ensemble
- They had two female singers, neither played instruments
- All the male members of the worship group I saw that Sunday played instruments
- There were more male than female members in the group that Sunday
- The female members were placed in the centre of the ensemble
- They had no bass guitar but the lower end of the piano, the EQ on the rhythm guitar and the trumpet covered the wavelengths that the bass guitar would have otherwise occupied
- After church the female worship leader lead and rehearsed the choir
- The female worship leader did not play any instruments when leading the choir
- The female worship leader relied upon a male musician to accompany the choir
- All but 1 of the soloists were female
- The choir contained more women than men
- Possibly because this was a musical opportunity that did not require the participants to play instruments and from going on what I saw it appeared as though more men played instruments than women and I was told that the church in general was enthusiastic about music but lacked lacked musical ability
- The women were more timid singers than the men
- The male members of the choir led the female members, as the females relied upon them to know when to come in
- The female members of the choir were better singers than the men
- Despite the above point and there being less men in the choir, then men sang the loudest
- No women played instruments that Sunday
- The female worship leader knew how to operate the sound desk, typically a job done by men
- The female worship leader, although lacking in practical musicianship skills had good management skills, accompanied with a reasonable level of musical knowledge of harmony and timing, making her still an effective choir master
- The female worship leader was personable and I was reliably informed that she worked very hard with the choir to get them to the standard that they were.
- The female worship leader was assertive, wore trousers and was African-Caribbean.
- The female worship leader was educated and had a job
- The ethnic mix of the church was about 50:50 Caucasian to non-Caucasian
- All of the melody instruments were played by Caucasian men and all of the rhythm instruments were all played by African-Caribbean men giving in to ethnic stereotyping.
- They had times of ambient worship, where there was no singing but giving people space to commune with God, in their own way. I liked this and I will try and incorporate this into worship sets at my church.