Whenever people mention “Worship Leader”, you might first think of the dude that plays the acoustic guitar.
This hasn’t always been the case. When it comes to worship music history It seems like the acoustic guitar shows up in different eras.
A look back
Now, just so we’re clear. Worship has been around long before the G chord. Worship is an incredibly broad subject of ascribing worth to God, but in this case, we’ll be talking about worship music in the church over the last 4 decades.
In the 70’s you had the Jesus Movement. It was marked by 12 string acoustics and the good ‘ole Applause by Ovation.
Then came the 80’s with a strong move in the keyboard led worship styles. This was pretty dominated by the Hosanna Integrity music movement.
It was in the mid-90’s that the guitar started to creep its way back up to the top. Songs like Did You Feel The Mountains Tremble began to sweep across the globe with its heavy U2 guitar influences. Vineyard blokes like Brian Doerkson and later Brenton Brown were writing guitar driven songs that were influencing the church.
Then of course Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman and the Worship Together movement of the early 2000’s began to pick up and may have caused an entire shift to happen within Christian music, making sure that the “modern worship” niche grew into a huge part of the CCM market.
After that it seems like everyone who was a “lead worshiper” played the guitar. I love guitar. That’s how I started leading worship.
My dad played it and then passed it on to me. It was when I got a hold of those early “Cutting Edge Band” recordings that I specifically had a love for the acoustic guitar. In 1995 Jars of Clay came out with their debut self titled record. And with Delirious and Kevin Prosch doing their thing during that same time I was ruined.
But anyhew… Guitars rule. The acoustic guitar will always have a huge role in praise and worship music. It’s portable and pretty easy to play. Especially when you consider that nearly every praise and worship song can be played using 4 to 5 chords.
Learn those chords, get a capo, and you’re ready to plant a church!