Christian Worship Music: Instrumental or Vocal?

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


As a worship leader, you may be wondering what is best – to lead with instrumental worship music or vocal worship music?


There is no clear consensus in the Christian worship music world as to whether instrumental or vocal music is more appropriate for worship. There are pros and cons to both approaches, and ultimately it is up to the individual church and worship leader to decide what is best for their congregation.

That said, there are a few things to keep in mind when making your decision. First, worship music should always be God-centered and glorifying to Him. Second, the lyrics of the songs you choose should be biblical and doctrinally sound. And third, the overall mix of instrumental and vocal music should be balanced and not overwhelming in either direction.

With those principles in mind, let’s take a closer look at the benefits and drawbacks of both vocal and instrumental Christian worship music.

The Pros of Instrumental Worship Music

There are several reasons why many churches prefer instrumental worship music. One reason is that it can help create a more meditative and reflective mood during worship services. This can be especially beneficial for newcomers or those who are not yet familiar with the words and concepts being discussed in the service.

Instrumental worship music can also help mask any awkward silences that might occur during a service, such as when someone is taking a long time to pray or speak. Additionally, instrumental music can provide a background ambiance that can make the overall worship service feel more polished and professional.

The Cons of Instrumental Worship Music

There are a few potential cons to instrumental worship music. First, it can be harder to learn the lyrics of a song when there are no words. This can be frustrating for new Christians or those who are unfamiliar with worship songs. Additionally, some people believe that singing is a more personal form of worship, and that instrumental music takes away from that personal connection. Finally, instrumental music can sometimes be used as “background noise” instead of being listened to intentionally as worship music.

The Pros of Vocal Worship Music

Vocal worship music has a few key benefits that make it a great choice for Christian worship services. First, vocals give worshipers a way to express their praise and devotion to God through song. Singing is a powerful form of prayer, and it can be a moving experience for both the singer and the listener.

Second, vocal worship music can help to create a sense of community in the church. Worship songs are often designed to be sung together, and this can help people to feel connected to one another as they praise God together.

Third, vocal worship music can be very accessible for people of all ages and musical abilities. Many churches have praise teams or choirs that lead the singing, but even if you don’t have formal training, you can still join in and sing along with the congregation.

Finally, vocal worship music can be very versatile. There are many different styles of vocal worship music available, so you can choose the type that best fits your church’s needs. Whether you prefer contemporary or traditional style worshi·

The Cons of Vocal Worship Music

There are a few potential downsides to vocal worship music. First, some people believe that vocal music can be a form of entertainment, which takes away from the true purpose of worship, which is to focus on God. Additionally, if the lyrics of the songs are not well-written or thought-out, they can actually serve as a distraction from worship rather than enhancing it. Finally, some people find that they can get lost in the beauty of the singing and forget to focus on the words being sung, which defeats the purpose of worship music altogether.


There is no easy answer when it comes to deciding whether instrumental or vocal music is more appropriate for Christian worship. It ultimately comes down to personal preference, and what type of music best helps you to feel closer to God. Some people find that they can better connect with the lyrics of a song when they are sung, while others prefer the simplicity and beauty of an instrument. There is no right or wrong answer, so ultimately it is up to you to decide what type of music you prefer.

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