Distinctive Features

Role description of the Contemporary Worship Singer based on the research conducted by Dr Daniel K. Robinson (© 2011):


Distinctive #1: The role of the Contemporary Worship Singer will be enriched by an understanding of Church worship history and the use of singing as a corporate activity by worshippers throughout the Christian age.

Distinctive #2: The Contemporary Worship Singer participates in the delivery and facilitation of the local church’s theological and cultural orientation to worship.

Distinctive #3: Today’s Contemporary Worship Singer is typically involved in one of five worship styles: Liturgical, Traditional, Contemporary, Blended or Emerging.

Distinctive #4: The Contemporary Worship Singer is required to vocally support the presentation of the local church’s worship style (as stated in ‘Distinctive #3’) using one of the three worship forms (Modular, Thematic and Flow). A clear understanding of a specific church’s worship setting (style and form) will assist the singer in their role.


Distinctive #5: Contemporary Worship Singers are engaged in the modern global phenomena known as Christian worship. By virtue of their involvement individuals support and propagate the phenomena.

Distinctive #6: The Contemporary Worship Singer leads worship and in doing so may inadvertently draw attention to themselves and their skill. Acknowledgement of the individual while in the service of the church should be humbly received and privately submitted to God’s glory.

Distinctive #7: The public nature of the task requires performance. The Contemporary Worship Singer should pursue a balanced presentation that motivates the worship participant to glorify God.

Distinctive #8: Anointed by God to declare His grace and mercy, the Contemporary Worship Singer undertakes the responsibility of leading the corporate gathering as an equal participator in the worship event.

Distinctive #9: The responsibility of the Contemporary Worship Singer drives a desire to honour God with an offering of service that is active in its pursuit of excellence.


Distinctive #10: The Contemporary Worship Singer plays an integral role in the Christian worship space by giving voice to God’s Word, facilitating corporate devotion and encouraging Christian fellowship.

Distinctive #11: The Contemporary Worship Singer seeks to enhance the worship experience of the congregant by providing vocal leadership that does not compete with the corporate voice or the acoustic space.

Distinctive #12: Contemporary Worship Singers use microphones which are generally relayed back to the vocalist via a foldback monitor. Accordingly, individual singers should possess a microphone that is best suited to their unique vocal characteristics.

Distinctive #13: First and foremost on stage, the Contemporary Worship Singer holds a visually prominent place on the worship platform whereby active encouragement of worship participants can be conveyed in a manner befitting the worship setting.

Distinctive #14: The Contemporary Worship Singer may be presented to the congregation on visually prominent screens via live video. The technological enhancement of the individual’s presence should be considered and accounted for in the stage presentation of the vocal performance task.


Distinctive #15: The vocal loads experienced by the Contemporary Worship Singer may vary from low to high. Individual singers should be aware of the inherent vocal loads required by their worship setting.

Distinctive #16: When teaching the Contemporary Worship Singer the application of classical or contemporary vocal tuition should be directed by the worship setting and the predominance of classic hymns or modern worship choruses respectively.

Distinctive #17: Singing harmonies will add to the vocal capacity of the Contemporary Worship Singer; enabling harmonic choices and aesthetic value to vocal ensembles. The ability to read harmonies from written music and sing harmonies from ear is mutually beneficial to the role.

Distinctive #18: The development of vocal skills, including the enhancement of vocal range, empowers the Contemporary Worship Singer with versatility, flexibility and adaptability; all key attributes needed for the service of the congregant.

Distinctive #19: The Contemporary Worship Singer is instructed to practice vocal warm-ups and cool-downs as a prerequisite to excellence.

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