Jonathan Howe told me I was opening a can of worms by conducting this Twitter poll.
He was right.
Still, I wanted to hear from churchgoers what their favorite and least favorite instruments are. Some of the responses were anticipated. Many were not.
- Piano — Piano is not only a favorite; it is one of the few instruments that did not also get mentioned as a least favorite.
- Acoustic Guitar — This instrument was a clear second preference.
- Organ — This instrument was also the number one least favorite. There seemed to be a clear generational divide here.
- Violin — The violin and the organ were only one vote apart.
- Cello — This choice surprised me. Maybe it should not have surprised me.
- Organ — Wow. There were very strong negative sentiments here. One person wrote, “I will ask God for permission to haunt my wife if she allows an organ at my funeral.”
- Tambourine — I was surprised at the negative sentiment here. Apparently, many churchgoers believe this instrument to be the choice of those not musically inclined.
- Drums — Again, there was mostly negative sentiment here, but the reasons for the negativity varied.
- Handbells — Handbells did not get one positive vote.
- Banjo — I can’t remember the last time I heard a banjo in a worship service. Maybe there’s a reason for that.
I was also fascinated to see the “one-vote wonders,” those instruments noted by only one person.
- One vote wonders, favorite: Hammer dulcimer; mandolin; and ukulele.
- One vote wonders, least favorite: Oboe; jazz flute; whistle; kazoo; harmonica; recorder; tuba; shofar; cowbell; accordion; chimes; and saxophone.
I bet this discussion will be fun. Let me hear from you.
Posted on January 11, 2016
With nearly 40 years of ministry experience, Thom Rainer has spent a lifetime committed to the growth and health of local churches across North America.
More from Thom
I LOVE the saxophone and the French horn: could listen to them in any setting!
Thank God for his good I am starting ministry and I am looking for international ministry for guildness