A couple months ago a friend of mine was playing drums for a worship set. I was playing bass and also music directing. It was obvious that he had not prepared his parts, and was making things up as he went along. As the music director, I had to give him a ton of input to get him to play the parts that would work best for the arrangements that the rest of the band were playing. You could tell he was frustrated with not getting to just play whatever he wanted. We got through the service and he played the parts we rehearsed. Afterward he came up to me and said, "You know…I really hated that, but I realized that those parts really helped the people worship and connect with God more than the parts that I wanted to play."
We had a really good conversation about the purpose of music in worship. He said, "I had to realize that worship is not my creative outlet to play whatever I want. It’s my chance to serve the body by playing what’s going to best help them worship God. It is sacrificial in nature, rather than selfish."
I understand that as musicians you may want to play something crazy, or challenging, or really out of left field, and while that might feel good for you, it is almost never good for the people who are sitting out in the congregation worshipping. When you play whatever you want without thinking of how it is affecting the song, or the people in your room, that is a very self-centered way of playing. It feels good for you, but is not good for anyone else. It is selfish playing. We are called to self-less playing. Laying down our preferences to serve the greater good.
So when you pick your parts, make sure you are playing not in a way to draw attention to yourself, but to draw attention to God through the simplicity and tastefulness of your parts.
Remember, worship is not your creative outlet. It is your place of service. So play selflessly, not selfishly.