I can only speak from an evangelican Protestant perspective. I've been attending churches like that for a long while. In them, there are a few songs from the Methodist Hymnal that a lot of folks might recognize, but by and large the music is "Praise and Worship Music" that has a lot more similarity to 1970's singer/songwriter and folk music than it does other hymns. Some of it's pretty good and rocks pretty hard. Some of it's pretty good and creates a good mood of worship. A lot of it stinks out loud.
I have played bass in a Praise and Worship band. There are some nice advantages. One, you have a gig with an audience every week. Two, you get to play something new that you haven't heard on the radio a gazillion times (assuming that you don't listen to Contemporary Christian radio stations anyway). Three (if you're a guitar player), they are meant to be sing-alongs. This means that the keys are often keys in which guitar players infrequently play - so you get to practice some different chords. Four, arrangements are expected. People don't complain, "Hey, that's not the way Zepp does it..."
Usually worship sets are three or four songs, and maybe additional song time during collection, or maybe the guitar play picks out a subtle and contemplative tune during prayer time to add to the mood.
It's a lot of fun. The key things to me for playing in a Praise and Worship band were two-fold. First, the audience is an audience of One. Two, the other folks present are encouraged to participate and when it all comes together and everyone's having fun and grooving and singing and praising it's a kind of fun that's tough to describe. I guess these are really just two sides of the same coin.
Down side - rarely applause. That's not what it's all about, but I'm immature enough to admit that sometimes when I've done a really good job on the bass and everything was grooving that it'd be nice to have an ego stroke. My problem, not the congregations.
- Big D
Granted B chord amnesty by King of the Mutants (Long live the king).
If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome! - Mekidsmom
When in doubt ... hats. - B.G. Dude