When I first sat to write this article, I couldn’t help but return to the statement, “whichever one you like the best.” I hesitate to use such a cliché, and even now it feels like a copout. But the truth is this is the best possible advice I can imagine. Trying to force yourself into a specific type of guitar based on my recommendation could ultimately be a bad choice for you, and for your church. What I can advise on are some things to consider when making your decision.
The very fist thing to consider is your desired tone. If you want crisp sounds and plan to play some funky rhythms, perhaps a Les Paul style, more suitable to big crunchy and sustained chords, is not for you. If you are going to only have one guitar, make sure it is best suited to what you will be doing most often. For me, I usually lead worship, and I play little to no lead lines. I am either not playing at all, playing some light rhythmic stuff, or playing big crunchy guitar rakes in the chorus. I chose a Les Paul style because it fills out a good deal of sound.
That brings me to another consideration: are there other guitarists and what do they play. While it is certainly a possibility to play the same guitar as another member of the band, it is considerably easier to do so if the guitars are different. Having guitars with different timbres of sound will make it easier for you as a player, and easier on your sound guys, to make each guitar sound independent and clean up the overall mix in the room.
I would also suggest finding ways to try out different guitars with your gear. If you already have an amp, borrow the type of guitar you are considering and play it on your gear. To put it very simply, some guitars sound great through some amps, while others struggle. The last thing you want is a guitar you love that sounds disappointing through your current setup. Although if you are a gearhead and relish the challenge of overhauling your entire pedalboard and amp configuration…have at it.
When all is said and done, there is no type of guitar that is best suited for worship. The variables are far too great in number, and the subjectivity makes those variables impossible to navigate. It ultimately comes down to what fits you and your style, as well as that of your team, and ultimately your church. But don’t be too hard on yourself. You will most likely not find a perfect guitar for every occasion, but you can find a guitar you are perfectly happy to play. Taking pleasure in playing as an act of worship goes a long way.