We're starting to put together a praise band at the bigger church I serve, as well as install a new video system for projecting worship lyrics, art, etc.
The current line up of instrumentalists is from 2-5 guitar players, one bassist, a drummer who is pretty much using only a snare at this point, 4 singers, and me, who plays mandolin and sings. The thing is, I know the bassist would rather play straight guitar, and I think i've heard that one of the guitarsts would rather play drums. We're very much at the shakedown stage, getting to a place where we will have a stable lineup. Because it is volunteer, and the focus isn't making it big but rahter leading a worship service, these shakedowns can take a while.
I was talking about it with the musicians at my smaller church, both of whom have been session musicians, and they seemed to think that it would be a good idea for them, too.
So I am contemplating picking up the bass. I know I am not going to be any sort of prodigy, but I think I can keep a decent beat. I also don't feel like I am "leaving" the mandolin, this is just a way to be of service.
I have found out, so far, that you can get a decent one-box bass startup with guitar and amp for about $250. There are also used places around.
We'll see how the idea feels after some time.