This train of thought has been spinning around in my head for the past few days, since I attended a meeting at our Temple earlier in the week. It goes something like this...
Most people who belong to our Conservative congregation--this is an educated guess, mind you, I have no hard data on this -- do not keep the Conservative-style mitzvot (Jewish laws) outside of the synagogue proper. Some of them have Kosher homes, but some of them don't, and many of them eat non-kosher outside the home. Some of them regularly (or occasionally) attend Shabbat services, but most of them do not keep Shabbat. Many of them drive on Shabbat. Some of them work and shop on Shabbat. Most of them likely use electricity on Shabbat. Lots of the kids do sports on Shabbat.
There is a kind of fiction going on. A "let's pretend". Let's pretend that people are more observant than they actually are.
So when an issue comes up, like, should we allow instruments to be played on Shabbat as part of a way to increase spirituality and connection in the Shabbat services, my issue is: who is going to be offended? The rabbi? A few congregants? Or, really, does a large portion of the congregation really not care in the least? And if there is more to be gained than there is to be lost: why not do it?