Over the past months, I have been writing about worship wars and looking carefully at formats and styles of worship services. Now many are asking, “How do we move our church’s worship from where we are today to the desired future?” That’s a great question, and I will take some time to explore possibilities in the next few weeks, but first, make sure the “desired future” is not just your “desired future” for the worship of your church–make sure you have spent much time in prayer, seeking God’s plan and desires.
All of us want to become better worshippers and in turn lead our congregations to a higher level of worship. Here are a few thoughts gleaned from 20 years of leading worship in dozens of denominations, cultures and languages.
- Start where the people are. Begin with songs they know and love and worship God with those songs. Gradually introduce new songs that especially lead people to worship. Make sure that you, your musicians, and your sound people are doing a good job musically with the songs.
- Be a great role model for your worship band and congregation. People learn by watching and if you’re the leader that means they’re watching you. Make sure you’re just not leading songs but that you’re worshipping God as you sing and play. Know the music so well that you don’t have to think about it. Rehearsal time is for learning songs and worship time is for worshipping. Be sensitive and loving to the people you lead. If they sense that you love them and they feel God’s presence in the worship, they’ll be glad to follow you.
- Ask your senior pastor to teach on worship. As people realize that singing, shouting, clapping hands, raising hands, instrumental music, bowing down and other acts of worship are in the Word, they will be more open to doing it themselves. Encourage the other ministry staff and your worship team to be great models of worship. People generally take their worship cues from their leaders.
- Make sure your walk with the Lord is strong. Make sure your worship team’s walk with the Lord is strong. Are you spending daily time with God in prayer, reading the Word and loving people? God’s power in your worship time is directly proportional to God’s power in your daily life.
In the next weeks, I will go into more detail with some of these points and some additional ideas. If you feel God leading you to make changes, you need to proceed with caution and a loving attitude, bathing all that will happen in prayer. A pastoral heart is a must.
I welcome your comments.