The Importance of Evaluation in Your Worship Ministry
When was the last time you did an honest evaluation of your worship service? I’m not talking about just sitting around on Monday morning asking, “How did it go Sunday?” While that kind of evaluative interchange can be helpful, doing a much more intensive evaluation will be better at helping us give our best to God in worship.
I would suggest that you video your services and then sit down with your key leaders, the entire worship team, choir, or others and give an honest evaluation of the service. The video will help greatly with some of the areas of evaluation, while others would be assessed only in the live service. I have compiled a number of questions below to aid you in the evaluation:
- Were facial expressions of the vocal team/choir appropriate for worship?
- Were body movements appropriate for worship?
- Was the dress appropriate?
- Was the stage set up in a functional way with clear site lines?
- Were the aesthetics of the stage conducive to worship?
- Were the words/images on the screen clear to all seats?
- Were the songs played at the correct tempo?
- Were vocals sung on key?
- Were instruments played in tune?
- Were the worship leader’s cues noticeable and easy to follow?
- How was the ensemble playing?
- How was the overall house mix?
- Were vocals heard clearly?
- Were instruments blended well?
- How were monitor mixes?
- Did the projected images enhance or hinder worship?
- How was the overall flow of worship?
- How effective do you think the team was in leading the congregation into God’s presence?
- What specific things are hindering effective leading?
- What (if any) have been recent technical difficulties that need to be addressed?
- What (if any) musical issues (singing off key, performance issues, instrument too loud, etc.) need to be addressed?
- What is God doing in the season of the church? Is worship connecting with that?
- Are there relational issues or difficulties that need to be addressed?
- Are there commitment problems that need to be dealt with?
- Is prayer and personal worship stressed with the group?
- Additional questions:
I think you’re onto something very important here. But I also think it’s important to involve the whole church in the evaluation, and to make it an ongoing and intentional process. With the best will in the world, our “times of worship” are laden with traditions, subtle or subconscious assumptions and (in some cases) unwritten rules. A single congregation can hold a surprisingly wide range of expectations regarding corporate worship, and these expectations are rarely examined honestly or held to account.
Perhaps a couple of well-worn phrases are quite telling here. One is the aforementioned “time of worship”. I’ve never heard a sermon called “a time of learning”, the notices called “a time of administration” or the offering called “a time of giving”. What do we mean by “a time of worship”, and what do we think happens to our relationship with God when the music, so to speak, stops? So then, what exactly is “a good time of worship”? I don’t believe there’s one right answer, but that doesn’t stop a given congregation reaching a consensus that seems good to the Holy Spirit and to them.
A second telling phrase is “bringing people into the presence of God”, and variations on that theme. How do you bring a group of believers, who are already seated with Christ in heavenly places, into God’s presence? What we mean, perhaps, is bringing people into a shared emotional experience that makes them feel like they’re in God’s presence. If so, what do we think God’s presence should feel like, and why? My son once asked, when aged around 4, “What’s it like when God talks to you?”. I told him what it’s like, at least for me. Moments later he gave what I can best describe as a detailed and accurate word of knowledge. Which was great, because I could then tell him, “THAT’s what it’s like when God talks to you!”. There’s no reason we can’t similarly learn, as adults, through practice together, to discern right from wrong.
how then can i evaluate the media team can you send me an evaluation form for the media team now on my email PLEASE!!!!!!!
I cannot agree more that we need to be constantly reminded that what happens in worship is NOT entertainment. This shows a constant battle in many churches today of seeking entertainment rather than true worship–which is fueled so often by the consumerism of those in the pews. As I have written in several previous posts, the entertainment mindset is far too prevalent in our churches–both traditional and contemporary models of worship and everything in between.
While the worship service is not a time of entertainment, many of the same issues that the entertainment world encounters must be dealt with in the church. Is the choir or vocal ensemble heard well in the sanctuary? Are the parts blended well? Are instruments played in tune? Are the instruments (organ & piano or band) drowning out the vocals so they cannot be heard? Are vocals sung on key? All of these issues are important to provide an environment conducive to worship with a value on excellence in our offering to God. Everything from inappropriate dress to a choir/vocal team that looks like they are mad at the world can distract from our times of worship. Poor projected images, especially if the congregation is reading Bible passages lyrics to songs from the screen can be a drawback to worship and hamper participation–thus leading to spectators.
I have attended worship services of varying styles where the sound of the music and speaking was awful. Balance of instruments and vocals was poor. Visuals were hard to read. All of this led to an experience that made the time of worship more challenging
So no matter if your church is of a traditional style of worship or more modern style, these issues are still important to consider.
I think the vocabulary of your assessment instrument says a lot about the problems/issues of popular worship forms today: stage, body movements, dress, screens, projected images, vocals, house mix, monitor mix, and so forth. This is the language of the theatre and the recording studio, isn’t it? It also perhaps illustrates why we continually need to be reminded that what happens in worship is not entertainment.
I like your first questions. Tom Jackson and the team at http://expressiveworship.net/ have got some great material on stage communication.
-Are the people singing?
-Are they engaging physically, emotionally
(these you can probably judge from just watching) …
-Are they experiencing a transformational encounter with the Living God? (you’d probably have to ask, have testimonies on this one)
-Is everyone on the team both discipling and being discipled? Can you name names?
-Are the physical acoustics of your room set up to encourage people to sing?