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 would encourage you to personally review these questions each Monday as you reflect back on Sunday. You may find it helpful to review them in light of the worship service you have planned coming up in a couple of weeks as well!
Those of you that have been through our worship leader training which began last year will connect the training with these questions. If you are a worship leader that has not been through the training, I would encourage you to check it out. It will help you bring your church’s worship to a new level and your leadership to a higher level of excellence. See more here.
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?
- Was the team’s platform presence appropriate for worship?
- Was each member physically engaged in a way to invite congregational participation?
- Was the team a good example of participative worshippers?
- Was anyone’s movements distracting or seeming to draw attention to themselves?
- Was the team’s attire modest and appropriate? Did it reflect your congregation?
- Was the stage set up in a functional way with clear sightlines?
- Were the aesthetics of the stage conducive to worship?
- Was accent lighting and other lighting conducive to worship without creating a concert venue feel?
- Were the words/images on the screen clear to all seats?
- Was the overall worship environment conducive to participative worship or did it seem more like people were attending a show?
- Did all members of the team seem to know the songs well?
- 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?
- Were harmonies accurate and appropriate?
- Were songs done in appropriate keys for congregational singing?
- Was anyone distracting by being too flashy in their playing/singing or unprepared and not excellent in their presentation?
- How was the overall house mix?
- Was the decibel level appropriate?
- Could the congregation hear those around them singing well (i.e. the platform music was not drowning out the congregational singing)?
- Were vocals heard clearly?
- Was the melody always predominant?
- Were instruments blended well?
- If not using in-ear monitors, were the monitor mixes suitable?
- Did the projected images enhance or hinder worship?
- Did lyric slides change early enough for the congregation to be confident of the next line?
- Do you feel like the congregation was connecting with God in worship?
- Does the worship service engage the people actively in ways other than singing (such as praying in small groups, reading Bible passages aloud, sharing with others how God is at work, praying at the altar, bringing offerings to the front, moving for Lord’s Supper, etc.)?
- What physical gestures, movements, and postures were the congregation invited to participate in (such as raising hands, clapping, uplifted head, bowed head, clapping, swaying, processionals/recessionals, kneeling, standing, prostration, arms open, raising hands, upturned palms, etc.)
- Were all generations seemingly engaged in worship?
- Are you intentionally planning worship to be unified?
- Were steps taken to prepare the congregation for gathered worship by providing resources during the week to guide them in their preparation?
- Did the congregation always know they were expected to sing on the congregational songs (for example, was all the worship team engaged even when only one vocalist was singing on mic)?
- Did the worship team always have a visual and aural awareness of the congregation (i.e. lighting and audio did not negate the congregation from their constant awareness)?
Flow of worship
- Was the opening/welcome well thought out and presented to help put people at ease and invite them in to worship?
- How was the overall flow of worship?
- Were transitions between elements of worship done well?
- Did transitions show variety (quote scripture, use song lyric excerpt, lead in a ministry time, pray, worship teaching, share the background of the song, teach about an attribute of God, connect with a theme)?
- Were the verbal transitions substantive and meaningful?
- Were the musical transitions between songs well executed and helpful in providing a seamless flow?
- Was text link or thematic link involved in any of the song transitions to better connect heart and mind?
- Were there any interruptions to a smooth flow and direction in worship?
- Were announcements kept to a minimum and only included at the very beginning or end of worship?
- Were there times of planned spontaneity? If so, how well were they executed? How well did they engage the congregation effectively?
- Were there times in the worship service that you went “off script” to follow the leading of the Spirit? How well did the musicians and tech team follow? How effective did it seem with the congregation? Do you need to rehearse with your team how to handle these times in the future?
Effectiveness & discipleship
- How effective do you think the team was in leading the congregation into God’s presence?
- If this service is the only discipleship a church member receives this week, how well did you plan and implement the prayers, scripture readings, songs, and transitions to intentionally disciple the congregation?
- Did the service include the three G’s of the gospel story: the glory of God, the gravity of sin, and the grandeur of grace?
- Are you utilizing a song list in your worship planning?
- Did all of the songs you used go through the biblical and musical filters as outlined here?
- Are the songs used in worship showing some variety (hymns, modern hymns, classics, modern worship songs, etc.)?
- Did you limit new songs in worship to no more than one?
- Were new songs introduced in the manner outlined in the article?
- Have new songs been reinforced by repeating them three weeks in a row?
- Did you feel any of the songs you did this week were too long or repetitive for the congregation (the congregation seemed less engaged as the song continued on)?
- Were songs played the same way for every verse, chorus, and bridge, or was there variety throughout the song creating various textures and feels?
- If presentational/representational music was used, did the presenting group come across as worship leaders or a performance group?
- If a choir was utilized, were they perceived as a worship-leading choir?
- Did each member look engaged physically in congregational and presentational songs?
- Did they have pleasant expressions?
- Do you feel the choir was a catalyst to participative worship?
- How effective were the creative elements of worship, such as drama, images, readings, paintings, interpretive movement, and video in the service?
- Were they prepared and presented with excellence?
- Did they help engage the hearts and minds of the worshippers?
- Did the use of these creative elements point people to God rather than attract attention to the person presenting?
- Were prayer times a substantive and an effective modeling of prayer to help disciple your congregation?
- Were spontaneous prayers in the service substantive or full of overused phrases?
- Were people encouraged to take a posture of prayer such as kneeling, hands uplifted, lifted eyes?
- Were people encouraged to be more participative in prayer times by praying aloud, praying with others, silently praying guided prayers?
- Are prayer and personal worship stressed with your teams?
- Were you and your teams spending time in prayer for the worship service and for the participants and leaders throughout the week?
- 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?
- Are there relational issues or difficulties among the team members that need to be addressed?
- Are there spiritual issues that need to be addressed in any of your team members?
- Are there commitment problems that need to be dealt with?
- Was your pastor actively engaged throughout the worship service?
These questions are merely suggestions to help structure your times of evaluation. Why not make plans now to evaluate an upcoming service?
What other questions do you think are important to the process? Include them in your comments.
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This evaluation is based on the in-person worship leader training that we offer. Click here to learn more. See the box below for self-paced, online training.
I love this checklist. You included the question, “Did all of the songs you used go through the biblical and musical filters discussed in this book?” What book is this a reference to and is it still available? Thank you for all that you do.
David, thanks for catching that. This list is actually part of a book I hope to release early this year, and I missed that reference. I have changed the post to send you to another post on the blog that details the filters mentioned there. When the book is available, I will post something on this site. Thanks for reading!