Sometimes your congregation won’t be as enthusiastic as you are. That’s okay.
If you’re a worship leader, you’ve probably experienced the following scenario:
The pre-service countdown timer ticks down to zero and you welcome the congregation. You lead the church through the first song, and then the second, and then the third. You are pouring yourself out – all your passion and energy – into worship. As you look around, there are not many people participating. Actually, it looks like they’re just staring at you! Is there something you can be doing that you’re not? Is the problem them, or is it you? We all know that this can be frustrating.
Let’s talk about a few things to consider when developing a culture of worship:
- Cover everything in Prayer.
At Church of the Highlands one of our mottos is ‘Pray First’. We believe that everything should be covered in prayer well before you ever step on a stage. Why? The presence of God is what we’re after. One moment in God’s presence can change anyone’s heart and move in any situation. Worship and pray when no one else is watching. Your worship on stage is an overflow of your worship offstage. Not only do we pray for God’s presence and anointing in our personal prayer times, but we also pray together as a team during rehearsal times and in our pre-service meetings. We want to be in God’s presence first to be able to lead others there as well.
- The best way to lead others is to truly engage in worship your self.
Now more than ever, the opportunity for distraction is present during worship. Not only are you focusing on musical excellence, remembering the lyrics, and stage presence, but also now with the addition of worship technology to modern worship services there is a lot that can steal your attention. The key here is to let the music move from your head to your heart. Get so comfortable with your instrument and environment that you don’t even have to think about it. Why? More than a musician or worship leader, your congregation needs a true worshipper.
With more and more churches moving to multiple services, make sure that every service is given the same energy and passion;
even the last service of the day with the smallest attendance. It may be your second or third service, but it’s their first.
- Understand the spiritual season of your church.
Have you ever been a part of a service that is packed out due to a holiday such as Easter or Christmas and the response was not what you expected? It seems like the opposite should be happening, right? What we have to remember is that some weekends, even some months throughout the year, are “high visitor” seasons. These visitors may not have the spiritual maturity that allows them to freely worship. They may be new in their walk with Christ and not comfortable enough to open up and that’s okay. Start to learn these seasons for your church and prepare your team ahead of time.
- Teach your congregation what Biblical worship is.
What kind of worship does God want from His church? How does the Bible say to worship? Consider the possibility that you may have members who have never been taught how to worship. During a transition moment between two songs, share a scripture that describes how we should worship. Ask them (if they’re comfortable) to raise their hands in surrender to God. Bring the music down dynamically and back off of the microphone so they can hear themselves singing out. It may be beneficial as well to talk to your pastor and suggest a message or series about worship.
Above all else, let’s worship God because He deserves every bit of our lives and our praise.
Let people see Jesus and everything else will fall into place.
Psalms 29:2 – Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.