In these 9 blogs, we look at some of the reasons why congregations are not participating in corporate worship today. Worship through song has been and is very important to the Christian walk. Songs with proper theology inform our view on God and teach us about His character and His love for us! We are then reminded throughout the week how glorious and how beautiful our God and the gospel are as we sing! Therefore, it is critical that we do everything in our power to help congregational participation in worship to Develop People to Love Jesus and Serve Others in accordance with our mission statement!
To see the 9 reasons in the original article: https://ncbaptist.org/9-reasons-people-arent-singing-in-worship/
Reason 5: We have created worship services that are spectator events, building a performance environment.
I am a strong advocate of setting a great environment for worship including lighting, visuals and inclusion of the arts. However, when our environments take things to a level that calls undue attention to those on stage or distracts from our worship of God, we have gone too far. Excellence – yes. Highly professional performance – no.
Pastor Will’s Comments:
Ooof… I think this one hits me as a preacher as much as Worship Leaders! We are creatures who love to be praised, to have praise lavished upon us, being the center of attention. It can easily turn from us leading to congregation to better and more fully worship Jesus, to us showing off our ability to preach a good sermon or to perform using our musical talents. Even if no one thinks our leading is about us, sometimes our motive: to hear that we did a good job or any other praise, should inform us that there may be a piece of us that seeks those affirmative words, not from our heavenly father but from our friends and church members. Yet, this is wrong as our affirmation should primarily come from God, not others.
Church leaders are to create environments where people are called to participate and to engage in worship in both spirit and body. How are we to measure the effectiveness of our worship? I believe congregation engagement with our Heavenly Father that morning should help inform our measurements.
Now, there are different ways to measure this. Are people engaged? Are they singing along? Do they look happy or sad? Does it match up with the worship and songs we’re using? Has there been a tragic event in their life that informs their worship? How can we best call them to worship, or respond? We can lead through song, we can also lead through pausing and waiting with silence or with instrumentals. We can lead through reading bible verses. How are we calling our congregation to respond? It certainly must not be by the praise they lavish upon us.
Final point: We don’t perform (even though we strive for excellence) and we don’t call our congregation to spectate. We call those who are listening to respond. Through singing, clapping, tears, lifting of hands, kneeling or however best God calls them to respond in that moment. Are we building atmospheres of response, or atmospheres of spectating?
Parkland Community Church:
We Exist to Develop People Who Love Jesus and Serve Others.