Take it or Leave it

I was leading worship and I felt like the congregation could take it or leave it. 💔

I mean, several people were deeply connecting with God, but I couldn’t shake this feeling like the American consumerism had taken hold.

One woman stood there singing pleasantly, holding her cup of coffee.

And that’s pretty common. I’ve done it myself.

I’m not judging folks. I don’t know what’s going on in their hearts.

But when people are having an encounter, you can tell. I know how to read body language.

I get to lead worship in 10-20 different churches a year, so I see a pretty broad spectrum. And a fully engaged congregation is…a refreshing experience every now and then. But this just felt different, starker. I felt…caught off guard.

But what to do?

I was processing this with one of our overseers, and he said very plainly "Disciple them in worship."

See, I was serving at a historically "obviously worshiping" church, but we’d had lots of transition and a ton of new folks. It was time to sprinkle some teaching into our leading.

And I’m certainly not complaining. It’s our job as worship teams to disciple our congregations in worship. If they aren’t learning to be a worshiping congregation, it’s our fault.

Here’s the response I’m suggesting:

  1. Be a worshiper in your private life
  2. See it as your role to disciple others in worship
  3. Don’t settle for typical Sunday morning
  4. Show up prepared

Be a worshiper in your private life
Get the full story in Fertilizer #216, but nothing has a greater impact on your effectiveness as a worship leader as the health of your own worshiping life. Nothing.

See it as your role to disciple others in worship
You’re not a filler, a warmer-upper, an entertainer, a rally-er, a singer. If anything, you’re a trainer, a discipler. But this isn’t an add-on to your identity. It’s not another hat you have to wear. This is your core role. You must see everything you’re doing through this lens.

Don’t settle for typical Sunday morning
Don’t settle for engagement when you can have encounter. Actually meeting with God and allowing Him to transform us with His gospel and His spirit is our main goal for gathering. No ear-tickling, please. (2 Timothy 4:3 NASB)

Show up prepared
You’ve planned your songs, but did you plan your bombs? (Dan Wilt explains what I mean here…it’ll keep you from sermonizing.) I spend lots of time on Saturday evenings and early Sunday mornings thinking about what I’m going to say to help the congregation "get it." How will I activate them? What scripture will I read? How will I say things so they stay off of autopilot? What will I bring that actually disciples them in their worshiping life, by experience and understanding? How can I cooperate with the Holy Spirit and be in alignment with what the Father is doing?

So declare the WORTHship of the LORD, lead your congregation to actually meet with God (Psalm 42:2), and reignite your passion to disciple your congregation in worship.

- Dave

ps. Have you bought your tickets for Drums and Sound Clinic on February 6 and 8? You can win a cymbal pack or a $1000 drum mic kit!!