Over the next several weeks, I will share ten practical ways to engage your congregation in worship. I have learned these methods through my many wins and losses as a worship leader.
My prayer is that these ten tips will inspire you to grow in your gifts, so that the church will rise up to its boundless, artistic, and powerfully anointed potential!
1. Be a Worshiper
This may seem obvious, but great leaders always lead by example. Your congregation is trusting you to take them to a place that you’ve been before. They’re not looking for someone that will hand them the keys to a place they’ve never been and then run away. They want you to usher them in.
I believe like never before, people are looking for what is real and authentic. In this day and age, song leaders are the last thing we need. We need honest and passionate worshiping leaders!
This is just a theory, but I think the reason why reality TV is exploding right now is because we all want to see how someone will honestly react in a certain situation. We’ve grown tired of seeing people say what they’re suppose to say when they are told to say it. We want to know what’s really going on inside their heart and then watch how it will manifest itself. This is one reason that it is so critical that we rise up and bring the world authentic worship. It’s because worshiping God is an “in the moment” experience. You can’t worship God yesterday or tomorrow, you can only give Him your love and adoration in this very moment! And when God is moving in your congregation, you get to communicate an “in the moment” genuine response to God and let hundreds of people see it. More than programs or perfection, people want to see you lead them to the place where God’s power is moving and changing lives!
Being a worshiper when you lead is your greatest weapon against burnout. If all you’re doing is providing a worship time for your church, you will last no more than a few years up on stage. Here is the secret — you have to learn how to let God bless you! In 1 Chronicles 4:10, Jabez says, “Oh, that You would bless me and enlarge my territory.” Putting it another way — “Bless me, O God, so I can be a blessing!” Whether it is spoken or not, this is my prayer whenever I get ready to lead. Looking back on my life, it has always been those times when I’ve learned how to enjoy God and let Him flow through me that He has done the most powerful things. Don’t be ashamed to say, “Bless me, O God, so I can be a blessing!”
To conclude, worship is like a feast. We make people hungry when we eat in front of them and then offer them what we are having. I don’t think the psalmist could have said, “Taste and see that the Lord is good,” if he had never tasted himself. Learn how to experience God with a joy that is deep, and then our church, our neighbors, and the entire world will want to join the party!
Next week, I’ll discuss how being yourself helps engage your congregation in worship.