I am sharing 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!
8. Be Creative
We should feel a sense of responsibility to be creative because we have the Creator living inside of us. The devil is a thief and a counterfeit. He takes beautiful things that God has made, steals them and corrupts them. All the popular musical styles that we have today have originated from the church in some way or another. From classical music to the blues, these musical expressions started out as ways for people to cry out to God. It’s the enemy who has twisted them and used these and many other styles for horrible evils throughout the ages. So why are we copying the world’s rehashed versions of what was originally ours? We need to stand up and be the creative leaders again!
God has made many of us with a need to create. There’s something inside of us that gets bored easily. We get tired of the same songs quicker than other people, and we’re always longing to arrange something in a new way. We have these feelings because God has put us on this earth to create new and fresh ways of worshiping Him.
As a creative person, I believe creativity should be an important part of our personal devotions as well. Even in our prayers, we should try to communicate our heart to God with expressive, colorful words that have a sense of passion and freshness. Just like a spouse or a friend appreciates it when you say something that has been thought out and sounds sincere, I believe God does as well.
So how do we become creative?
Look for the next thing
Creative people are always looking for the next thing. Some people are good at perfecting established methods, but creative people look to do something in a way that has never been done before.
-Why hasn’t anyone written a song about a certain subject?
-How come we never use reggae, Latin or country grooves in our worship songs?
-Why do we always do the fast songs first?
-Why not have worship after the sermon?
Listen, Listen, Listen
Creative people always listen and observe how things work. Keep yourself aware of new ideas that other worship leaders are trying, and listen to all kinds of music. This will help keep you out of those ruts we are all so prone to get stuck in.
Take a risk
Creativity and risk go hand in hand, because creativity is all about trying things that have never been tried before. Risk is not easy, it’s often scary, and it’s why there are many more critics in this world than creators. But as I discussed above, we creators must take risks because God has made us this way. Here are a few “risks” that might help you keep things fresh:
– Teach a new song no less than every couple of months
– Try new arrangements of old songs and hymns
– Create new medleys of songs
– Sing less songs and recite more Scripture
– Have a team member read a poem they’ve written about God
Next week, I’ll discuss how being a motivator helps engage your congregation in worship.