Today, we explore the third value of healthy worship ministries. The first two values, Telling the Story and Making True Disciples, lead us to the third observation of ministries that have healthy cultures in worship.
Healthy Worship Ministries are:
Engaging the Body – Hebrews 13:15-20
The generational and stylistic demographic of each church is unique and musical tastes vary from setting to setting, sometimes within the same church with multiple venues. Healthy worship ministries know their people, embrace the diversity their congregation presents, and program the worship experiences to be inclusive across the broad spectrum of participants. They guard against creating tension and division within the body of believers around musical style and generational dynamics.
How do you measure success in your ministry? By the level of performance? Or the accuracy of the musicians and singers?
Consider measuring it this way: observe what percentage of the congregants actively participate in the corporate worship expression. If it’s less than most, then you know you may have work to do. There is so much that could be said here – try these one-line statements on for size…
- If you select music for the church you want to become instead of the one you already are, you will probably have low participation.
- If your worship times feel more like a concert than a family gathering, you may not be engaging your church in worship.
- If you have abandoned choirs – either because you don’t know how to lead them or feel like they are a distraction — over time you may be creating a spectator worship culture.
- If you have inadequate sound reinforcement because of a lack of investment or because of operator problems, you may be shutting down participation in worship.
- If your setting encourages non-participation (theater lighting/seating, coffee tables and couches), you will have to overcome those challenges or expect low involvement.
- If you are not pursuing participation in your planning and preparation, you are not likely achieving high engagement.
Engaging the body is a high value of healthy worship ministries. I hope it is true for you and your church.
Mike Harland is the Director of LifeWay Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.