If you are a hard working, conscientious worship leader, you are always striving toward making your worship better; better for you, for your team, and of course, better for your congregation. Sometimes we just run out of new ideas and need a little push to get our creative motor running again. Here are 3 simple steps to get you moving in that direction.

3 Simple Steps to Dramatically Improve Your Worship Service

Intentional Planning

One of the first things that can slip away and affect our worship quality is intentional planning. Sometimes we can begin recycling worship routines and lose the planning needed for truly creative worship experiences. Dedicating time and effort to the song selection, media choices, lighting, special presentations, etc, can yield a huge benefit in our worship experiences. Don’t just automatically program what you like. Spend time thinking about where your congregation may be coming from on a Sunday morning, both physically and emotionally, and then look at creative ways to help them connect in the service. Get the pastors scriptures and theme and find ways to support those items through music, images and spoken word. Keep in mind that these items are to help the church member concentrate on worshipping God, not distract them from it!

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Increased Participation

Congregational participation is the key element in exceptional weekly worship experiences. The goal is for people to actually worship and engage with God in community, not to sit and watch someone else do all of the action as passive observers. There are two steps to raising congregational participation. First, create as many opportunities for participation as possible. The goal of having everyone participate should govern all of our choices when we are doing our intentional planning. Little things, like key choice for songs, difficulty of melody, familiarity of language for congregational responses, cultural relevancy of examples make huge differences in the quality of participation. The second step is to stop merely inviting the congregation to participate but instead actually tell them how they can engage with the worship actions that have been planned. So often I see a, “they will figure it out” approach to leading a congregation. Why wait for that to happen, if it ever does? Use instruction as invitation and then guide the congregation through this worship experience. The role of the leader does more than show the way. Many worship leaders and pastors don’t realize that congregations are often waiting to be given instruction and then to be shown what is expected (and in some congregations even what is permissible) before they will participate.

 

Impartial Evaluation

So much can be learned about our efforts in worship when we take the time to evaluate our worship experience. Sitting down with trusted leaders and congregation members having honest discussions about what worked as planned, what fell flat, what may have failed to engage as expected, is valuable learning time. Doing so on a weekly basis is much better than, say, once a month. But even once a month is better than never! In order to make this work well everything needs to be on the table; songs, sermon, other activities. Honestly assessing our worship offering and then accepting and learning from that feedback will move you toward better, more consistent worship services. Unfortunately, we are so invested in what we do that we often cannot hear or accept when we fall short. Listening for input and not reverting to constantly defending ourselves is what is needed in this activity. Allow what you hear to then loop back and inform your first step, intentional planning.

 

There are many more steps we can take toward deeper, more engaging worship services. These three steps are basic, foundational activities that will bring you more consistent results and should form the platform of any efforts toward improving the worship experiences in your worship setting.

 

About The Author

Craig Gilbert

Dr. Craig Gilbert is the founder of TheWorshipDoctor.com, a worship renewal ministry. He is a husband, father, and veteran worship leader with over 22 years of experience. His career centers around bringing unity, depth and vibrancy to the church in congregational worship. He is a published writer, clinician, teacher, and preacher. His newly released DVD teaching series, A Purposed Heart for the Purpose of Worship, can be found on his website.

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