Thanks for checking out my breakout session at the conference today. This session was 90 minutes, so these are kind of the bare bones of notes, but I hope they help. Please keep in mind that this is most in the context of worship planning or leading people in worship. I’ll post the audio here when it’s done!
What is worship? Basically, worship is our response to to something we love. Maybe it’s football, or our family, or money. Hopefully first and foremost it’s God.
- So when we talk about worship, we first have to ask, “Who?” So our response, or our worship, is towards God for who He is…not just His name, but His character and nature. Who is God to you?
- Who is God to the people you’re trying to reach? How can you connect them with Christ?
- What other response could we have to God? To the Creator? Savior? Hope?
- He commands us to do it
- Not reasons to worship – it feels good, obligation
- Everything starts with vision. You have to know where you’re going if you want to get somewhere. Once you know who God has called you to be, as a leader and a church, you’re vision will become clearer. It will make decisions easier. You might have good options that every other church is doing or everyone in your church wants you to do, but if it doesn’t line up with your vision, you’ll have to say no sometimes. Nobody wants to be around confusion. Why would a new person want to be a part of something that is confusing.
- We have a clear path. We start with a vision for the church. To reach unchurched people in our community. In order to further that vision, we plan worship services that will be a place where we can worship God together. So we take scripture and put themes around it to help people understand that God loves them. Each week is a sub theme, which supports the theme of the series, which supports the vision of the services, which support the vision of the church.
- Our community is not your community. Get to know the people in your community. Do what they do. Go where they go. It will help you understand how to reach them.
- Don’t just have people “greet each other in the name of the Lord.” Prompt them with a question to discuss. It’ll help them get to know each other.
- Use images from pop culture to help people connect scripture. Jesus spoke in parables, it’s probably a good idea.
- Don’t just have announcements. Have opportunities for people to connect and serve.
- Think outside the box. ie Knock Off series – taste tests for original vs knock off brands to help people connect the dots of authentic vs knock off faith.
- Add a fun opening song. If your theme is unity, open the service with The Beatles’ Come Together as people gather. It’ll break down barriers and help people’s minds become open to see God as bigger than just something we do on Sunday for an hour.
- Worship in private so your public worship is authentic.
- Leaders – lead. By example. Does rehearsal start on time? Are you ready when rehearsal starts? Why would your team member make it a priority to be there on time if you don’t? Do you know all the songs like the back of your hand when rehearsal starts? If not, maybe your band doesn’t need to learn them in advance.
- Start with prayer and devotion. It will help focus people on the reason we do what we do.
- Preparation is vital. If you aren’t prepared, people can probably tell, and if they think about you, then you are a distraction. It will help everyone experience God in an undistracted way.
- Know what your theme is: Pray accordingly; Choose songs accordingly.
- Technical issues or blatant music mistakes are a distraction from the focus of our worship, which is God.
- TRANSITIONS. Make smooth transitions. 12 seconds of awkward silence can kill someones connection with the Spirit. Be responsible with the responsibility.
- worshiptogether.com – for new songs/videos
- CCLI – for charts, lyrics, licenses
- churchstagedesigns.com – for creative stage ideas
- worshipleader.com/Worship Leader magazine
- The Air I Breathe – Louie Giglio
- planningcenteronline.com – worship planning/schedule/organization
- ProPresenter – lyric/video projection
- worshipmatters.com – blogs/devotions/thoughts
- leadworship.com – instructional DVDs/articles
Remember that no matter what we do, no matter how creative or how good we sound, only Christ can transform people’s hearts and raise them to life!