Leading Worship: What does success look like?

worship2So I have been thinking about this over the past couple weeks (and forgive me, but this is mainly for worship leaders, musicians, ministry leaders, etc.), but what are your expectations for a worship service? I think this may be one of the most profound questions we can ask each other, because your answer will reflect what you value in what expectations you put on your teams and your church.

Many worship leaders talk about how they just want to see people “get it”, or “really worship”; some say they want to “see God move”, or “have people cry out”, “be delivered”; some wish that “people would just sing”, or “lift their hands”, and on and on it goes. When you have a great weekend at church – what does that mean? Was the church “getting it”? Was “God moving”? What does success look like?

Here is a little check list that I came up with (so of course it is right) to help get things in order before you define a successful worship service:

  • What is the Vision of your church?
    Begin by taking into consideration that each church’s vision for what the purpose of a weekend service varies. Find out what it is – this should come from your lead pastor, or the core values of the church. Write it down, memorize it, stew on it, pray about it, and let it become a part of you. If you don’t do this, you will never be successful because in your heart you will be struggling against the very core of what God is doing in the church.
  • What is the Vision of your personal ministry?
    What has God placed in your heart? Where do you thrive? What keeps you awake at night and drives you all week long? And here is the clincher: does this line up with the core vision of your church (or potential church!). If they don’t line up, or come very, very close then you have three choices:

    1. Ask God to change your heart (and He will, trust me)
    2. Find a new place to serve/work
    3. Waste years of your life in constant conflict trying to convince God that you are right

    That’s it, as far as I am concerned right now – those are your choices…

  • What are your gifts?
    What areas has God gifted you in? What are you capable of? Are you great at that soft heart warming worship or are you an arranger that puts together parts and harmonies and choirs, or do you just rock? Are you a songwriter, a people person, introverted, easily offended, creative, a leader, a leader of leaders, a multiplier (discipler), immature, confident, etc. Find out what areas God has gifted you – designed you for and take advantage of them. This is not to say that you can’t achieve and strive to be more gifted in areas, or maybe God will chose to use someone with less talent to do a great thing. But for the most part, people excel when they operate in their giftedness.And here is a free tip: ask others about your areas of giftedness & talent – tell them to be brutally honest. We are way to into ourselves to be honest…

Mix those three components together:
Church Vision + My Vision + My Gifting = (determines) Ministry Style

Now check this out:

  • Ministry Style A + Great Execution = Success A
  • Ministry Style B + Great Execution = Success B
  • Ministry Style C + Great Execution = Success C

Does this make sense? Our Vision (what God has placed in our heart) + Our Gifts (what God has placed in our minds) determines our style of Ministry, which meets certain needs in our communities; not every need – thus the need for many styles to fulfill many needs. And of course at the end of the day the same basic need is met: connecting people with a loving and just God. That is success – how we get there is the big question and what we deal with week in and week out. I’ll share my restaurant theory of church sometime soon…

So again, what does success look like to you in your ministry?

Next: I answer my own question…

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One thought on “Leading Worship: What does success look like?

  1. theepiphany

    I have found that there is both a practical and a personal side to leading worship and the single adult ministry at my church: the practical side is to be organized and prepared. When i’m not adequately prepared, I am distracted by the details that are not done. The other side is to make sure you are focusing your own personal worship to the Lord, meaning both during worship leading and off the platform. As for everyone else, people will bring with them their baggage, distractions, and disobedience and it’s not the job of the worship or meeting leader to turn their focus, that part has to be done by God. Thanks for this blog, I can really relate to your thoughts.

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