I wrote a little blog about “worship plants” to bounce the idea around – we had some good responses. This kind of got me thinking more about modeling worship, or just modeling period. Worship leaders are leaders, and leaders “model” behavior for others to see, follow, and learn. If I say expression in worship is important, then I had better model it when I lead and when I worship (on and off stage).
I am constantly encouraging our staff to model that corporate worship is important by being in the room, sitting up front, being expressive in their worship (clapping, singing, smiling, etc.). I think it is crucial that the church sees it’s leaders being excited about singing together and worshiping God in that way. It’s important for them to see that we as leaders value this time.
But… Here’s what typically happens on any given weekend at LifeChurch in busy southern California. Our staff and people get busy in “relational ministry” and by the time they realize that they should be thinking about going inside for corporate worship, it’s almost over – so they get in for the last song, maybe two if they are lucky. Now I am not bagging on anyone – and in fact I have seen my encouragements taking effect, and seeing more and more people get in the building for worship.
Here’s some other things that we are doing to help get people in the doors:
– Starting on time; we are not waiting until people get in to begin.
– Producing a better countdown. We run a 3 minute countdown that begins 3 minutes before the service. We turn off all the lights except some uplighting on the stage. We turn up the music a few extra db’s for the countdown so it really pumps. Right now we are using DCB, “Can You Feel it”. It really builds anticipation.
– Keeping the doors closed until we run the countdown video. This allows people to build up out in our Town Center, and then more of a rush when the doors are opened.
– Closing the doors after the first song. This reduces distractions from our Town Center – a large area for relational ministry.
– Putting away the food after the first song. This helps remind people that service has begun, and again, models that we value this time of worship.
– Increasing the “Invitations to participate” in worship. We’re working on really making sure people know that participation is really what this time is all about (for us). Using language like “sing with us”, “let’s clap together”, “let’s worship”, etc.
– Making sure the words are right! I know this is a no-brainer, but if the words in the screens are not right, or worse, not there, then we have majorly handicapped our corporate worship.
Coming soon: Modeling and Leadership “Do what I say, not what I do”.