A few days ago, my dad handed me “The Creative Leader” by Ed Young. I have been a huge fan of both Ed Young and Fellowship – I visited last year, took a mini-tour of the facility and went to one of their services – pretty incredible. Anyway, I’d say I am half-way through it right now, and I can’t put it down – I can’t finish it because I keep going back and re-reading everything. Other than the cheesy cover, I’d say this book should be in every pastor’s or staff person’s hand who wants to succeed at building a healthy, relevant church today.
There is so much in this book that deserves mentioning, here’s my advice: just read it. But, I will talk about one section dealing with the weekend worship service. Ed has come up with an acronym (I know, cheesy!) for describing the weekend worship service: W.O.R.S.H.I.P. I’ll just give you the really short version.
Welcoming – “the biggest obstacle for most people when they enter a new church is fear. This is especially true for those who have little or no church background. However, it is also true for those who have become disillusioned with other churches”. Creating a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere is key to attracting people. Ed also talks about simple things like not having bad breath, parking lot teams, welcoming teams, information screens, communicating detailed information, following up with visitors, and those who want to get involved.
Organized – “creativity emerges from order”. “Every worship team participant – all staff members who are responsible for the speaking, music, drama, videos, lighting, sound, and stage design – has to be on the same page, working on the dominant theme each weekend”. This is so important, not only for the presentation to be effective, but for the staff and volunteers to maximize their potential each weekend – the more they know, the better job they can do.
Relevance – “What difference does this make in people’s lives?”. This is the question that gives significance to what you are doing. It’s easy to be busy, to have a lot going on, even do it well. But it must matter – it has to, or else you may as well close the doors and tell everyone to go home. If we are not speaking people’s language, meeting them where they are and sharing something that causes them to rise to a new level in relationship with God and others than we are doing something wrong. Look to Jesus who was extremely relevant, always teaching, discipling, and loving people at their level and leading them to new levels of understanding, commitment, dedication, and leadership.