Worship "Plants"


I’ve wondered about this for a while now… We all have people in our churches who really enjoy the music part of a worship experience. They clap, cheer, move with the music (in some churches they actually dance!), they are in church early, or at least on time. They really help raise the level of participation when they are there and encourage others to sing along, clap, and be a part of what is going on.

So I’m wondering should we as leaders encourage these people to continue and to actually be strategic about “planting” them in our services? Putting them up in the front rows so people can see their enthusiasm? I know for example, that these types of people will stay standing unless otherwise told, whereas the other majority sit down at the first chance. These people clap no matter what, while the other majority need to be verbally told that this is the time to clap.

Now I know that worship is much more than singing, clapping, dancing, etc. But it is those things and more. So my question is, how strategic do you plan for participation? Is it just a verbal invitation at the start of the service? Or would you go as far as planting worshipers in your services? I’m really starting to lean towards the later.

How about you?  (Maybe you go to one of those churches where people start singing & clapping at the drop of a beat…)

8 thoughts on “Worship "Plants"

  1. mandy

    alex: one of my team members isn’t the best vocalist but he’s one of our most expressive members.
    so, i have “planted” him on the platform with us do be a worship leader – leading the people in their PHYSICAL expressions of worship.
    its not just about singing, ya know!

  2. Mike

    You’re on to something here, people tend to follow and when they see others they join in. They don’t want to be the first ones at the party

  3. Kyle

    I’ve thought about this before myself. The people in the front influence the mood of a crowd. When I mentioned the idea to some co-workers they thought I was crazy. In my opinion the problem would be if the person that was “planted” was truly experiencing worship or if they were putting on a show because they knew they were being counted on. How can you plant someone without them knowing you want them to be planted?

  4. eric

    definitely plant… I have always encouraged people with the fact that they are just as much a worship leader as I am regardless of whether they’re on stage or not.

    Our choir director, JDubb had a cool vision for this. He would encourage us to strategically place our things (Bibles, purses, jackets) in the congregation so that when we were done with our songs we could intermingle with the crowd.

    Basically, he was strategically placing us as worship leaders in the congregation, so that during worship we could spur on others to worship by example.

    I think it’s a great idea. When you’re choir’s not singing on stage, encourage them to be an example and sing in the seats!

  5. WorshipCity

    I’ve never thought about this before but we talked about it last week at worship rehearsal so it’s something we are thinking about now 🙂
    I’ve definitely seen it work. Our pastor is very expressive in his worship and when he’s on vacation there’s not someone in the front worshipping and it makes a difference.

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  7. Fred McKinnon

    Good stuff, Alex –
    I’ve not done ‘Plants” yet, but it’s a good thought. I’m definitely more strategic about who I place in the front line of singers, etc., on the platform. I have some singers who are much more expressive than others.

    The only thing I have to keep in mind is that as TOTALLY HARD AS IT MAY BE for us to grasp this, there are some folks who are totally lost with music … meaning, they are completely illiterate … they can’t sing, even if they try, they know it sounds bad, which makes them somewhat uncomfortable. They have no rhythm, so they don’t want to clap – it frustrates them.

    We have to keep in mind that although we love and encourage physical expression, and the Bible clearly exhorts (ooh, Bible word!) to do it … the lack thereof doesn’t necessarily suggest that the people aren’t “worshiping”.


  8. eric

    I love what Fred is saying here. I’ve noticed a difference between our first and second services. It’s funny, because our first service is a more “spiritually mature” group of individuals and our second is less mature. Which would lead you to think the 1st service would be more expressive in their worship, right? Not at our Church. I think it has something to do with the people’s inclinations/gifts. We do the same set, same band, usually same energy both services. 2nd service is way more expressive.

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