Over the past five years, I have had opportunity to visit many Baptist churches of varying sizes and worship styles. I have talked with worship leadership, many pastors, and associational missionaries. While there are many churches that seem to have vibrant, transformational worship, I have to say that my perception of the condition of worship in vast numbers of Baptist churches (and beyond) is painfully disturbing and heart-breaking. Read more
Last week, I wrote about the church that looked healthy on the outside, yet had some serious issues with what was happening in worship (If you have not read the post, please read that now)
Now, the rest of the story:
That Sunday night, we attended the opening “session” of the worship conference at the second church in the same area. It was actually a worship service involving their choir and congregation with us being a part of the congregation. I cannot begin to express to you the difference in the two churches. Read more
When we look at who we are today, we can often look back into our lives and find things–either good or bad–that have shaped our worldviews, our philosophies, our direction in life, or perhaps our concepts of who God is. I call these defining moments, or in the terms of Henry Blackaby, spiritual markers.
For me, a significant revelation of God occurred about fifteen years ago that forever shaped my views on worship and worship leading. Read more
A few months ago, I posted, Nine Reasons People Aren’t Singing in Worship. I believe it is one of the most important pieces I have penned to attack head on some real problems with today’s corporate worship services. Graham Kendrick just recently released an excellent video echoing these same issues and a couple more. Read more
The way our worship leaders look on stage can aid in or greatly distract from our times of worship. I have witnessed services where the team members were emotionless, non-moving statues on stage. Others have been distracting in their countenance. Some have done a great job engaging the congregation in meaningful worship. Read more
One of the biggest killers of worship is singing congregational songs in keys not suited to the average singer. This problem most often arises in churches with more contemporary styles of worship since the traditional church usually sings from the hymnal, which usually is set in good congregational keys. However, I have witnessed a well-meaning practice in more traditional churches that is killing worship in those settings. Read more
I talk quite a bit about the importance of creating an environment in worship of active participants, not mindless spectators (or “pew potatoes). Unfortunately, I see a culture of spectatorship in all styles of worship in churches I visit.
My friend and counterpart from the Kansa-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists, David Manner, offers some great words on creating “worship tourists.”
Evaluating our times of corporate worship is extremely important to our ability to improve. My friend and counterpart from the Kansa-Nebraska Convention, David Manner, offers an excellent tool for worship evaluation:
Unless an organized plan of evaluating worship based on the deeper biblical and theological issues is implemented, the tendency for congregations to focus on style and service mechanics will continue to consume the energy of worship planners and leaders. Read more
With the great amount of interest in the Awaken worship service that was held the Monday evening of the annual meeting of NC Baptists, I thought it might be beneficial to go through some of the process for planning the service as well as share resources that were used. Read more
Two weeks ago, I wrote a post called “Worship Service Evaluation” where I made observations concerning the things that went well and the things that were distracting in a corporate worship service that I had recently attended. I really struggled with whether to publish the post for fear some people would take my observations the wrong way. Indeed, I received one email that chastised me for going to a worship service with a critical eye. Read more