There May Not Be A Formula For Authentic Worship, But There Are Ingredients

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You can’t fabricate worship in Spirit and Truth. It has to come from the heart. I’ve been helping in worship ministry for a long time, and the more the years stack up, the more I realize, there is no formula to authentic and engaging worship. There are times when I feel like it’s all creatively planned, ready, and executed well – but the engagement and response doesn’t seem to match my enthusiasm or expectation.  Other times, I feel at my worst putting it together, and the spirit moves in mighty, unpredictable, and powerful ways.

Though there isn’t a formula for successful, engaging, and transforming worship, yet, there are ingredients.  Here are some of them:

Prayer – Bathing your ministry in prayer allows for several things to happen. First, it moves the heart of God. Second, it moves the heart of the one praying. Third, it focuses our work and ministry on giving God glory.  Do you have a prayer team praying for you?  Do you pray for your church, for worship services, and for your ministry each week?

Preparation –  This particular ingredient is one with which I often struggle.  I think many creative people have the thought that you need to be free in order for creativity to come out.  But my tune has changed over the years and though I am still learning, I believe in full preparation.  It actually opens the door to more freedom, more opportunity for the Spirit to move, and less stress.  Time isn’t a factor for God – He can move in our planning weeks before the need is there.  We’re called to prepare and be ready for what God may do in the life of our church.

New things – When a worship team is trying something new, it seems the team relies more on the spirit. They are out of their comfort zone.  The freshness and energy from the leadership team can be felt all over the room. New things keep people on their toes; it’s inspiring and motivating.  Take a risk and try something new!

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Leading with the people in mind – Worship Ministry Leadership is a ministry of sacrifice.  You have to be available to help lead – not just do the things that help you worship.  There may be songs, styles of worship, or other components that don’t reach you but reach the people you are leading. As an example: for every ten times you have heard or sung a song, the congregation has only sung it once.  It will be old for you long before it’s old to them. Always remember, you are a leader and leaders are servants.

Giving your all – Don’t hold back.  Remember the story of the woman who anointed Jesus with an entire jar of expensive perfume?  Remember the woman who gave two mites – all she had to live on?  Remember the crowd that threw down their coats for Jesus to walk on into Jerusalem?  The old adage says: worship is a verb.  Don’t just be a spectator or facilitator – actively worship with everything you have and everything you are.

Teaching – Jesus taught people how to worship. Never leave teaching out. Unchurched people are probably more attracted to a congregation that is engaged in worship (every day) more than they are to the really put-together worship band on Sundays. An energetic and heartfelt congregation during worship will do wonders for helping people connect with Christ.  Feel free to take a moment on Sundays to teach people how to worship – much like Jesus did when he taught people how to pray, how to serve, how to remember Him and how to live a life after God!

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