This past Sunday I asked my worship team a question:
"How can we better connect with our congregation in 2016?"
After the usual sarcastic remarks of getting rid of the stage, passing out tambourines at the door and inviting anyone on stage, the conversation became beautiful. We began to discuss what it would take for us to connect with people and for our people to connect with God.
Here are some of those insights:
- Having conversations with people off the stage.
- Choosing songs that connect with our demographic.
- Stripping back and simplifying the music.
- Allowing more space to flow.
- Singing more familiar songs.
It was really beautiful. It was less about how can we become more impressive and get more recognition to how we can connect people to Jesus. And for me, that never gets old.
It never gets old to see young people awaken to the glory of God.
It never gets old to see suffering saints declare they will not be shaken.
It never gets old to see a lost soul turn to Christ and find hope.
The moment that gets old is the moment I should stop leading worship. Because worship isn't about me at all. It's about people awakening to the glory of God.
Awakening is happening all the time. Everywhere. God is calling. God is drawing. We as worship leaders are creating those environments.
The conversation showed me how self-centered I can become. I can choose songs based on what makes me sound cool. I can pick styles that will cause others to think we are "progressive." It can become a game of drawing attention to our innovation.
Can I challenge you?
Stop wishing you had an audience that appreciated your talent ... rather, start to serve the actual people who gather every Sunday. That may be 15 people. It may be 15,000. Honestly, that's my prayer for you and your team in 2016. It may not be the kind of change that gets a lot of attention on earth, but in eternity its echo will be heard forever.
A Question Your Team Needs to Ask
So what does your worship team need to do this year? Ask that same question: "How can we better serve our congregation in 2016?"
It may mean singing Cornerstone again because that's what people engage with.
It may mean choosing a style that helps people worship rather than makes them watch.
It may mean being less flashy.
Or it may mean a progressive idea. Maybe your church is in a rut, and new songs would breathe life into a miraculous experience that has grown dull.
Maybe you need to worry less about how you look and how you sound and start to worship with a broken heart again—to cry again, to feel again.
I'd love to hear from you. What would it take to connect with your congregation more in 2016? What is holding you back?
David Santistevan is a worship pastor at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
For the original article, visit davidsantistevan.com.
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