“Our Church has Amazing Worship! Do They Really?”

"Our Church Has Amazing Worship! Do They Really?

"And when he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, and THEY SANG a new song...Then I looked again, and I heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders, and THEY SANG...and then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and THEY SANG a mighty chorus... (Revelation 5:8-12)

   I find it interesting that worship in heaven doesn't highlight a particular artist, or a person, or band taking the lead. In heaven, worship is about the congregation being heard with one thunderous voice ("...They sang").  

   For 30 years now I have seen too much of the focus in church be towards the stage and on the production. Those who stand under the lights are seen as "religious pop stars." The temptation to  "soak in" the attention is real.  How they perform a song and arrange it becomes the most important thing as they use their portion of time to bless the congregation with THEIR gifts. Success is judged by the quality of music and how well the lead singer hits the note that makes the congregation say, "Dang, that is amazing (all glory be to God of course)!" The congregation participates in their own way, or... maybe they don't, either way, that doesn't really matter. What's most important is that the performance is flawless so the worship leader can finish and say "All glory be to God!"

   The most unfortunate trend has developed in modern church services; Worship teams are far too concerned about their own performance with little to no thought of the "congregation's performance." The mentality for many is, "All eyes on stage."  The idea that it's actually the church congregation's voice that best reflects the worship we see in heaven, is foreign to many modern worship leaders. Yet, a good worship leader will recognize that it's THE CONGREGATIONS'S SINGING, and THEIR REJOICING that brings God the glory, both in heaven and on earth! This is missing from the mind and makeup of many  worship leaders because such a mindset would require the lowliest of approaches when stepping onto the stage. It would require a training that suggests it's the congregation's participation that best reflects whether the worship leader has fulfilled their calling on that day. Considering the scenes we see in heaven,  worship leaders should be asking themselves, "How do we encourage the church to be louder than us?"

   So, perhaps a shift in focus is in order? Maybe worship teams should "turn the lights around." Maybe in their own hearts approach Sundays as if it's the congregation who's "on stage."

  To the worship leader: How would you encourage the church congregation to "take the stage" and be the voice heaven hears more than your own? Oh, by all means sing, lead, and use your gifts, but if the congregation is left behind, if they are silent while all eyes are on you, then is it really worship? Have you really fulfilled your call to lead?  

   So, here's a challenge:  When you "debrief" at the end of your set, maybe the most important question that you should be asking yourselves is, "Did "THEY sing?" If not, "What can we do better next time to see that THEY  are heard?" That's worship!

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