Saturday, September 1, 2007

Discussion #6: Corporate Worshippers

This is an extension of my previous post about Distractions in Worship.

As I was reading and thinking through this issue, I came to the conclusion that there are typically three types of corporate worshippers. (note that I am talking about believers…a seeker cannot worship a God he/she does not know)

The first corporate worshipper says/thinks/acts: "I'm not into singing. I don't have a good voice. I prefer to worship by listening to those around me sing." This is not Biblical as the Bible is full of commands (not suggestions) for believers to sing.

The second corporate worshipper says/thinks/acts: "I love singing with all that I am. I have my own worship style, and it's unique. I know I'm loud, energetic, etc., but that's just how I am. I don't care what others around me think about my energy and volume because it’s all about God." This is not Biblical either as the Bible tells us to put each others needs above our own, as well as that our time of corporate worship should be about serving God AND serving others, and that corporate worship should not be a time of chaos.

The third corporate worshipper says/thinks/acts: "I'm here to worship with the body. I'm here to add my unique voice/style to the unified song. I'm here to glorify God and edify the body by worshipping." This is the Biblical approach.

Corporate worship is about worshipping together. Just as a renegade minister can distract and derail a ministry team, an insensitive worshipper can move the focus of a worship service from God to themselves. Just as a lazy individual can frustrate a mission team, a quiet worshipper can suck some life out of a worship service.

We can say what we want about hurting feelings, limiting someone’s worship style, whatever, but none of that should keep us from taking advantage of a teaching opportunity…leading worship is only part of the responsibility of a worship leader/pastor. Teaching about Biblical worship and helping others to grow and mature in their understanding and passion for God is something we can’t afford to sacrifice.



Tom said...

What a great point Nate. From those sitting in the pews affecting the people sitting around them to those of us who are up front leading in worship we need to really think about approach numbers one and two and avoid that at all cost.

travis ham said...

Good stuff. It's interesting that I've actually had folks on our team who have expressed difficulty leading in one of our services that seems to attract more #1's. I would be curious if you have any ideas of how to communicate that while the team up front is to lead the rest of the congregation, even folks in the congregation need to recognize that lack of participation can bring about distraction that lessens the focus of other worshipers on Christ, and unfortunately bringing undue focus to themselves. It's one of those thing that you hope you never have to address. Now the question becomes: how to address it while maintaining unity.

MilePost13 said...

Teach It - On Sunday morning, in small groups, in one-on-one casual conversation, whenever you get a chance.

Exemplify It - Move the band to the back of the worship space, keep the band in front, but turn the to face the same direction as the congregation, get rid of the band completely, encourage your pastor(s) to lead the way (side note: I've noticed that most congregations worship with the same passion or lack of as their lead pastor, not their worship leader/pastor).

Show It - Take people to other churches, to concerts, bring other churches to your church, show videos.

Identify It - When you see somebody growing in this area, recognize and encourage them privately and publically.

Repeat All.