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Joe McKeever: How to Liven Up a Dull Worship Service

I was heading to church one Sunday morning and talking to the Lord.  “Father, do something we had not planned for today. Something not in the order of worship.  Make your presence known.”

Five minutes before the service, an usher came to me out of breath.  “We have a motorcycle gang here!”

That morning, I delighted in introducing the local chapter of the Christian Motorcycle Club. Twenty or thirty men and women dressed in leather and denims stood to greet our people.  Once a month, this wonderful collection of originals conducts a “steeple chase,” in which they choose an unsuspecting church with whom to worship. Almost invariably, the congregation is surprised and then, eventually, delighted.

This group amen’d me throughout the sermon. They could really liven up a service by their presence. I thanked the Lord all the way home for the joy they brought into our worship that day.

I was visiting a small church not far from my house. As the leader of the SBC churches for metro New Orleans, on Sundays when I had no assignment, I dropped in on our churches and shared their worship.  The service that morning was uneventful and perhaps a little boring.  The 9-year-old kid on the pew behind me seemed to doze through most of it.  But then, he came alive.

Toward the end of the service, a layman was taking prayer requests from the congregation.  Finally, he said, “Before we pray, does anyone have a praise report?”

That’s when the little kid spoke up.

Still enjoying the victory of his favorite local high school football team two nights earlier over a highly ranked team in another state, when the man asked for praise reports, the kid said, “We kicked Hoover’s butt!” The place exploded with laughter. The service ended on a high note.

My only regret was that this little episode did not liven up the start of the worship service instead at the conclusion. It would have been a far different hour.

We can’t plan spontaneous eruptions like this, of course. But we can ask the Father of all Worship to take charge of the service and to do as He pleases to make our time meaningful and worthy of Him.


This article on how to liven up a dull worship service originally appeared here, and is used by permission.