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What Makes a Compelling Worship Service?

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In an article I wrote years ago for Churchleaders.com, 8 Surprising Insights from a Former Pastor, I shared 8 key insights I’ve learned during months I was a former pastor. I’ve served 32 years in vocational ministry and took off the past 18 months to write, coach pastors, travel, and begin another master’s degree. I also began to consider what makes a compelling worship service. The Churchleaders.com article prompted many comments and one pastor emailed me to specifically ask about this point I made in the article.

Churches must plan and deliver a compelling, Spirit-filled worship service and sermon each Sunday. I’ve known this intellectually, but now since I’m on the receiving end I see even more its importance. If someone takes three hours out of their day of rest to attend church, they better feel that it was worth their time.

What Makes a Compelling Worship Service?

Having visited many churches over the years and then joining one as a non-staff member, here’s what I believe can help make a compelling worship service that would encourage people to want to come back.

1. Transcendent:

When people come to church, I believe they should experience what they wouldn’t have at a ball game or a movie. Those services that I attended that made me most want to come back left me with a sense that I had truly met God, that I had felt his presence and power in the service and that Jesus was elevated high.