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How to Motivate Your Church to Worship God

If you read this blog regularly, you know I’m coming down to the wire on my “kind of” first draft for a book I’m writing for Crossway. THANK YOU to everyone who responded to my previous post asking about the challenges you face as a worship leader. Your thoughts are helping and guiding me as I write.

I had a fruitful day of writing yesterday and actually finished three chapters. I’ve been able to borrow from some of the posts I’ve written on this blog, as well as some material from my first draft of the book. I very much feel the effect of people’s prayers. I’m really enjoying the process of writing, which is completely God’s grace.

The book will contain four sections: What Matters, Your Call, Healthy Tensions, and Right Relationships. In the second section, I take a chapter to unpack each phase of this definition of a worship leader:

A faithful worship leader
magnifies the greatness of God
in Jesus Christ
through the power of the Holy Spirit,
skillfully combining God’s Word
with music,
thereby motivating the gathered church
to proclaim the Gospel,
cherish God’s presence
and live for God’s glory.

Here’s something I’ve included in the chapter on “motivating the gathered church.” When we lead corporate worship, we aren’t limited to simply singing songs. We can direct people to God’s truth in a number of ways. In this section I talk about using brief comments or exhortations to help them focus …

Have you ever noticed how easily your mind can drift when you sing?

I can be belting out biblical, powerful, brilliantly crafted lyrics while thinking about what I’m going to have for lunch, the movie I went to this past week or absolutely nothing at all. On the outside I look like I’m fully committed to worshipping God. On the inside I’m doing everything but.

The same can be true for the people we’re leading. So how do I help them focus on the words we’re actually singing?

At the very least, I have to be thinking about them myself. In my mind I’m constantly asking myself questions like:

  • Why is this true? 
  • What difference does it make? 
  • What if it wasn’t true? 
  • What’s not being said here? 
  • What does that word mean? 
  • Why does this line follow the last one?

As I answer those questions specifically, it helps me interact more with what I’m singing, and it has a greater impact on my soul. When I’m leading, I’ll simply share some of the answer to those thoughts with the congregation through spoken or sung fills.

For instance, Darlene Zschech’s song “Shout to the Lord” contains a break after the line, “All of my days I want to praise the wonders of your mighty love.” What makes the Lord’s love mighty?

Well, a number of things.