Worship Is Not a Spectator Sport: Increase Your Church’s Participation

Worship Is Not a Spectator Sport: Increase Your Church’s Participation

Do people in your church sing? I know you play music and invite them to sing, but do they sing? This is an important question for a church. Worship is not limited to music, but praising God through song is an element of corporate church that communicates our gratitude toward God and our desire to know him more.

Music touches our soul. When effective, music touches the lost soul, too. Music is very emotional. There’s no doubt that worship through singing is an important element in our church services.

But I’m afraid our approach to worship in the modern church MAY have moved worship from participation to observation.

It certainly wasn’t our intention. But inadvertently, in our effort to make church more inviting to outsiders, we may have reduced the impact of corporate worship.

So how can you engage more people in worship without losing the ability to connect with current culture and introduce new people to corporate praise?

Here are seven tips to better engage our churches in worship:

1. Familiarity

It’s amazing. When we sing an updated hymn at Watermarke Church, the crowd engagement increases dramatically.

It makes sense. Most people have heard the more common hymns, and singing them in an updated music context is a wonderful mixture of familiar and current.

2. Volume

Turn it up if you want to sing. I don’t think this is optional.

Seriously. I’ve heard the opposite advice before. It has been suggested that hearing other people sing encourages singing. Maybe that’s true, but I’ve been in too many places who practice that method and I’m as quiet as a church mouse. Maybe that’s where the saying originated?

At Watermarke Church, we run our music pretty loud, not because it’s a rock concert, but because I believe a certain volume is required if you want people like me with terrible voices to feel comfortable singing.

Think about it. Are you more likely to sing when people can hear you or in your shower (BTW—we can hear your shower renditions!)? Exactly. So turn up the volume enough to drown out our fears.

3. Encouragement

Every week, we encourage people to sing by explaining why we sing and what we will sing.

We put lyrics on all our screens to make participation easier.

We use cameras to show close up images of our musicians, because seeing our leaders engage personally encourages our crowd to engage corporately.

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Gavin Adams
Gavin Adams believes the local church is the most important organization on the planet and he is helping to transform them into places unchurched people love to attend. As the Lead Pastor of Watermarke Church, (a campus of North Point Ministries), Watermarke has grown from 400 to 4000 attendees in five years. A student of leadership, communication, church, and faith, Gavin shares his discoveries through speaking and consulting. Follow him at @Gavin_Adams and at gavinadams.com.

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