How Worship Can Be a Witness

Making worship understandable

Making a service comfortable for the unchurched doesn’t mean changing your theology; it means changing the environment of the service—such as changing the way you greet visitors, the style of music you use, the Bible translation you preach from and the kind of announcements you make in the service.

The message is not always comfortable. In fact, sometimes God’s truth is very uncomfortable! Still we must teach “the whole counsel of God.” Being sensitive to nonbelievers does not limit what you say but it will affect how you say it. We must make both the worship and the message understandable.

At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit miraculously translated the message into words each person understood. The crowd of unbelievers said, “We hear them telling in our own languages about the great things God has done!” Acts 2:11 (NCV)

This caused them to be converted. Even though God’s presence was evident in the service, they wouldn’t have known what to do if they hadn’t been able to understand the message.

The unchurched are not asking for a watered-down message. The unchurched expect to hear the Bible when they come to church. They just want to hear how it relates to their lives. They can handle a clear, biblical message when it is delivered in terms they understand and in a tone that shows you respect and care about them. They are looking for solutions, not a scolding.

A clear message coupled with genuine worship will not only attract unbelievers, it will open their hearts to the power of the gospel. As they feel God’s presence and understand the message they will walk away changed.

Worship, then, becomes much more than a witness to nonbelievers. It becomes a source of joy to our God.