We have all been there. Everything may sound fantastic, look attractive, was planned with purposeful intent. But, something just doesn’t seem right. You feel fake vibes when hoping for authentic ones. Regardless, what makes a worship service fake might be boiled down to a few things even though there may be many things we can put on a list.
Here are five ideas that promote the “fake factor” in church worship services:
1. The worship team is performing like they are in a stadium and only 200 people are in the worship center. This just means over-scaling your team, sound and presentation might not be helping you. The energy put into production shouldn’t outweigh the value of building relationships with the people in the congregation you serve. Your fog machine cannot fill that gap.
2. There is no context of God’s character, just our experience. We can sing “we worship You” all we want, but who is “You”—a fuzzy God who just makes us feel fuzzy, or an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God who is jealous of us loving anything or one more than Him? Do we go for a God-or-girlfriend emotion, or do we promote confession and celebration?
3. You do the latest song or idea because it’s the latest song or idea. Content is king in worship, not the buzz of the newest thing. We should be building a local community of worshipers, not simply echoing what others are doing. What is the voice of the prayers and songs of your own people?
4. Worship team members are there more for their talent or to play music and not for their spiritual growth. Sure, hire the best people to make your music pop, but is that your goal? The story of the messengers or artists on stage is important. They are not just tools, they are real people you put up there. Hire people, by the way. But, treat them like…people.
5. The goal for the congregation is a feeling, not a transformation. I am all for emotive expression of worship; it’s just that the goal is that we are formed into the image of Jesus a bit more by all that we do in worship and life. So, to just reduce the outcome to sentiment is just a bad idea. Period. Do we expect a “religious” or spiritual encounter to actually change us?