How to Coach Your Congregation to Be Worshipers

How to Coach Your Congregation to Be Worshipers

Worship Leader, there’s more to worship than songs, band dynamics and flow.

If we’re not careful, we can spend all of our time entertaining people on Sundays. Think about it. The music is excellent, moving, emotional. The worship leader is good looking, uber talented and runs a tight ship.

But slow down.

This is more important than you may realize.

We don’t want to foster an audience of spectators or an fan club of consumers. We don’t want to merely entertain people every weekend.

This isn’t the ministry God has called us to and it doesn’t do the gathering together of His bride justice.

The church needs to learn how to worship. New converts need to step into the discipline of praise and lifting up their voice, declaring the promises of God. Worship is warfare and our churches need training.

We all have a voice but many don’t know how to use it.

That’s our role, isn’t it Worship Leaders? It’s our role to raise up worshipers—to create environments where our voice isn’t central, but the unified, raised voice of God’s people is. We want to lead in such a way that we’re not the focus.

The enemy isn’t afraid of a worship leader who draws attention to himself. But he’s shaking in fear when a leader gives voice to everyone in the room. There’s tremendous power in that. Nothing can stop a worshiping church. No trial, no hardship, no diagnosis, no pain. The sound of worship will rise throughout eternity.

Singing isn’t enough. A tight band isn’t enough. Having your moment of worship isn’t enough. Worship Leader, it’s time to think of yourself as a coach. Let’s draw some parallels.

The Worship Leader as Coach

How is a coach’s performance judged? He’s not judged by the eloquence of his words. He’s not known for his morning routine. He’s not paid for how good of a football player he was. His performance is judged by only one thing—is the team winning?

If the team is winning, the coach will have a job.

Worship Leader, for too long you’ve judged yourself by the standards of a worship industry—boots, skinny jeans and trendy haircuts. Cutting edge music, new songs and epic stage lighting. For too long you’ve thought only about yourself and your performance.

But it’s time to think about your team. And not just your musicians. The team is your congregation.

Ask yourself these questions about your congregation:

  • Are they thriving?
  • Are they singing?
  • Do they love Jesus?
  • Do they worship beyond the song?
  • Are they pressing in?

Of course, every church will always have new people who don’t know what they’re doing. They may not raise their hands. They may not sing. But your goal is to help them move from spectator to worshiper. Why? Because you’ve tasted the life-changing power of worship. Something happens when you declare the yes-and-amen promises of God. Something happens when you sing in the midst of the storm. Something happens when you learn how to press in deeper.

And that’s what you want your congregation to experience. So don’t be satisfied with just pulling off a service. There’s more. Don’t be satisfied with creating great music.

How to Lead Like a Coach

Coach them. Here’s a few ways to do that:

  • Don’t sing all the time. Pull back and encourage everyone to lift their voice.
  • Give exhortations. Don’t just pull off flawless worship song performances.
  • Simplify. Don’t make every song this epic arrangement. Arrange around the voice of your church.
  • Teach. Seize opportunities to teach during worship. Have your pastor preach on it.
  • Create space. Songs are great, but they’re just a tool. Plan intentional moments in your set where people can respond in their own words.
  • Identify what a ‘win’ looks like. Is it a win if you and your team do well? Or if your congregation engages well.

I’d love to hear your take on this. How is Worship Leading similar to being a coach?

How are you training your people to be worshipers?

This article originally appeared here.

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David Santistevan
David is a Worship Pastor at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh, PA.

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