Nine Reasons People Aren’t Singing in Worship

5. We have created worship services which are spectator events, building a performance environment.

I am a strong advocate of setting a great environment for worship including lighting, visuals, inclusion of the arts and much more. However when our environments take things to a level that calls undue attention to those on stage or distracts from our worship of God, we have gone too far. Excellence—yes. Highly professional performance—no.

6. The congregation feels they are not expected to sing.

As worship leaders, we often get so involved in our professional production of worship that we fail to be authentic, invite the congregation into the journey of worship, and then do all we can to facilitate that experience in singing familiar songs, new songs introduced properly, and all sung in the proper congregational range. (more)

7. We fail to have a common body of hymnody.

With the availability of so many new songs, we often become haphazard in our worship planning, pulling songs from so many sources without reinforcing the songs and helping the congregation to take them on as a regular expression of their worship. In the old days, the hymnal was that repository. Today, we need to create song lists to use in planning our times of worship. (more)

8. Worship leaders ad lib too much.

Keep the melody clear and strong. The congregation is made up of sheep with limited ranges and limited musical ability. When we stray from the melody to ad lib, the sheep try to follow us and end up frustrated and quit singing. Some ad lib is nice and can enhance worship, but don’t let it lead your sheep astray.

9. Worship leaders are not connecting with the congregation.

We often get caught up in our world of amazing music production and lose sight of our purpose of helping the congregation to voice their worship. Let them know you expect them to sing. Quote the Bible to promote their expressions of worship. Stay alert to how well the congregation is tracking with you and alter course as needed. (more)

Once worship leaders regain the vision of enabling the congregation to be participants in the journey of corporate worship, I believe we can return worship to the people once again.

This article originally appeared here.

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Kenny Lamm
Worship Consultant for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. A frequent worship clinician and guest worship leader. Extensive work in worship renewal in several Asian countries.