I know you put a ton of thought into constructing your worship services, but I’d like to suggest there may be a few things missing as you plan your weekend experience.
If you’re like me, from time to time you get stuck in a rut.
We pursue patterns and can lose the perspective of people we want to connect with and serve.
And so, in the interest of connecting with and reaching more people, let’s talk about four perspectives you might be missing in your worship service.
Have you ever been in an environment where you felt like you didn’t belong?
It can feel uncomfortable.
I believe our worship services should intentionally welcome outsiders to understand and engage.
I’m not saying change everything you do so anyone and everyone feels comfortable, but I’m challenging you to think about your language. Is it insider-focused?
If your non-believing neighbor showed up at your church, would they understand what you are saying and doing?
I’m not saying you have to become a seeker-sensitive church, but what I’m suggesting is a few extra lines,
“Hey, if you are new to church, this is what baptism is…”
“Hey, if this is your first time, this is what communion is all about…”
The goal is to help outsiders feel welcomed and included.
Not everyone likes to sing.
I have a hard time relating because I’m the guy belting Enrique Iglesias out in my car at the stoplight, but it’s true.
Some people aren’t singers, and they have a hard time engaging with the singing elements of your worship service.
What are you doing to engage that person?
Are there worship elements in your service that draw them in?
What I’m suggesting is that “stand up, sing three songs, and sit down” may not connect to a segment of your congregation or guests.
Something we attempt to do at my church is include a creative element within our worship time that engages a non-singer and hopefully draws them into worship.
We often use videos that highlight nature and scripture.
An ideal creative moment moves the audience emotionally and draws them into worship in the next song.
I wonder if you’re missing out on connecting with part of your congregation because you’re assuming that everyone loves to sing.
People Different Than You
I recently asked someone of a different ethnicity to describe their experience at my church.
Their answer was,
“I didn’t see anyone like me, which sent the message that I’m not welcome.”
It’s the way most of us emotionally react to the environment.
If we don’t feel like we belong, we’re unlikely to engage.
If you want to create a welcoming and hospitable service, consider diversity on your stage platform.
People who see “their people” will think, “Ah, I could belong here.”
And by diversity, I mean age, color, and gender.
I realize not every congregation is diverse in every category but do what you can here, and it will help to create an inviting environment.
People Who Remember
Some of you may know the church I’m a part of is a large multi-site church.
It’s pretty modern and we leverage a lot of technology.
Something that might surprise you is even with expensive lighting, cameras, and such-we sing a hymn almost every week.
Here’s why: We want to intentionally include two groups of people.
The first group is older people who grew up with these songs and connect with them on a deep level.
By singing hymns regularly, we honor them and let them know that we see them and want to invite them to participate.
The second group of people are those who walked away from church when they were young and are just now returning after years or perhaps decades away.
We want to give that person something to connect with and words they can actually sing.
Someone who last attended church twenty years ago probably doesn’t know the latest Hillsong United song, but they will remember a few of the classic hymns of our faith.
By including hymns on a regular basis, we provide the person returning to church after a long time away something to connect to.
The same principle applies to the Lord’s Prayer.
People often remember the Lord’s Prayer even after years away from church.
We regularly include the Lord’s Prayer in our worship services.
I’m sure you already have a fantastic worship service that people in your congregation connect with.
Hopefully, though, these four points will help you identify some areas that could be even stronger as you serve your community.
Feel free to share your ideas and thoughts in the comments.
We’d love to hear from you.