I'm really fighting a mental battle with our present service format & where our church is at right now.

I'll lead us through 5 - 6 of the latest/greatest worship songs, turn it over to the next person for his part

of the Sunday morning service, then hear the message, then head home.

We never move into the deeper places of worship or into the holy of holies.

I'm assuming it's because this is Sunday morning & a lot has to transpire throughout the morning service other than our worship service. Perhaps a Friday or Saturday worship service would work better???

I also wonder if we worship leaders are suppose to just go off into deep ( i hope deep makes sense or is the right term) worship and possibly leave or abandon the church body if they don't follow or participate? Maybe we're tasked to lead them there at some point in time??

 

This is really playing in my head & I sure dread performing another routine worship set.

 

I sure would appreciate your input folks!

 

Yes, I've asked my Pastor about his thoughts. Waiting for his reply. 

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OK, you need the backing of your church leadership, because you're looking for a change of church culture from spectator to participant.

Not trying to be judgemental at a distance, but I'm assuming that "I sure dread performing another routine worship set." means that people are watching instead of participating pro-actively. It's probably also worth asking what kind of priority worship has in the church, and whether a meeting might occasionally be given over to worship and just seeking God's face instead of worrying about notices, preaching, collections etc?

Are the people hungry for worship or just happy to come and sing some songs, hear a 'word' and go home? If there's no desire and expectation then they won't 'get' deeper worship.

Something you could try is about 2/3 through the time using a song with a simple chord pattern & tune, when the words finish then keep playing, and having pre-primed the band, gently move into singing in the Spirit over the top. You could also offer gentle encouragement to the congregation to follow your lead & see how they respond.

I would say you are definitely not supposed to just go off into "deep" worship and leave or abandon the church body if they don't participate.  Your job is to serve the body, not to leave them. The deepest worship isn't about songs or chord progressions or even the holy of holies - no, the deepest worship is about serving, both serving God and serving his church, the body. (see, for example, Romans 12... all of it!)

If you think there is something your church needs to discover about sung worship, then you definitely need the support of your pastor, and you definitely need to lead them there gently.  You will get nowhere by racing on ahead!

I'm waiting for a meeting with my pastor to review this so I do have the leadership backing... good point!

Yes, folks are mostly watching & not participating. But even those that are participating will only go as far as we take them or allow them to go with the preset time slot we're given. I've suggested a Friday or Saturday night worship only service. Perhaps this might be the time & place for a more intimate worship service.

Yes, I've ventured into the spontaneous worship time at the end of songs as you mention. It appears I'm venturing off all by myself so this just may not be the way to go.

Toni said:

OK, you need the backing of your church leadership, because you're looking for a change of church culture from spectator to participant.

Not trying to be judgemental at a distance, but I'm assuming that "I sure dread performing another routine worship set." means that people are watching instead of participating pro-actively. It's probably also worth asking what kind of priority worship has in the church, and whether a meeting might occasionally be given over to worship and just seeking God's face instead of worrying about notices, preaching, collections etc?

Are the people hungry for worship or just happy to come and sing some songs, hear a 'word' and go home? If there's no desire and expectation then they won't 'get' deeper worship.

Something you could try is about 2/3 through the time using a song with a simple chord pattern & tune, when the words finish then keep playing, and having pre-primed the band, gently move into singing in the Spirit over the top. You could also offer gentle encouragement to the congregation to follow your lead & see how they respond.

I dunno, dare I say that "deeper worship in the holy of holies" is not for every Christian or for every church?  When you get to talk to the pastor, pay attention to what the pastor's vision of this church is, because it may not be that "deeper worship."  I think I mentioned this in another thread somewhere, but at our church, I think the goal is more about getting people to go out to the narthex after the service and sign up to help with various "ministries" (as in "service to people").  Having a grand emotional experience in the worship service may not be what God wants for this particular church.

Now, maybe you could suggest something like doing two or three songs at the start and then three or four songs at the end of the service, in sort of an open-ended format where... when the clock says it's time to send people home, you say something like, "if you need to go, have a wonderful day; the band is going to play for a bit longer and if you'd like to stay around and worship with us, you're welcome."  And then (depending on whether there's another service after that you have to clear out for) you can stretch it out and see what happens.

I truly appreciate what Toni has said - the change you envision is so fundamental, so at-the-root, that if you wish to seeit happen it must be introduced gently rather than imposed.  And all the while you are introducing change, remember that what you are doing, even if it is the same sort of songs week after week, is NOT routine (musicians tend to be impatient for change to occur towards whatever it is they desire.  That's why we shout at ourselves during practice and grimace and fret and stew).  You are giving a gift each week of beautifully presented music, activated by the Holy Spirit working through the Biblically-oriented words you sing.  You are SINGING them, electrifying them with instrument and voice!  Those that hear and sing, or just listen, do not leave the same.  In the years of my childhood, before I became an organist, the three hymns we sang were what drew me into a wonderful God-world of joy and hope and sorrow and wondering and all sorts of cosmic things dealing with God.  I waited patiently through "dull adult stuff" for those hymns, and sang loudly when the chords were struck.  When I became an organist, I took the hymnal home with me and played through dozens of them at the close of each practice time.  What one sees from the outside as routine, others see from the inside as glorious.  An ice-cave doesn't look like anything from the outside of the mountain, but step in!

Toni said:

OK, you need the backing of your church leadership, because you're looking for a change of church culture from spectator to participant.

Not trying to be judgemental at a distance, but I'm assuming that "I sure dread performing another routine worship set." means that people are watching instead of participating pro-actively. It's probably also worth asking what kind of priority worship has in the church, and whether a meeting might occasionally be given over to worship and just seeking God's face instead of worrying about notices, preaching, collections etc?

Are the people hungry for worship or just happy to come and sing some songs, hear a 'word' and go home? If there's no desire and expectation then they won't 'get' deeper worship.

Something you could try is about 2/3 through the time using a song with a simple chord pattern & tune, when the words finish then keep playing, and having pre-primed the band, gently move into singing in the Spirit over the top. You could also offer gentle encouragement to the congregation to follow your lead & see how they respond.

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