4 Steps Pastors Can Take to Kick-Start the Worship Conversation

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radical wesley sliderIt’s vital that the worship in church services fits into the overall theological and practical goals of individual churches. Worship Pastor Drew Causey offers 4 steps that pastors can take to initiate better communication with worship leaders and to encourage a healthy worship program.

When your church gathers each Sunday, there are many people that come together to make that gathering happen. Preachers, singers, musicians, readers, prayers, people running sound, lights, media – all of these people are crucial to both the practical and the theological aims of the services you offer. Most of them want to offer their best to the church each week, but without some sort of conversation about why we do what we do each week, their goals and efforts easily end up causing more strain than harmony, and that strain affects the life of the church. So, pastors: your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to gather these people together and begin a conversation about worship, liturgy, and what they do in church every week.

Here are four steps you can take to kick-start this conversation.

1) Set the Tone

If you want the church you pastor to be intentional and theologically informed in their decisions about worship, you must be committed to doing so yourself. From preaching to sacraments, from lyrics to service structure, everything we do on Sunday teaches the church what it means to be the people of God in the world. Think through it all. Ask the hard questions about what you do each week and why you do it. Pay attention to the whole of the service and not just the sermon or the portions that directly involve you.

2) Know Your Limits

None of us are experts on everything. Hopefully, you have people around you who are gifted and shaped to do the things you are asking them to do. Encourage them to be the experts at what they do each week, but to be so in light of the larger orientation of this conversation about worship. Welcome their perspective on the task at hand. You don’t have to know music to give musicians direction that benefits the church, but you must encourage them to point their skills in the right direction.

3) Resource Your Leaders

If your church is anything like mine, people can grow both tired and somewhat numb to the voice of their pastor. Fresh voices in the conversation of church can breathe new life into it. Take the time to resource your leaders with books, blogs, magazines, audio files, or any other worthwhile resource you come across that will bring perspective and energy to this conversation. These resources will function like a springboard into the kinds of conversations you want to be having.

4) Bring People into the Process

It can sometimes seem easier to take care of something yourself than it is to enable and empower someone else to do it. Do not buy into this way of operating. Target people and release certain responsibilities to them. Guide them into the process of shaping and designing the times of worship in your church. The more hands-on and out-loud the design process is, the more people will begin to think, act, and own the corporate time of worship each week.

Visit our Worship Design Collective for more resources like this one.

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Drew Causey is the Pastor of Worship and Arts at Hope Community Church in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. He graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Arts in Performance Studies and Cultural Ethnography. He also holds a Masters of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary. Check out Drew’s excellent blog at drewcausey.com and follow him on Twitter @drewcausey.

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