Take The Great Band But Give Me Jesus: Thoughts On Engaging A Crowd In Worship

Trust me, I don’t mean to frighten you.
But what if you took a survey, asking your congregation how your music and worship leading connected with them?
What would their answer be?
Because we all know that the best worship leaders aren’t just great singers or musicians.
It’s not even that they really love Jesus a lot. You can have both of those and still leave the room scratching their heads.
The best worship leaders work hard on connecting with people.

Connect With the Worshiper

When I look back on the worship services I’ve led that were the most powerful, there are defining characteristics about them.
And honestly, they don’t always have to do with great music. Oftentimes, these worship services were led with nothing but a keyboard or a guitar.
My worship leading changed when I realized that people didn’t care about my music. Sure, some may enjoy it. Some may hate it. Some may be proud of it.
But the main reason people are coming to church?
To encounter God.
They’ve had a rough week and need God’s peace. They have a struggling marriage that needs His breakthrough. They are surrounded by pain and need His comfort.
What are we providing for them? Entertainment?
I don’t know about you, but I want people to leave my meetings with a deep sense of God – His nearness, His love, His glory. We need to strip everything away so our vision of God is clear.
Connect with the worshipers by being one.

How To Make it Easy for People to Worship

That’s our goal, right? To make it easy for people to worship. We want to remove all barriers and hindrances to the human heart connecting with its Maker.
I’ve outlined that process here:
Connect: At the outset of your worship set, you want to make a connection with the room. You want to let them know that you’re there to lead, to worship with them, and to go on a journey together. Make it clear that you’re not there to play music for them or show off your skills.
Endear: After you make this initial connection, you want to endear yourself to the people. They won’t travel with you if they don’t trust you. You want to make them smile. You want to connect with their desire for God. When they trust you in this way, you’re ready to lead. They trust that you’ll do more than just serenade them. You are also in love with Jesus, ready to encounter His presence.
Invite: I’ve found that when I invite people into the experience, response is always better. This can feel uncomfortable at times – giving instruction and explanation about what is going on – but it really frees people up. Don’t just perform your worship set or sing it straight through. Explain more than you think you need and you’ll see a difference in how people are engaged.
Engage: Once you’ve invited them into worship, it’s time to let God do His thing. At this point they trust you, they’re with you. Now, you want them to connect with Jesus. Draw out what God is doing in the room. Ask questions that connect with their desire. Worship with all your heart. Remember: the best stage presence is a heart on fire for God.
Enthrall: This is where God simply takes over. The church becomes so enthralled with the glory of God that you aren’t even needed anymore. It’s rare for worship services to get to this point, but when it happens, it’s a beautiful thing. If you do the other points well, you’ve prepared a clear pathway to seeing Jesus.
How do you connect more with your congregation? How do you engage them in your songlist?
I challenge you to leave a comment. Blog posts are better when brilliant worship leaders (like yourself) share!
Credits to: Mr. David Santistevan, for more info go to: http://www.davidsantistevan.com/
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