Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The One Secret To Being Effective In Worship Ministry

By Junjie Huang

If you are a worship leader or musician trying to serve well in church, or even a church pastor who wants to know what’s going on in your church worship ministry, it’s understandable if you get confused or discouraged.

Many worship experts abound in the field today, offering different ideas, concepts and paradigms for worship ministry. Sifting through all that they say and teach can be a daunting task, trying out what they suggest even more so. And when you don’t get results after following what the experts tell you, usually you’ll blame yourself or the people you are trying to serve (“they just don’t have the heart for worship”).

But if you can understand just ONE secret, the ONE secret I’ll reveal to you in this article, you’ll clear up ALL the confusion. You’ll also have a objective standard for evaluating what you’ve been taught so far and anything else you may be taught in the future. More importantly, you will then have what it takes to fine-tune your worship ministry and bring it to greater levels of effectiveness.

Ready for it? Here’s the secret: Worship focuses on God, but the praise and worship ministry focuses on the people of God.

Why is this important? Because way too often people get worship and worship ministry mixed up. People subconsciously assume that worship leading is a more advanced form of worship, that if you are good enough a worshiper (or anointed enough) you worshiping God in front of a congregation (with either your voice or a music instrument) will cause them to worship God. And if that does not magically happen there is something wrong with either you or the people you are serving.

Now because people are fundamentally the same, what they need and what works for helping them to worship God in a group setting are fundamentally the same. That means that whatever the age group, whatever the cultural background, or even the language, there are certain concepts that work, and they work well pretty much all the time.

In fact, you can say that worship leading is objective in two ways; first, it has a clearly defined objective, second, you can gauge a worship leader or musician’s effectiveness based on this objective. This is the Scripture’s gauge for evaluating the effectiveness of a style, method or practice in leading worship.

2 Chronicles 5:12-15 – All the Levites who were musicians-Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun and their sons and relatives-stood on the east side of the altar, dressed in fine linen and playing cymbals, harps and lyres. They were accompanied by 120 priests sounding trumpets. The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as *with one voice*, to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: “He is good; his love endures forever.”

Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God. (NIV, emphasis mine)

This passage shows us the role of worship leaders, singers and musicians: to unify the worship of the congregation. To the extent we succeed in unifying the worship, the glory of the LORD will fill his temple again in our praises.

With this as the standard, we can now have a benchmark to evaluate worship practices. Do the chord patterns and rhythms used in a particular music style unify the worship? How about instrument solos? Does inserting a guitar, saxophone or piano solo in the middle of the song unify the worship or distract the congregation? How about the key used? Does it unify the congregation in praise? Or leave the singer singing alone and receiving the attention?

If you are truly serious about effectively leading God’s people in worship, these are the issues you will have to deal with. And you’ll have to deal with them without much outside help, even from those who claim to prepare you for worship, because what is more often taught is performance music rather than worship music. And there’s a huge difference between the two.

The difference between the two is not a matter of the ‘heart’ of the musician, as many would have you believe. It’s very simple: Performance music gets people to sit back and listen, to go “wow! What are they doing? How did they do that?” Music meant for worship gets people to focus on singing their praises to God. If it’s working no one notices the music. They’re too busy worshiping God and the musician(s) just kinda fade into the background (hence the musicians become ‘invisible’). Can you see how the two are diametrically opposite?

It’s like driving. We never really notice the many safe drivers on the roads everyday. We only notice the wacky ones who drive dangerously…

Let me restate this: a humble or skilled musician who plays performance music will NEVER be as effective in leading people to worship as one who plays according to the rules of worship music. Is this difficult? Not at all! In fact, if you discover the rules and principles of worship music you will find that worship music is much easier to play than performance music, or even what many musicians are taught to use as worship music.

Now that you’ve read this article, the secret to effectiveness in worship ministry is out. Let’s use it to bless the people of God with his manifested presence in worship!

Junjie is a worship leader, musician and trainer with more than 14 years of experience in a wide range of church settings. To find out more about his training and to sign up for his free e-course on worship ministry, go to http://www.invisibleworshipmusician.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Junjie_Huang

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