Do Simple Things Better
Give up trying to do something new!
Instead, try doing something old better, or at least differently.
In the area of worship consulting, the single most asked question is, “How do we keep it fresh?” The answer is not as complex as one might think. In fact, I think it’s quite simple.
Certainly, keeping worship fresh isn’t about adding a new song that nobody has ever heard of each week. That could be a distraction rather than an aid to meaningful worship. Ask anyone who has ever stumbled through Sunday morning singing a new song, followed by another new song, followed by another new song, how much they enjoyed the experience of being at church that week. I think you probably already know the answer!
This is not going to be a long entry into the blogosphere. Rather, here are three suggestions that you should try as soon as possible. See if they give a freshness to YOUR worship.
—This is done all the time but not well, usually. Sing a well-known hymn of the church. Instead of treating it using band instruments, lead it with only 4 of your best singers in parts. Stay a cappella through the whole experience and see what it does to engage people’s participation
I have nothing against guitars, or organs for that matter. The human voice is still the sweetest example to lead singing. I’ve expressed my excitement about Dave Mathews Band before, but let’s use him as an example. When he shuts all of those fabulous musicians down and lets his audience sing something they know from recordings, the sound is electric…rather, it’s NOT electric!
—Read the Scripture as you usually do, but have folks spotted around the congregation who simply stand and deliver the text with clarity and power. Your congregation will hear God’s Word in a way they haven’t before. I promise!
This too has been done quite a bit over the years, but when I recently tried it with a rather large, well-known, and “slick” church it provided a profound moment that surprised everyone.
There was no money involved, no lighting, no special sound requirements, just a bit of rehearsal and well-intentioned thought.
—Have a child give the blessing! Again, there’s nothing new here. I have always encouraged utilizing the gifts of children in worship services, but this is different.
Giving a child a blessing every night as you put them to bed is probably one of the most important gifts a parent can give. Assuring a child that they are being watched over, cared for, and loved, is an exceptionally strong statement. If you’re not doing it currently with young children, I recommend that you start.
When a child, however, stands to give the blessing to a bunch of adults, something wonderful happens.A child’s simple understanding of what it means to be loved by God, cared for by God, and watched over by God is compelling. I have watched many congregations weep over this singular expression.
Simple things keep worship fresh! File this when you are running dry.
Do you have some fresh ideas you’d like to share? Please leave a comment below.
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