There is much good teaching for the worship ministry of a church but one part of the worship ministry can sometimes be forgotten. The congregation. Yes, that’s correct. The congregation is very much a part of the worship ministry of a church. While it is true the whole church does not attend rehearsal, all members of the local body are a part of the team. There is only one observer: God. The rest of us are to be participants.
In the churches that Martin Luther pastored, the whole congregation WAS required to attend worship rehearsal. Not that I would suggest that, but – wow! – what an idea. Having said that, there are some very real helps to guide the church body in its worship ministry. Consider the following suggestions:
Preparation: The average member may not know what songs will be sung on Sunday, but he or she can prepare by preparing his or her heart. This is done through focusing on just who God is. Meditating on scripture about God is the first step (eg. Psalm 8, 23, 25, 27, 107). The next step in preparation is to physically get ready by “slowing down”. Let Saturday evening be a time of quietly preparing ones heart in prayer and rest. Attending church on a Sunday morning is more than just another item in our busy weekly schedule. It is the height of the week. The climax. It’s the most important part of the week. It is the appointed time that the body of Christ gathers as one with one purpose: Worship!
Engagement: Once Sunday comes, each member can actively engage their body, soul, and mind in worship. This is done by setting aside all distractions of the week and linking with all other believers in worship of God. Distractions can appear in many forms, including good things. No matter how good something is, if it takes our attention from Creator God, we must take it captive and deny it the place of attention. Some struggle with the style of songs or the appearance of someone on the platform. While these may raise legitimate concerns from time to time, all believers do well to worship in spite of the distraction. Engaging is more than just singing a song or raising ones hands. It is loving the Lord your God “with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”. (Luke 10:27)
Follow-Through: Even though we worship on Sunday, there are many more days in the week. Believers worship with more than a song on Sunday. They carry it throughout every day. As a congregation, we can speak out or sing songs of worship in our cars, when walking down the street, or anywhere where it will not cause a problem. Worshiping throughout the week will result in a more extravagant worship time the following Sunday. During our hectic week, we can take many opportunities to stop and worship the God who is present and cares. Follow-through is also known as a lifestyle of worship, which is not difficult when God is the focus of our lives.
I’m not suggesting that the congregation suddenly show up for worship rehearsal. That might startle the worship leader and team. What I am suggesting is that we remember worship is more than just the song set on Sunday morning. As a congregation, let’s centre our thoughts, emotions, and activities on God. We appreciate your Comments