7 Ways To Encourage Worship Participation
October 24, 2016
- Pray about it regularly. It takes God, to worship God. Any attempt to lead people without prayer would be in our own strength. Ask the Holy Spirit, the One who shows us Jesus, to enlighten and enable those you lead to worship in spirit and in truth. Ask God to stir hearts to praise Him corporately.
- Be demonstrative. To lead others, we must first go ourselves. I’ve always preferred “lead worshiper” over “worship leader”. Lead worshipers lead others by example first. To ask others to lift their hands, without you or your worship team lifting your hands, would be a mistake at best and hypocritical at worse.
- Say what God says. We don’t have to wonder how, when, or why we should praise God. Scripture, especially the Psalms, is filled with reasons, ways, and encouragement to worship. Ps. 92:1 -“It is a good thing to sing praises to the Lord “, Ps. 34:2 – “O magnify the Lord with me”, “God is great, and greatly to be praised” and hundreds of other exhortations can and should be used to remind to those who gather to worship God.
- Ask people to sing! David certainly did. He said to those around him to “Magnify the Lord with me. Let us exalt His name together.” Don’t assume everyone will automatically sing along just because you are singing. Encourage them to clap, and encourage them to do it throughout the song. You may be surprised at how effective simply asking is.
- Keep band in supportive, rather than dominant role. If the volume is really loud, people will tend to listen to the music rather than compete with it. Most importantly, faith comes by hearing. Worshipers are encouraged by the worship and singing of their fellow-worshipers. Let’s afford them the priviledge of hearing themselves.
- Make lyrics accessible. If budget allows, take advantage of todays technology by installing a screen for the lyrics. Let’s not assume because the praise team has rehearsed a song for weeks, that the congregation will already know it, or will learn upon hearing it for the first time. If you don’t have a screen, the worship leader can teach the song to congregation prior to singing the song, or they can sing or speak the lyrics ahead of the participants as the song progresses. Smaller congregations include printed lyrics in the bullentin.
- Maintain a fresh repertoire. Be creative in providing a variety of songs, themes, styles, and rhythms, etc. If worship becomes too predictable, people’s attention will wander, and their participation may become half-hearted. Avoid ruts! Sing a fast song, slow. Add your own chorus/verse to a familiar song as you are inspired. Begin with chorus if the song usually begins with the verse. Use modulation. Add a trombone solo. Encourage spontaneous singing, or quiet reflective worship. The list goes on and on.