Leading worship for beginners

Sometimes I think we need a filter on our worship lyrics and even our liturgy. If you’re using a word which you only ever hear in church, or you’re doing something you’d never even think of doing outside of church, how on earth are the new folks supposed to know what’s going on, or what you mean, or why you do it?

So filter your speech and actions a little bit. Please be really careful about using intimate language which would be inappropriate in the outside world. Yes, I can understand that God knows us deeply, but the deep love and knowledge I associate with God is a different thing to the intimate and deep love I share with my wife.

I actually had to explain to someone that I feel uncomfortable singing a song asking God’s love to penetrate… the word has a few shades of meaning and the wrong one is much more offensive than the right one is effective. The lyricist could have used different words to convey a similar sentiment. It’s simply not good enough to write like that, and just as bad to keep on using the song.

Never mind the foolishness of lyrics which make no sense, it’s the imagery, and the context as well.

So this isn’t a post about worship leaders who are just beginning their journey, it’s a polite reminder to those of us that have been doing it for a while or even more than half their lifetimes… be sensitive to the fact that churches exist to strengthen communities and draw more people in. You should expect there to be new faces in the room, and you need to plan for that.

You are helping people to worship their creator and saviour. You have a responsibility to make that easier, not more difficult; accessible, not arcane.

You may think this doesn’t apply to your church situation. Fair enough, but I have a different question in that case:

If there aren’t any new people coming to church, why not?


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