The modern church can easily fall into the trap of thinking worship being something we “get” as opposed to something we “give.”
As a worship leader, part of your role is to plan in such a way that you reinforce the outward focus on your service and your church in general!
Most major shifts in the church must come through the pastor if it’s going to stick, but a worship leader has the unique opportunity to speak into the lives of the congregation and help influence. The best scenario is for the leadership to be united, of course, then these things are reinforced across the board. Here are a few things you can do to help build a culture of the outward-focused church through worship and planning:
Constant Reminder That Worship Is For God
As a church, we give in worship! Remind, encourage and teach your people to give to God in worship. It takes the focus off ourselves and, in the process, we receive as we are giving.
Double Check Your Announcements
If your bulletin, program, screen images or spoken announcements are overloaded with things happening inside the church, then you’re going to get a lopsided, inward-focused, dying ministry. Work hard to make sure you have a strong balance of “outward” focused opportunities to serve, give, and be on mission. It’s not easy to get an outward, community or other needs focus, but it’s worth the work and it’s how we’re called to be the church. Even the process of making disciples often happens best while serving, experiencing, and being in ministry.
Plan Testimonies On A Regular Basis
When a church hears stories of life change, it’s a powerful motivation to stay outward-focused! Your people begin to think, “Our church exists to make disciples and it’s working! Lives are being changed and people are coming to Jesus!” Offering time in the worship service to allow someone to share – live or on video – can have a major impact on building a church with an outward perspective.
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Don’t Resist Change
Change is going to come in your church, and like life, that’s the way it is no matter what! One big reason a church becomes inward focused is that they don’t want to change and they use the inward focus to try to shelter themselves from it. You can model change by rolling with it (privately and publicly), embracing it, being a part of making the change and loving your people with grace as they come along! Resisting change is a tell-tale sign of an inward-focused congregation.
Encourage And Celebrate When People Bring Friends
This one simple act is truly how the church grows! One friend inviting another friend is by far the number one reason people show up to church and the best way for them to stick with it and stay connected. Celebrate stories of friends bringing friends to worship. Remind people to bring a friend to worship! Plan worship in such a way that you think about the “friend” who may be in attendance and has never been to church before!