Wednesday, June 07, 2017

The Worship Swing-Vote Principle: Maximizing Engagement

We bombed. The worship set was a dud. The congregation was lethargic. Each musician on the worship team seemed to be in a universe all on their own. No rhythm. Wrong chords. I could not remember the lyrics. The wrong words were projected on the screens. It was awful.

In a daze, I crouched down to put my guitar away, when there came a tap on my shoulder. I turned to see a guy with tears welling up in his eyes. “That was the best worship I have ever experienced,” he said. “Man, God really worked through it. I feel so refreshed and blessed. Thank you.”

“What?!” I thought. “Were we in the same room? Didn’t you hear all the bad music we delivered? Best worship?”

The usual phrase to describe this phenomenon is something like, “God worked despite our efforts. Isn’t God good?” While that can certainly be true, and maybe often is, does that mean we should just stand up there, do a shoddy, unprepared job, and “trust God”? I had a feeling there was more to it than that simple formula.

Over the years, I began to quiz people after church about the musical worship time. I found that there were some people who, no matter how good the music and leadership was, didn’t worship. On the opposite end, there were those who worshipped (and wholeheartedly, at that) no matter how good or bad our team did leading. And then there were those who were sometimes “into it” and other times “not so much.”

I began to notice patterns and dynamics. I began to see the relationship between leadership and these people groups. My conclusions led me to what I call the “Swing Vote” principle, or 60/20/20 rule. It starts with the people. Read More

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