Here are a few nuts and bolts.
By Randy Bloom, US East Regional Director
I think all of us would agree that God is worthy of the best we can do – and this includes preparing for a Sunday worship service. Worship is participating with Jesus’ worship of the Father. It’s important that we make appropriate preparations that help people encounter Jesus and grow as his disciples.
Develop a theme
- We recommend that GCI pastors follow the Revised Common Lectionary. Equipper provides a theme and scriptures for each week, giving worship leaders a jump-start in preparation. Worship leaders can read the four RCL scriptures and pray over them. See each week’s theme and scriptures in Equipper.
- Special Days. Because we are a Christ-centered denomination, we follow his life and have special days focused on Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension. These include, but are not limited to, Advent, Christmas, Lent, Holy Week and Pentecost.
- This should be a collaborative process including the sermon speakers, worship leaders, musicians and sound crew. Themes, sermons and songs should be selected to reflect the culture and needs of the congregation, with the purpose of leading people to Jesus, helping them experience his love and grace and inspiring them to respond in worship and lead transformed lives.
- Songs need to follow the main theme reflected in the sermon.
- Select songs that are easy to sing and have lyrics people understand.
- Select songs that are true to our theology and focus on worship.
- Follow a simple rule of worship: gathering song, worship of the Father, Son and Spirit, sending song.
- The style of music should reflect the culture of the community (not just church members) making it easier for guests to participate.
- Occasionally introduce a new song (good to do during the offertory), preventing worship services from becoming mundane and repetitious.
- Because our focus is on God and not ourselves, we won’t spend time talking about ourselves.
- We don’t need to introduce people who sing, pray or make announcements.
- Avoid needless interruptions that disrupt the worship experience.
Worship is not primarily a performance, but it needs to be done well. Services that are poorly planned or thrown together at the last minute do not lend themselves to worship.
Our goal should be to prepare worship services that are both appropriate for believers and understandable to unbelievers in our midst. In everything, let’s praise Jesus. Worship is joining him in worship of the Father.
Worship is exalting God and leading others in worship to Father, Son and Spirit. Good worship not only brings positive results to the life and ministry of the church, it also extends to the lives of all the people who are involved. Our Sunday gatherings are a participation in holy, eternal praise of our great Triune God. Let’s prepare for him!