Updated: Jun 23, 2020
It is now announced that churches can begin to gather as a whole group offline for worship in person but with a question mark over whether or not singing should be allowed.
Here's a way to grow through this and seize the opportunity it presents.
Read on for 3 challenges, 3 questions and a downloadable solution - which works great online as well as in person.
Singing together is great, but having our gatherings so heavily dependent on it presents a few challenges - Engagement, Participation and Leadership.
1. Engagement. Our musical worship can act as an engagement filter. Not neglecting individual responsibility to call our own souls to praise, we do still need to be honest that lyrics, style of a song and the quality with which it's played all play a big part in helping or hindering us in our focus on God - whether we like it or not. Are there ways of beginning our time together which connect with more people, and connect more accessibly?
2. Participation. Our format of musician + crowd can easily slip into an experience that is more performative than participatory. Are there ways of worshipping which require and affirm the gift that each of us have to bring in worship?
3. Leadership. We say leadership is about character and quality of relationship but our ways of leading worship make it easy for us to compromise on character for the sakes of a good musician. Meanwhile many in our churches with the character and quality of relationship to lead well do not have upfront roles because they weren't given piano lessons as a kid. Are there ways of leadering which don’t require musical talent?
There’s a way of beginning worship time together which increases engagement, participation and leadership. It leads to better worship and a healthier together-culture in a church:
Short activities, liturgies, experiences, whatever you want to call them, which go at the start of a gathering before any songs. They help people connect with God for themselves, where they’re at, in a communal way.
Here are some worship activities which can be used at the very start of the gathering to involve everyone from the outset, before moving into some singing. Download for free (or make a donation at the bottom of our home page to say thanks). Give them a go, write your own, enjoy the goodness it makes space for.
Love, Saint Matthias Church x