david santistevan

worship.leadership

What Type of Congregation Are You?

There are many factors that contribute to great ‘times’ of congregational worship. A worship leader who loves Jesus, can sing well, and can engage people. A sensitive, skilled band, Excellent sound quality, singable songs, songs that are Biblical, Scripture readings, spontaneous praise, and…anything else? Something you may not consider is the congregation.

The type of congregation that is present also determines how powerful a worship service is.

Let me give you an example. Last night Emily and I stepped into the middle of a worship conference at CCOP to hear Israel Houghton lead worship. To begin with, Israel is a high energy worship leader. He has a voice like no other, loves God, and is a skilled musician. But in that room, it really wouldn’t matter WHO was up there. The congregation was bouncing around, shouting and praising before he even sang a lick. A bird could have led worship that night.

Maybe you experience this on Sunday mornings at your church. Maybe you’re like most of us and there is a mixed congregation of seniors, baby boomers, young adults, youth, non-christians and everything in between.

These types of settings can be very challenging to lead worship. A third of the congregation wants to shout in tongues for 2 hours, a third wants to sit down and stop singing these stupid songs, and a third are scared to death of the banners, dancing, raised hands, and off-key singing in the congregation (or from the stage!).

I’m not slamming certain congregations. I actually love the diversity of it all. I love having non-Christians in the room when I lead worship. And I love a large group of spirit-filled, Jesus lovers. Both are fun in a different way.

What do you do? How can one effectively ‘lead’ different congregations? What is most important in your worship leading preparation? Do different congregations require different preparation?

I’ll save that for my next post.

Until then, what type of congregation do you lead for?

Let the discussion flow…

DS

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October 8, 2009 - Posted by | Leadership, Music, Worship

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