david santistevan


The 3 Levels of Sunday Morning Worshipers

Ever been there? You’re in a worship service. The worship leader is going at it, musicians are rocking out, and yet there seems to be zero connection between what is happening on stage and what is happening in the crowd. What is the problem?

Let me just say that this is normal, to a certain extent (sometimes the worship leader is just plain insensitive). However, in a healthy congregation there will always be a mix of the pros, the amateurs, and the newbies. Here’s what I mean:

  • THE PRO – the pro’s are the worship leader’s best friend. You could start singing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” with flute, mandolin, and saxophone and their hands are raised high (almost looks like their stretching), they’re swaying to the beat, clapping, and singing at the top of their lungs. Anytime the worship leader says something they offer the ‘spiritual grunt’ or a hearty ‘Amen’. Beautiful.
  • THE AMATEUR – amateur worshipers love Jesus but are still getting used to the corporate sing-a-long. When they raise their hands it’s more of a “cup-my-hands-but-leave-them-at-my-side” sort of thing. They’ll also put in the occasional clap but it probably won’t last for more than 20 seconds.
  • THE NEWBIE – if you’re a pro, put on the ‘newbie’ shoes for a second. These are typically people who have not come to faith in Christ yet. Imagine stepping into a room with people you don’t know, with songs you don’t know, and being asked to participate. Kinda weird. These people either stand still or sit or have many sudden urges to use the restroom throughout the worship service.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the humor. But in all honesty, a great church will have a mix of these people because a great church is reaching the lost and is filled with people at a different point on the same journey. So if you have a lot of amateurs and newbies, pray that they grow into a pro and lead by example.



October 21, 2010 - Posted by | Worship


  1. Great thoughts here Dave…i do think (at least at my church) there is yet another category of people. They have been around as long as many “pro’s” but do not enter in as readily if at all…they sometimes have that vacant, shell shocked look that newbies have but they are not newbies…for want of a better word, i might call them traditionalists. In my world, anyway…these are the ones that provide the greatest challenge 🙂

    Comment by Makhonyola | October 21, 2010 | Reply

    • I totally agree with you, man. There can be a ‘religious spirit’ that keeps people from really entering in.

      Comment by santahara | October 21, 2010 | Reply

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