Coaching for worship ministries

Helping worship leaders, musicians and technicians take their ministry from good to great.

Are Your Worship Technicians Making This Critical Mistake?

"I'm sorry madam, your husband didn't make it through surgery."
(Sobbing) "Please tell me, what went wrong?"
"Our surgeon was so overcome with the presence of God that he stood there 'worshipping' while your husband bled out."

...and scene.

I realise this is a ridiculously overstated scenario, but I've had a similar conversation with engineers and technicians about 'what went wrong' during a worship service... why wasn't the preacher's mic switched on? Why did you miss the lighting cue? Why were the wrong lyrics on the screen?

Sometimes it's because a team member has been distracted by Facebook / Snapchat / the social media flavour-of-the-month (we've all been there), and that's an easy transgression to address.

But sometimes it's because a team member has, with all the right motives, been stood with their eyes shut and their hands held high, lost in wonder, love and praise. Because they're, well, worshipping.

So let's take a moment to define worship. 

Not just the dictionary definition, but a "life application" version.

The dictionary definition isn't entirely unhelpful. We get these two gems:

  • show reverence and adoration for (a deity)

  • take part in a religious ceremony

But they lack specificity. Many of us like rules, systems and parameters. (Especially my wife.) So what are the rules around definition #2 – taking part in a religious ceremony? I'd like to suggest this is more about your own church's history and culture than Biblical history. Little of what transpires in a modern worship service reflects the experience of the New Testament Church. Over the years, I've enjoyed worshipping with brothers and sisters in Pentecostal churches, Methodist churches, Baptist churches, Anglican churches, Catholic churches... the list goes on. In each expression of The Church, the rules and parameters look very different!

Perhaps definition #1 can help. What do reverence and adoration for God look like, outside of a religious ceremony? If I adore Jesus then I obey him. (John 14:15). Jesus was questioned about rules and parameters. His response? "Love God, and love other people." (Matt 22:36-40)

For our surgeon to worship God in the operating theatre, he is going to exercise his skill as a surgeon to the best of his God-given ability. He will reflect God's glory by being Jesus to the people around him. He will obey Jesus by loving that patient on the table. His surgery is his worship.

So here's my (albeit imperfect) proposal for how we might outwork worship in a task: performing a function to the best of our God-given ability.

This can apply outside a religious ceremony, but also in the context of a church service. Our church technicians are in a role to perform a function, and in order to perform that function to the best of their God-given ability, they needs to stay alert and focussed. The same applies to our coffee servers and welcome team.

To paraphrase the apostle Paul, by offering their skills, their abilities, their giftings to God, dedicated to his service, this is their proper and spiritual worship. (Rom 12:1)

I'm not a monster. I wouldn't want to rob any team member of the opportunity to fall to their knees, lie prostrate on the ground, or simply stand in awe of our amazing God. That's why I recommend building teams so that people serve on a rota. When they're rostered to serve, they can focus on loving God by loving other people.  On their week off, they can focus simply on loving God.

To conclude, when you're standing behind a sound desk, lighting board, projection computer or camera, you can love God by choosing to love the team and the congregation that you're serving. And you love them by performing your function to the best of your God-given ability.  This is your "proper and spiritual worship".

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