when does worship quality matter?

I had lunch with a friend recently, and he and I talked about the sometimes painful process of critiquing our worship services. A point that he made that stuck with me is this: I am most aware of the smallest issues in worship services, when I have brought someone very important to me to that worship service. This individual might be a co-worker I have invited for months to attend, and they finally show up, or a family member from out of town. In either case, I want everything to go perfectly.

Why is it, that we do not give this kind of attention each worship service that we plan? After this conversation I went back and looked at my musical selection over the last year, and I can almost pinpoint precisely when I was planning for a friend to be in town, or for the number of 1st time guests to be higher. But I see the challenge as this: every Sunday, there is someone in our service for the first time, or particularly special to someone who brought them even if it is not their first time. We need to be planning for this person.

Take it a step further, and think about what our actions show when we "allow" an off-week. Truly, it reflects that we are not intentionally bringing our best before God. The process is difficult, and painful at times, but having a team who will critique and evaluate the quality of a worship service with honesty will absolutely transform the way the next service is planned.

At Ridgeview we have a group who meets each Sunday night and talks through the morning service step by step. Fortunately there are some "good" weeks that do not require much attention, yet there are those "off-weeks" that concern and push this team to evaluate with brutal honesty. As a Pastor/Worship Leader/ Staff member, you need to hear this, because whether you realize it or not, it has already been said by your congregation wherever they ate lunch together.


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