Why Creative Worship Matters in the Church
Creativity in worship is essential.
What’s your initial thought when you read that? Did you roll your eyes and think “another one of those articles”? Did you nod your head in agreement? No matter your response, it would help if I can clarify what I mean by “worship” in this context. For the sake of this article, I’m referring to worship as anything that happens in a service that the worship pastor/leader would plan and prepare. Essentially, music, things that happen between the music, and the order of the service.
Now as far as creativity goes? What is it and why does it matter in this context?
I believe we’ve bought into a bit of a myth that creativity has a certain look to it. You know. Creative people dress a certain way, drink a certain type of coffee, and buy the “artisanal” things. They’re the “artistic” types. With the correct blend of artisanal coffee and ambient music, creativity can occur. Maybe that’s you, maybe it’s not. But you are creative.
Yes, you. And creativity matters to your worship service.
What is it?
Creativity in worship doesn’t come from going to a conference and learning how to be creative. Creativity in worship means authentically pursuing God where you are with the resources you currently have. Creativity in worship means being reliant on God’s direction and provision for your service.
Creativity is a Compass
Creativity is not a map; it’s a compass. If you’re looking for a three-step program for creativity, you won’t find it. That’s exactly what creativity is.
Creativity is relying more on the Holy Spirit than your service programming model. Before you come for me, reminding me God is not a God of disorder, I’d like to say that you can experience God as much in the order and structure as you can in the spontaneity. I don’t believe spending 40 minutes on one song makes your relationship with Jesus more passionate than the church that does the two and half minute radio edit.
What I’m attempting to say is this: Treat every service as if you’re experiencing God for the first time – as if you’re meeting with Him for the first time ever. Don’t throw away your template and process but before you approach either, approach God and ask what He wants. Be willing to accept the answer when it doesn’t fit into your structure.
Creativity is Authenticity
Creativity in worship means authentically pursuing God where you are, with the resources you currently have.
It’s easy to go to a worship conference and walk away with all the new “creative” things you can’t wait to implement. But when desire meets reality and your budget, you realize it may not be possible. It’s easy to think you can’t be “creative” because you don’t have the resources. But creativity isn’t just for the big church down the street.
Creativity in your worship service is being authentic. Being authentic to who your church is. Your service should feel like you. You shouldn’t feel like you have to replicate the structure, sound, and style of another church. Spend time discovering who your church is and what your services look and sound like.
Creativity is Bravery
Creativity is willing to be brave enough to go against the flow and implement things into your service you wouldn’t typically implement.
Seek and plan silence in your service. Use intentional silence as a transition. Read Scripture together in the middle of your worship set. Pray at moments of the service where you wouldn’t typically pray. Break the typical flow of your service and be brave enough to do something you’ve never seen another church do before. Or perhaps something that feels “old fashioned” for your “modern” church.
Creativity in worship is essential. How can you cultivate creativity in your worship service? Here are a few questions that will help prompt ways you can have a more creative worship experience:
- How can you intentionally implement silence in the service?
- How can you use prayer for more than a transition?
- How can you incorporate more people that don’t look and sound like you into the service?
- How can you change your typical service order and structure?
- Who else can lead, sing, or speak besides you?
- What “new song” can your church learn?
- How can you help your church internalize the message each week?
- How can you help your church respond to the message each week?
- What other elements can you incorporate into your service?
- How can you include more people into the planning and execution of each service, each week?