What is the nature of a worshiper?
Among many things, a worshiper is?
? someone with a broken and contrite heart. (Psalm 51:17)
? thankful and worships with reverence and awe. (Hebrews 12:28)
? someone who prays and seeks after God. (1 Chronicles, 22:19, Psalm 9:10)
? someone who reveres God. ?(Psalm 5:7)
? able to outwardly express praise. (Exodus 15:21, 2 Chronicles 5:13, Ephesians 5:19)
But let?s take the microscope out and look a little deeper into our own context.
What is the nature of the worshipers in your congregation?
This is a culture conversation. Answering this question comes from asking a number of other questions. I have recently been in some worship culture conversations at my church that are helping shape how we as artists can best connect the congregation to God. In asking this question, two things come to mind.[quote]Knowing what comes naturally to your congregation means knowing your congregation.[/quote]
1. Knowing what comes naturally to worshipers in your congregation means?knowing your congregation.
Are you in a position where you work or volunteer for the church, but aren?t really a part of it? I?ve been that person before. There were times where, as a church employee, I didn?t consider that I should participate in the initiatives the rest of the church was doing. I figured my contribution was the work I was doing on staff. I was doing enough! I was contributing to ?the body.? But in reality, during this time I missed out on the pulse of the church. I wasn?t actively engaged in what the rest of the church was doing. Ever been there?[quote]My worship leading is better when I?m involved in what the rest of the church is doing.[/quote]
What I found is that my worship leading is better when I?m involved in what the rest of the church is doing. When my small group is meeting regularly, I am a better person. When I have developed relationships with congregants outside of the staff, I am a better servant, a better prayer, and more deeply connected to people and to God. We as church leaders can only do so much from the outside to serve the inside.
Get to know people. Engage. Even if you spend the better part of every day in technical or creative arts, dig into the movement of God throughout your church.
Get in a small group. Serve among other congregants. It changes your perspective from church worker to church member.[quote]Knowing what comes naturally to your congregation means asking a million more questions.[/quote]
2. Knowing what comes naturally to your congregation means?asking a million more questions.
Here are some questions to consider.
Who is in your congregation? What are the demographics of your church? Age, ethnicity, gender, urban/suburban, economic status, families, married/divorced, etc. What do they do for a living? Is your church made up of mostly blue-collar hard workers? Is your church in a college town filled with early 20-something singles? Are you in an urban environment with a ton of hipsters? Are you in a church near an army base with a heavy army family population? Are you serving in a middle class suburban church???
What music do they listen to? What kind of movies or books do they talk about? Are they energy drinkers, tea connoisseurs, or coffee snobs? Do they wake up early or stay up late? Are they walkers, drivers, or bikers?
What matters to them? What do they spend the better part of their day thinking about? What do they care about? What worries them? What do they dream about? What messages do they live by?
All of these specifics shape the culture of your church. They shape what matters to the worshipers in those seats on Sunday. It matters what kind of questions they are asking. These specifics shape their worldview and how they see God. It shapes what needs they bring before God.
And it shapes how we as artists, musicians, producers, and technicians approach our work in preparation for Sunday. The more we know our people, the better we can create moments, pieces, songs, and environments that help these specific people connect with God. And that makes it worth asking a ton of questions.