Congregational ConnectionPosted: March 9, 2020
I have always viewed our worship ministry as one in which we “bring out new treasures as well as old” (Mt 13:52). We like the old songs, we like the new songs. A capella, gospel, CCM, EDM-style (even the occasional bluegrass tune). All options are open to us. As we have tried to incorporate newer worship songs with newer styles we have also incorporated newer techniques of using some tracked materials, pads and arpeggiators, in-ear monitoring, growing complexity. When we recently launched a new ministry and split our Sunday service into two locations, this gave us an opportunity to reevaluate some of this. One of the brothers who is helping to lead worship (and is a big proponent of newer worship music) shared that even though he likes the newer music, he felt with all of the complexity we had lost some of the congregational connection. Our hearts had become a little too hurried, too caught up in the mechanics of what we were trying to do. We had grown to have more stress in our set up and rehearsal, as we had become more dependent on technology. We needed to scale back.
In recent weeks we have been trying to simplify a bit, and focus more on the relationship with the voice of the church. We have been not trying to do too much with our team in terms of technical complexity. It has been refreshing and encouraging. Perhaps I will make a video with that brother I mention above and I discussing this further, but today I just thought I would share this struggle we have had and solicit and comments or advise you may have on this. How are things going in your church in terms of congregational engagement, joy and peace on the worship team? Any practices or principles that are helping your group?
As with much in Christianity, I think this is one of those areas where things are held in tension – push/pull. We push into new musical territory, new technological options and techniques, but then pull back and make sure our whole congregation stays together in unity and praise, bringing God “acceptable worship with reverence and awe” (Heb 12:28).