I referenced in one of my previous posts the importance of creativity in worship, that same night, I came up with a few creative ways to create some buzz with our “Do Something” campaign. A thought I had was to have congregational members offer their creativity as an offering, and since then, I’ve been thinking of ways to enhance that. It’s not enough that we’re offering up our ideas to God, we should be offering everything we have, talent-wise. So how do we do that? And how do we do that in worship?
Offering our ideas is a great start. By doing this, we’re requiring that congregational members don’t just go through the motions, as so many do. They have to think, and they can’t use the Jesus answer. We as creatives must do this to consistently provide a worship experience each week, so doing creative things like this doesn’t mean the same things as it might mean to the congregation, so it’s important to highlight this.
One problem I feel is conflicting the Church is that too many worship leaders are trying to entertain the guests to boost numbers, get bigger budgets, only to focus on entertaining the congregation again. While there are ethical issues wrapped up in this, Colossians 3:23 states “Whatever you do, do it with all your heart, and do it for the Lord, not for man.” Creatives must strive to create for God, not for the entertainment or awe of man. When we create for God, the desired result with man will come naturally. For whatever is good and pleasing to the Lord is beautiful and lovely to mankind.
Another concept I’ve been thinking about is changing up the way we worship. What if instead of creating a set and having a rigid timetable of the worship service, we allow God to move through us in worship? This may not be all that foreign for some churches, but this is something I’ve found the majority of churches that I’ve seen doing. Here’s one quick idea– What if for one service, you try getting your members/guests to take off their shoes before entering the sanctuary? This ends the stuffy “we’re at church, we have to act perfect” attitude that I can guarantee at least one of your members feel. People used to take off their shoes before entering the temple as a sign of respect and to show that this is holy ground. You will face resistance, especially if you have older members in your congregation, and I know that in my congregation, elderly make up a rather large portion of our member-base, so this would be a concept that we would have to use in our contemporary service.
Here’s another idea– Turn off your house lights, light candles instead. Bring the retro liturgical service back. There WAS a time that electricity didn’t exist, and there were Christians long before that, so how else did the get together? They lit candles. Those societies were definitely closer-knit than ours. While I am one of the biggest fans of using social media, I do believe that too much of a good thing is dangerous, and today’s society, especially Americans, are used to becoming stuffed to the point of discomfort with most of anything. When you take away the technology, you make your congregants rely on each other during the service. Grab an acoustic guitar, a Bible, and you can lead one of the most impacting services you’ve ever had. The biggest moments I’ve had in my spiritual life were not when I was awed by the technology and the delivery of the service, it was youth retreats that required limited resources and community. Emulate this in your normal church service, you’ll be glad you did.
I challenge you to strive to find ways to break the structure of your service. Don’t let your church become routine, make it an experience that will challenge and grow your congregants each and every week.