Every worship leader wants more engagement and participation from their congregation, but not many worship leaders know how to get it. Often we think if we had more talent, a bigger budget, and more (and louder) gear that it would help our church engage in worship more, but that is simply not the case. In fact, with some simple, prayerful planning you can craft and shape worship services that engage, excite and invite passionate participation from your congregants.
This bonus episode is a recording of a free live webinar I taught with Brenton Collyer.
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Alex Enfiedjian 00:16 Hey, everyone, hope you’re doing well, I just wanted to give you a bonus episode this month. This is a recording of a live webinar that I did with my friend Brendan Collier, on how to increase engagement and participation in your worship services. And so just took the audio from that live webinar. And I’m releasing it for you guys do enjoy because I think there’s a lot of helpful things. I think everybody who’s listening wants to see more participation, more engagement in their worship services. So hopefully this episode will help you achieve that. There is an upfront teaching section. And then there’s a q&a session at the end, where people ask questions, and we helped answer those questions regarding how to increase participation. If you are interested in any upcoming webinars, if you want to know how to be a part of the live webinars, you can sign up for my mailing list, there’s a link in the show notes. And that will allow you to be notified of any upcoming live webinars because we plan on doing a couple more. So if you want to be in on that action, just sign up for my mailing list. And I will email you when the webinar is happening. Also, Brenton Collier has a mentorship program that he does, that’s excellent. And you can sign up for that as well. I’ve put a link in the show notes for that. So let’s jump right into today’s bonus episode. And I hope you enjoy it. And I’ll see you on the back end.
Brenton Collyer 01:38 So let me give you as we jump into our content, maybe a little definition of what I mean by thriving culture of worship, this is a group of people that will fully and enthusiastically respond to who God is and what he’s done. Now, you might be asking yourself, how do I get there? That sounds great. I’d love to see that sort of response and interaction at my church. But how do I get there. And you know, I think a lot of people think pastors, worship leaders, church leaders, and if I just had a bigger budget, or man, I need some more talent at my church, I need some more skill over here. That’s what would really help me get there. But the truth is, I’m excited to tell you guys that you already have everything you need to nurture a culture of thriving worship at your church. Because if it’s simply a group of people that are willfully and enthusiastically responding to God and what he’s done, then all we really need to do are two things. Take special care to show who God is and what he’s done, and give frequent opportunities to respond. All right. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today, we’re going to actually get real practical here and give you eight ways to promote engagement during your service. So we’re talking about a gathered worship time, eight ways things you can do this Sunday start doing to promote engagement in your church, because we really believe that as people are given opportunities to engage and respond, then that culture of worship is really going to thrive. All right, so let’s jump right into it. The first way that we can support and nurture this culture of worship is through singing. Alright, we’ve got lots of worship leaders here today. So first off, we’re going to talk about singing. My favorite verse to help describe the role of a worship leader is Psalm 34 three, which says, oh, magnify the Lord with me, let us exalt his name together. And I like to describe it this way, the role of a worship leader is to bring the wonder of God into large, vivid focus before the eyes and the hearts of our church family. I’ll say that, again, our role if you’re a worship leader, is to bring the wonder of God into large, vivid focus before the eyes and hearts of our church family. So a good place to start with that is with Christ centered, God honoring biblically rich worship songs, and really being thoughtful about the songs you choose. And I know Alex has thought a lot about this. And Alex, I’d love for you to chime in here and share a few thoughts about what it means to really consider and choose the songs you sing for church.
Alex Enfiedjian 04:31 Yeah, totally. I’m happy to help. One thing I do want to say before I talk about the biblically rich songs is just what Brendan said earlier is anybody can achieve this culture that we’re talking about today. If you implement all these things that he’s about to list, and it just has to do with you being a good leader, and a caring shepherd, and it’s not about a bigger budget or a better band, or it’s just you caring about people and pointing them to Jesus and and so one of the ways that we’re talking about like he said, is singing and picking good songs and If you look at scripture, and you look at what worship is, it’s always a response. It’s revelation first and then a response. So with Peter on the boat, he fell to his knees when he saw who Jesus was. And he’s like, wow. And then Isaiah saw the Lord seated on the throne and worshiped the Lord, you know, and so it’s always revelation first, then response. And so, if we want a stronger response, in our worship gatherings in particularly the singing time, then we need to show people God as clearly as the songs can. And so if you have a bunch of weak songs or songs with vague lyrics, that’s not going to help people see God and that’s not going to evoke a response of worship in their hearts. And so, try and strive to pick the clearest and strongest lyrically strong songs that also obviously have great melodies and are singable but really look at the lyrics and say, is this saying anything? Or can I understand this? If I wrote this out on a piece of paper? Would it make sense and so here’s an example of a vague song that we’ve all song and we’ve all led the song forever rain, which, like I said, many people love that song, but it’s not a very clear song. Like it goes, You are more you are more and it talks about all these things in the verses and then it gets to the chorus. And then it’s like, oh, I’m running to your arms. I’m running to your arms, the riches of your level always be enough. Nothing compares to your embrace. Okay, so it’s all about hugging, I guess. But then it says, light of the world forever rain. That’s the last line of the chorus. What does that mean? How does that have to do with the rest of the song? It’s just kind of christianese so try to avoid songs that are just christianese a song that’s very clear, is by Hillsong it’s called man of sorrows. So look up that song. That song is so rich and deep and clear. You can’t help but respond when you get to the chorus of that song. So check out those two songs. It’s kind of a good and bad. Brendon, if you want I can post a link to an article I wrote about this in the chat box.
Brenton Collyer 06:55 Yeah, do it man. Everybody can see it over there in the chat box. So good, Alex, I know I know. That’s something you’re really passionate about and do a really good job with. And just to remind everybody if you want to follow along with the notes today go to Brenton Collier comm slash webinar, you can see the link there in the chat box. And I totally agree with Alex’s saying, you know, helping people engage with the Lord begins. It’s really strong songs. Because if a thriving worship, worship culture is one that is responding to who God is and what he’s done. Well, then we have to clearly declare and demonstrate who God is and what he has done. You know, there are a few different types of songs. They’re a really good type of song as a song that sings about God, songs that describe who he is his mind, his strength, his splendor, His love, His forgiveness, the redemption story of Jesus Christ. Another good kind of song is some of my favorite are songs that just sing to the Lord. It gives us a chance to give pure ascription to the Lord, the Psalms say, ascribe to the Lord the glory do his name. And then there are other types of songs that are essentially kind of like response on where we’re declaring what we will do essentially singing about ourself. And these are bad songs, because that is an important part of the Christian faith. But I want to encourage you don’t wait too heavily on these type of song songs like Lord, I give you my heart, Lord, I will serve you Lord, I sing to you forever. Again, these aren’t good songs. But you know, I’ll give an example. I was listening through a worship album, recent worship release, and I won’t say which one but it was a good album that had good songs. Man, every song after song after song was all about me and what I am doing for the Lord and, and although a few of those kinds of songs are okay, if we want people to really engage and respond to the Lord, we need to really sing to him and give opportunities to sing to him. Right out
Alex Enfiedjian 08:55 Yeah, God centered songs versus me centered songs like you do need some of those sprinkled in about I’m gonna surrender to you, Lord. But how much stronger is a set that ends with songs about God? Like, what a beautiful name like? Would you rather end a set with what a beautiful name and how great is our guide or your great name? Or something about you know how I’m going to follow you, Lord, and I’m going to serve you No way. Like, we want to go vertical we want to go God centered in in our songs, and especially towards the end of the set, you know, really show them who God is and you will see engagement go up.
Brenton Collyer 09:29 Yeah, 100% agree with that. Alex brought up a great point, something that I think about every time I sit down to work on a worship set, and that is how can I finish this setlist in vertical worship and purest scripture and he gave a few examples of some wonderful songs that do that. And if you ever wonder if you know maybe you walk away on a Sunday and pick up like that worship time kind of fell flat. It might be because you lead people towards the Lord but finished on The note that was about yourself. And that’s always going to fall a little bit flat, you know, so you want to finish in that state in that posture of vertical worship. So that’s great. And then my final thing to say about songs is, don’t be afraid to craft moments of just simple worship. There’s so many wonderful things happening in worship music, different kinds of instruments, and sounds and tones and band arrangements and song arrangements. And I hope you’re taking advantage of a lot of those things to just bring glory to God and honor God. But man, I found when people really engage a lot of times are there are those times where it’s really simple, and there’s not a lot to look at, or listen to, and we’re just able to lift our voices to the Lord, you know, seeing a chorus of How great Thou art or we exalt the or what a beautiful name or your great name or something like that, and just giving people a chance to sing out. You know, that really goes a long way in promoting that engagement. Yeah.
Alex Enfiedjian 10:57 Yeah, jump in one way. A couple more final thoughts about that? Yeah, there should be multiple moments, especially because there’s a lot of worship leaders listening, right. So there should be multiple moments in your set where the congregational voice is the centerpiece. So like, bring certain parts of songs down and let their voice come forward. And that might mean you back off the mic a little bit. That might mean the sound guy brings the band down just a little bit in those moments, but really highlighting their their participation, their singing, and so especially like at the end of a set, like maybe it’s this huge chorus and it’s super epic, and it’s all about Jesus. And everyone’s like, super passionate, you might just be like, Hey, guys, let’s sing that one more time. Just our voices. Let’s lift our voices to the Lord and just let them rip. You know what I mean? And yeah, and one thing too, Brenton, that can encourage singing, is just exhortation while you’re singing, like, sing it out. Like you sing. Like sometimes I’ll be like, hey, you sing and I’ll step back from the mic. And they’ll sing like all of us to without me and I’ll come in towards the end of verse two. And then we go together into the chorus, you know what I mean? Yeah. And then thank them for singing. Sometimes at the end of the end of us, I will pray in Jesus name, amen. And I’ll just say, beautiful singing you guys. You guys sound amazing, like, praise God, you know what I mean? And it kind of validates, and it enhances it like impresses upon them the importance of their voice as part of this worship service. So those are the last few thoughts I have about singing. Oh, my goodness, so much gold right there. Alex,
Brenton Collyer 12:17 thanks so much, man. Yeah, I love you know what you said about a stepping off the mic sometimes letting other people saying because that communicates both visually and sonically that, hey, you’re not here just to listen to me, you’re not here just to take in what I’m doing. But this is a chance for you to sing, this is a chance for you to engage. So before we move on, hey, we’ve got a lot of really good content there on the singing part. I’d love to hear if you guys have any questions about that, we’re going to get to some q&a time at the end. So over in the chat box, you know, punch in a question Riley’s collecting those. And I’m sure you guys have some thoughts and ideas about the singing portion of a service. So go ahead and do that. All right, number two, the second way to promote engagement in your worship service is through scripture reading. Okay, this is something that I’ve really in recent years began adopting, because I’ve just seen, there’s such power in the Word of God, our words can be good and encouraging. And the songs we sing, if they’re biblically based, are good and encouraging. But there is nothing like the actual word of God. And so I want to share a couple of ways you can do this one is through spending some time you know, we all spend time picking songs and practicing songs for service, but also spending time on a call to worship. Okay, many churches do this and many don’t. This could be for a pastor to do a lead pastor, a teaching pastor or a worship leader could do this. But you know, right at the beginning of the service, or towards the beginning, having a call to worship some great verses for this would be like Psalm 91, to sing it is good to give thanks to the Lord to sing praises to your name almost Hi. And then you could say, Hey, we’re here to praise the name of the Most High God, this is good for us to do. So let’s sing together or some 34 one, I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth and say, Hey, we want to bless the Lord as we sing. The Lord blesses him, he delights in it. Let’s sing to the Lord together today. So some kind of a call to worship that gives people an opportunity to jump on board. I’m curious, Alex, do you guys do call to worship at your church? Does that look for you guys?
Alex Enfiedjian 14:29 Yeah, so this is important because I think obviously scripturally you can bring scripture in but even just the concept of not just jumping straight into a song and singing, but really like, I mean, you could have some music playing underneath you and like you welcome people having to stand or sometimes just like, no music, and Hey, guys, how you doing? Good morning, let’s stand. We’re here for this reason. Here’s a verse that wanted to read to you, but something that makes them realize that it’s not a show. It’s not a performance, but it’s like hey, I’m Human and sometimes humor is helpful. Like, hey, like it breaks down barriers and the call to worship is, especially like, if you have a Thursday night service or something, people are coming from work, they’re all stressed out, they drove through, in my case, Los Angeles traffic, and they need help resetting their mind and recentering. And so just welcoming them like, Hey, guys, hope you had a great day. You know, we’re here for this reason. And but yes, with Scripture, sometimes I’ll do it at the top. Sometimes I’ll do that for the first song, sometimes I won’t do it at all. But I found that the more scripture I put into my sets, the stronger the response is in worship, like period, and maybe you’ll get into this later, but like, sometimes I’ll just put it on the screens during an instrumental, you know, like, we’re that little piano walk down of what a beautiful name done, add, add, add, add, add, add on, and on and on. I don’t just leave the screens blank. During that time, I want to help people engage their hearts and their minds. So I put up a passage from Revelation that talks about Jesus and His power and overcoming death. You know what I know? Yeah, I’m sorry, from jumping
Brenton Collyer 16:02 around. Oh, no, that is such a good thought. That’s a really creative, just practical idea. I love that Alex, you know, a few other ways that scripture again, it promotes engagements and helps us reveal who the Lord is, you know, I found that scripture can really give weight and context to a song. So you know, a lot of the songs we sing are rooted in Scripture as they should be. And so sometimes, before I lead a song, I’ll read a passage and say, Okay, let’s sing of that truth together. And suddenly, as you’re singing that song, maybe you’ve sung it a dozen times before, but it takes on another level of weight now, or sometimes what I’ll do is I’ll play a portion of the song, and then, you know, during an instrumental break, like Alex was describing, I’ll read a scripture there, and then launch back into it, you know, so it just, it can really give context and weight to the songs you’re singing. And another thing, don’t be afraid of extended readings, you know, if you wanted to read an entire song, or five or six verses from an epistle, you know, don’t feel like it’s got to be just one verse and move on. That may mean you have to scale back how much singing you do, but it’s a good trade, you know, to get more of the Word of God out there. And then, you know, something that a lot of faith traditions do are corporate scripture readings. So you know, a leader will read a line, and the church will read a line, or everyone will read aloud in unison. And there’s something really special about someone just speaking aloud, you know, there may be people in your church that don’t want to sing, they just feel like, man, I can’t open my mouth in the middle of all these people. But then as you say, hey, let’s read this scripture together. You know, they’ll do that. And so they’re reading aloud and everyone’s reading aloud. And they get kind of familiar with that concept of their voice mingling with the voices around them. And I’ve actually seen this really turn the page for some people and inspire them to break through that barrier and begin singing aloud in church.
Alex Enfiedjian 17:54 Yeah, yeah. And I posted a few psalms for calls to worship in the chat if people want to find some things to use to open their service. But those are all kind of the ones that I found to be helpful. But also, I just wanted to say, if you want to increase engagement, this coming Sunday, I promise you what Brenton said is true. You might need to cut your music down and add some thoughtfully placed scripture, I guarantee you will see a greater response in your worship. So
Brenton Collyer 18:22 yeah, yeah, that’s so good. Yeah, I see those songs there. Alex, that’s awesome. did appreciate that. Thank you. Alright, so number three. Again, we’ve got eight ways to promote engagement and nurture that thriving worship culture. So number three, thoughtful prayer, okay. Now, I have totally been guilty of praying the same three or four things, week after week in a worship service, you know, you just get into a habit. And maybe you begin to say, Lord, thank you for today. Thank you for bringing us together, look forward to praising you. Amen. Or you might close a song and say, Lord, you know, we thank you for who you are, and what you’ve done. Thank you for your grace, amen. or whatever it is, you know, I bet if we thought about all of us, no, okay, I’ve got my two or three little prayers I do all the time. And although those do honor God, and that’s fine. I found that putting thought and even praying about what to pray about, for a worship service is really wonderful. You know, our modern contemporary worship has more of a thrust on spontaneity, which is great, but for, you know, hundreds and hundreds of years throughout history, men of god and women of God have crafted thoughtful prayers to pray and their worship services. So it’s very normal and very common. And so just thinking about, you know, Lord, what can I pray on this week? Is there something that our church is going through that I can just lift up in prayer is is there an attribute of God’s and nature of God that that I haven’t really been highlighting? That, you know, I could highlight this week maybe I pray and thank you for your sovereignty this week. Or maybe I pray to confess our sin and our shortcomings this week, you know, that’s probably not something you’re just gonna automatically do one day, you know, maybe think about that and do that. So thoughtfully praying, you do this in your call to worship, this could be in response to something that you sons or theme that you’ve sung on. And then just instead of moving right into your next song, just take a little bit of time and just pray on that for a minute. You know, our lead pastor does a really good job at this as we close a song, Sometimes he’ll just come up and lead our church to praying and just reinforcing those themes we son about it. And so all of that is beginning to like, just really connect the pieces for people and, and in worship service goes from a bunch of disjointed kind of thoughts and ideas to a thoughtful, cohesive thing. And, you know, that’s not about being slick or smooth or produce, that’s just about saying, Hey, we want again, go back to the role of the worship leader, Psalm 34, to magnify the Lord and want to bring the wonder of God into clear vivid focus. And so here’s some ways to do that. Right? You could, Yeah, go ahead.
Alex Enfiedjian 20:58 I wanted to ask you, where do you find besides just asking, Lord, Lord, what should I be praying about this week? Where do you find other inspiration for thematic prayers? Do you have a book or anything like that?
Brenton Collyer 21:10 Yeah. So I mean, a common one that I had in us is the Book of Common Prayer, you know, this little book and a lot of faith traditions it uses for a long time, and they’re beautiful, wonderful prayers, and here that coincide with different seasons of the year or different holidays or events and things. A lot of times, as I’m crafting a setlist, I’m praying over that. And as I’m in my like, small group that I’m in at my church, there will just be things that like, I just get a sense of what our church is going through. And I’ll say, Man, I want to pray on that maybe it’s a time to celebrate something and you know, thankful or maybe it’s a time to mourn something, or if there’s been a death or a loss or a tragedy. So you know, just being sensitive to the Lord is huge there. Yeah, there’s
Alex Enfiedjian 21:52 two little things, I just want to point out from what you’ve said so far, and that it’s number one to be intentional with your prayers. And basically, this whole webinar is about being intentional with everything that goes into service planning, right. But also just a thought about being intentional with your prayers. Like you can use prayers as teaching moments or ways to inform your church what’s happening. So like, when, when you’re giving an offering, you can say, Lord, we offer these gifts to you, Lord, but we offer ourselves to our whole lives, our whole bodies, we are yours to be used by You for Your glory and for your kingdom. And so take us and take these gifts and use them to advance the gospel in the world. We pray in Jesus name. And that’s like you’re praying, a real biblical prayer, but you’re also helping the church understand that they’re not just dropping dollars into a bucket. You know what I mean? Yeah. And then one last thing that you said in this, you briefly mentioned the word themes, what are the themes? And I think, in order to make a worship service, from the prayers, to the teaching, to the song selection to everything, feel cohesive and engaging. It’s all about identifying what is the theme of this morning?
Brenton Collyer 22:57 Mm hmm. Oh, that’s so good. Thanks, Alex. Yeah, prayer, I mean, scripture and prayer and song all kind of melded together. And the quote, unquote, worship time of the service is so much more powerful than just blasting through song to song, the song, and then kicking it over to the teaching. So, you know, as service planners, worship leaders, we’ve got some pastors that are in the mix today on this webinar, thank you for being here. So all of us can be really thinking about that, you know, a couple of other real practical ideas is we can lead others. In a guided prayer, we do this, often, our church will choose to plan something. And we’ll just begin to pray and just ask people just silently in their hearts to affirm that and pray along with that. Or you can even invite people to pray aloud. We’ve done this before in some of our smaller gatherings, where I’ll just say, hey, offer a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord just right there in your seat. And people will pray aloud throughout the church. And it’s a little bit of a step of faith to open the door to that, you know, but it’s always so good. So those are a few ways to incorporate some thoughtful prayer. Okay, I want to move on to teaching moments, all right, teaching. Now, of course, there’s the the Bible teaching that takes place, a pastor gives a teaching or message and the service. And so that’s the biggest part and time where teaching takes place. But I want to talk about some other ways where we can have constant teaching moments throughout a worship service, Alex already alluded to a couple of them. One would be just to give an explanation of some song lyrics. So there might be a song that everyone doesn’t understand, like we do the song line in the land at our church, and that’s got some real biblical revelation style language in there. And so some people might be like, what are we singing about? So giving some explanation to lyrics will just automatically boost the engagement and participation that songs like okay, that’s, that’s awesome. Now I know what that’s singing about.
Alex Enfiedjian 24:50 Right? Like Holy Spirit. You are welcome here and they’re like, Wait, isn’t he already here? So what does that mean? Well, it means Holy Spirit come and invade and take over my life and that makes the song so much more meaningful. Right, yes, when you explain it,
Brenton Collyer 25:02 that’s a really good example. Yeah, totally. Another thing is to share why we sing. This is something that I began doing much more when I moved from Northwest Florida to Central California. And there’s a much less Christian culture here. And so I find that people coming to church don’t really have a lot of context for why we sing why we do what we do, like I guess people just sing at church. But saying, you know, this is why we sing. This is where the Word of God calls us to sing. This is the, you know, how singing specifically honors God. So having those little teaching moments, and it doesn’t happen all at once in one week, but just peppering those in Week after week, and helping people understand. And then as they understand, they’ll begin to engage more. So both the worship leader and the pastor can do this. And then a little, just thing I like to encourage lead pastors to do is Hey, pastors participate in this singing portion of the service. You know, even if you sit up front, and they could sit in the front row and, and just participate, demonstrate the type of worship you want your church to exhibit. So whether that’s singing loudly, or even lifting your hands or kneeling to the Lord, or whatever it is, if you visibly demonstrate and set a good example for that, then your church will begin to follow.
Alex Enfiedjian 26:14 Yeah, I would say that’s so huge, like the senior pastor is the premier or the first worship leader, because they will follow your example. And our senior pastor used to sit on the stage and worship. Now he sits in the front row, and worships for all three services participates hands raised standing, you know, and I know some churches actually put most of their staff in the front rows kind of to help show people what demonstrative worship looks like. Mm hmm. And that may be manipulative or not, I don’t know.
Brenton Collyer 26:45 Yeah, no, I think it’s just leading by example. It’s something that we do as a worship team and worship leaders. Anyways. Alright, so those are your first four, we’re gonna move through these next four, a bit quicker. Those are the big ones. Those are the ones that really apply the most to us. But we’ve got four more that we wanted to highlight, just to really get those wheels turning, get you guys thinking about this a little bit. All right. So number five is testimony. Psalm 1051, of my favorite Psalm says, make known his deeds among the peoples and then later tell of all his wondrous works, okay, so we have a chance to celebrate and tell of what God has done. This could be a worship leader, just sharing a personal story, this could be a pastor sharing a story, I love it, when it’s another team member, or volunteer, or even just a church member, you could do this via video you recorded, or you could do it live, have them come up on the platform, or you can even just do it spontaneously. I know. You know, for instance, Bob kauflin. At his church, they’ve got a mic off to the side. And then they have a time of the service. We say, hey, if you got to work, the Lord’s doing something, come up, share it with us. So I’ve just found that as people hear and experience, oh, this is what God’s doing. God is alive. God is on the move. God is at work. And then that’s such an inspiring thing. And the Bible calls us to do that to tell it to celebrate it. And so I think just celebration is huge. Anything to add to that out?
Alex Enfiedjian 28:09 No, I completely agree. Like we just had a time at our staff DeVos right now, like right before this webinar, and everybody was sharing kind of like whatever God was doing in the moment, they were reading scripture or sharing, like, I feel like God’s saying this or whatever. And it was so encouraging and worshipful and just seeing what God’s doing in someone else’s life is such an inspiration and cutting spurs on worship within the body, and even within myself. And so I would just totally agree that this is this is important to find ways to creatively work this in.
Brenton Collyer 28:39 Good are number six are clear announcements. Okay, now we’re taking a left turn a little bit here. Maybe you don’t really run the announcements time at your church. But if your lead pastor, I’m sure you weigh into this, but it’s important for everyone to know that that announcement time however you do that, that’s a part of your worship service. And it can either be a worshipful thing, it really can that actually honors God and draws people toward worshiping them usually in a more active physical way of participating with something that you’re announcing or getting involved in some way. Or it man, it can just crush your worship culture, it’s possible for the announcements to be the most disengaging and disruptive element of your service if you allow them to. So a couple quick notes, keep announcements brief, really worked to whittle them down, major on the y and minor on the details. So give people why something’s important, why you want them to engage with it. And don’t just go through a series of you know, this date, this time, this location, here’s how you sign up. All that’s important, but major on the why Alex posted a great podcast about communication in the church, which is in the notes section if you’re following along Breton Collier comm slash webinar and I learned a ton from this podcast. One of my favorite things that stuck with me a ton is a church communication expert that he had interviewed there just hit that gave this little phrase, give inspiration, not information. And so of course, you know, we think about announcements, we’re just giving information. And that has to be there. But think about how you get inspiration, tell a story talk about how, you know be if you’re talking about small groups, how being in that small group is impacted your life in some way or something like that. Inspiration versus information.
Alex Enfiedjian 30:28 Yeah, what causes action action is a response of emotion. That’s what that’s what gets people to sign up when they’re like, I need to do that because of this story that I just heard. One thing that I wanted to ask you, Brenton is, I think, where the announcements are, can totally interrupt the flow of worship. So where have you found to be the best place to do announcements because I know churches who do like two songs, and then announcements, and then two more, and then it’s just like, what? So what do you think, oh, man, well, we
Brenton Collyer 30:54 actually just changed up our announcement format, we used to do worship, which is songs, prayer, scripture, meet and greet announcements, and then teaching. And I found that that announcements on that middle of the service that actually like the prime moments of the service, everyone’s there, you know, everyone’s engaged. And we were getting those over two announcements, which are important, but certainly not the most important thing of our service. So we actually changed to a format kind of like you described Alex just this last month, we’ll do two songs, we look at those as gathering songs, praise, songs of celebration coming together. And then we’ll do our we call it a Connect time where we’re helping people connect with the church family. And then we get into more of like our substantial worship times we do three more songs, usually. And that’s a chance to do our giving there to really press in toward the Lord. And that allows us to just go right into the teaching time out of an attitude of worship, and I’ve really loved it so far, because that’s what we do. Interesting. Okay. Okay, our final two, before we get to our questions, our communion and baptism, these are the sacraments, these are the things that really define Christian worship. These are the things that Jesus has called us to do. So a few thoughts about them, and how to incorporate them into your worship services First Communion, give a thoughtful explanation to what communion is and why we receive it. Again, this goes back to those teaching moments. You know, some people even Christians might say, Okay, I know this is something we do. But why what is it, and it’s so multifaceted, you’re not going to really run into having to say the same thing every time. It’s it’s a somber meal where we remember Christ’s death. It’s a celebration, where you know, we were once separated, but now connected with God. And it’s the shadow of what’s to come, we’ll have that that marriage supper in heaven with God Himself. So feature communion in that way. There are a variety of ways you can do it, don’t feel gift, do it the same way every time. For us. We do communion once a month, and our Sunday services and we do it in a way where the ushers distribute the communion, and then a pastor leads us through receiving it together. But during like the summer, we do our Bible study, we do communion every week. But in that time, we actually invite people to get out of their seats and come forward and collect the communion elements themselves, and then just take it individually or maybe with the spouse or with a friend. And so there are all different ways that you can do communion. All of them are powerful, all of them are special. Alright, I’m going to jump right into our last one here, which is baptism. Okay, baptisms are another incredible chance to celebrate who God is and what he’s done. And for testimony for people to just declare the wonder of God. So invite people to share a little bit of their story when you guys do baptisms maybe talk to them, Hey, could you share you know, how did you get saved? What is the Lord doing in your life and let people share about that? And you know, so that we do at our church is we tell everybody Hey, we’re gonna dump we do the dump, baptizing you know, so we’re gonna dunk them. And then when they come up, I want you guys we just say like this OMG has to go wild. just scream and cheer. Let’s celebrate this new life in Christ. And so they do man will bring him out of the water and was clapping and cheering and some of that enthusiasm and just that like loud, you know, the Bible says to shout to the Lord, that’s an act of praise. Also, something that kind of has bled into our worship services when people are more prone to clap and shout as they realize that we’re not clapping for the band here. No way we’re celebrating Gosh,
Alex Enfiedjian 34:23 yeah, I know you want to move on, but I just have to say, Ben civils, who is listening right now he is at a church down the road from you and I got a chance to serve with him for a couple years. I love that guy. He does this so well. They have air horns in their services. Yeah. So and you’re right. When you teach them to celebrate these celebratory services, it helps bleed into the normal week to week stuff. So yeah, I wanted to point out,
Brenton Collyer 34:48 yeah, that’s so good. Thanks, man. Alright, so to recap our eight ways to promote engagement during a service. We’ve got singing scripture prayer, teaching testimony. announcements, communion, and baptism. So they’re there even more. But those are three immediate things that anyone can do with thoughtful prayer and seeking the Lord to really promote a thriving worship culture in your church. All right, and here is the q&a session that we did. A lot
Unknown Speaker 35:21 of great questions came in. Thank you, everybody for sending in your questions, we’ll be able to get to all of them. I broke them up into a couple categories. Let’s start with you, Alex, let’s talk about songs. Joseph asked, Have any of you compiled a list of solid worship songs?
Alex Enfiedjian 35:37 You know, I’ve had many people ask me over the last couple months of that very same question, and I just send them like my master list of songs. But maybe it’s about time I put it like, publicly online, but in the meantime, if you want, you can just email me Alex at worship ministry training calm, and I will send you that same list of songs. And maybe Brenton, do you have a list of songs.
Brenton Collyer 35:59 Yeah, yeah, I’ve got a list of about 40 or 50 songs that are in our current rotation of songs. I’m not sure if Joseph met just worship songs in general that are good, or that those specific like vertical style worship songs, but if you met the specific vertical style worship songs, you know, I love songs, I mentioned a couple of how great they are, you know, just the simple chorus of we exalt the I really liked the song exalted overall, I like what a beautiful name, I really believe that’s one of the reasons that songs just blown up and is wonderful, because it’s a great worship song. Revelation song is in that category. And you know, it’s hard to find a whole song that isn’t about the self all about the Lord. So sometimes I’ll just grab, like a chorus of a song or a bridge of a song, like, like the chorus or bridge of being thrown by Jeremy riddle, you know, I mean, don’t you have to just hold songs, and in that, you know, highest praise is Lord of all being thrown upon? You know. So those are a few examples. Good question. Just a thanks.
Unknown Speaker 36:55 What’s another one? Right.
Unknown Speaker 36:56 Awesome. Yeah. Let’s just do one more song one. This is from Tanya, she asks, How do I convince slash promote newer songs to a congregation that stuck in a rut? I love the eight points. But I’m wondering if you have any additional thoughts. wanna start that off? Brenton?
Brenton Collyer 37:12 Yeah, how to introduce new songs, I’ll go ahead and share it a moment and article that I wrote about this. And so that’ll probably explain it more. But the two things I do is introduce new songs consistently. So I try every four to six weeks, bring in something new, this is a good timeframe. Do them three weeks in a row, I used to do them just two weeks in a row. But now I do them three weeks in a row, give them a break, reevaluate after that, maybe incorporate some of that those teaching moments. So lyric explanation, or a scripture reading in conjunction with that song, the first week or two to really give context and weight to it. And then if you’re trying to get new songs, but also a whole different style of song to that can be a pretty big leap for some people. So maybe begin with a new song. That’s, that’s kind of in a similar vein that they’re used to stylistically. And you know, as worship leaders, we are shepherds. I love that term the Bible uses we’re Shepherd leaders, and so we’re just carefully and slowly leading people forward. And so don’t try to do it all at once. But do it systematically and consistently. Yeah,
Alex Enfiedjian 38:12 and make sure that the songs that you are planning to introduce aren’t lame, like we talked about, like vague or whatever. Because if they’re strong and beautiful, and biblical, and compelling songs, it doesn’t really matter the style of songs like people, unless you’re really in a church, that’s like we only like hymns, then you’re gonna have to do some teaching work there. But I found that if you craft a service that’s full of beautiful songs, whether they’re hymns or newer songs, or an interweaving of both, people are going to respond positively to it. But if you’re just trying to do some lame, like, kind of like new techno song, and it’s just totally out of context, and the lyrics are just weak, then I would probably be like, hey, that sounds lame, too. You know, I mean, just truth from Alex right now. I love it.
Unknown Speaker 38:58 I guess keep moving with the questions. This is about engagement in a worship service. This is from Ben sibyls. He asked, how do you help people engage in the worship service physically, like with their bodies, helping people get comfortable lifting their hands, for example, or using standing kneeling bowing compositions at different points in the worship service? How do you guys encourage people to do that in your church? Alex, you wanna kick that off?
Alex Enfiedjian 39:23 Sure. Well, I’d say it’s context specific, because like, in our, you know, big services, there’s just a lot of people and if some people kneeled, we have pews too, believe it or not, and like, if you kneel, like it would be hard for a couple 1000 people to get down on their knees at the same time, you know, it just kind of be chaotic. So I think in a smaller context, you can introduce certain motions, but obviously, hand raising and clapping are really easy things to do. And so explanation like, hey, the Bible says the clap our hands, and I know you’re all white and you have no rhythm, but let’s try this. Not just Getting Don’t say that. But one phrase that has been really helpful is, if you’re comfortable, that phrase really releases people, instead of Raise your hands, people, it’s like you say, Hey, if you’re comfortable, let’s just take a moment and lift our hands to the Lord. Like, let’s say, you’re seeing the song of the stand, I stand with arms high, and say, if you’re comfortable, let’s just lift our hands to the Lord, and offer our selves as a sign of surrender, raising our hands to the Lord, and you kind of teach and explain and you use that really critical phrase, if you’re comfortable. Honestly, if you say it in that way, I’d say 90% of the people are going to go along with it. You know what I mean? Awesome,
Unknown Speaker 40:35 is talking about service flow. For a moment. You guys talked about this. But Darien had a question. He said, How long do you guys have for the musical portion of your services before you turn over to the pastor for the preaching and teaching time? So I guess how do you distribute your worship time between that and the teaching time during your church service? How long is each portion? Brenton? How’s that go here at Calvary?
Brenton Collyer 40:58 Yeah, so typically, we’ll do you know, the music worship time will be 25 minutes, 25 to 30 minutes. And then, you know, we really major on expositional Bible teaching at our church. And so that teaching typically lasts about 45 minutes, 15 minutes. And then with a few other things, we end up shoot for like an 80 minute service. But I really try to think of that music time less of like, Okay, if I have 20 minutes, and songs are about five minutes apiece, then that means four songs, right? And just think, Okay, I got 20 minutes, how can I use a call to worship singing scripture, prayer, moments of response to just because some worship time or musical worship time isn’t about singing necessarily. It’s about providing ways for people to engage and turn their eyes to the Lord and lift him up and to honor him. So all of those things help. So I would just maybe think about it in that way. Also, that’s how we do at our church.
Alex Enfiedjian 41:57 Alex? Yeah. So on our Sunday morning services, we haven’t it’s an hour long. And so I have to usually be off the stage in 25 minutes. And so and that includes like video announcements, and, you know, inviting the ushers forward for offering and all that stuff. So we do, typically three and a half to four songs up front, and then quick greeting time. And then we have people sit down and check out the video announcements. After the video announcements, invite the SS come forward with worship God through giving. And we play a song while they give. And then I pray to wrap that up. In Jesus name. We offer ourselves back to you, Lord, to be us free purposes. In Jesus name. Amen. Pastor Jeff’s on stage he says Amen. And he jumps right into the teaching time. And then we come back out and close with a chorus of a song that best matches his sermon theme. And so what I was going to say, though, is I think, honestly, I found that if you are thoughtful and intentional with your song sets, and you’re creating a cohesive and beautiful moving service, you can do a lot to get people vertical in three and a half songs, I found that that you can totally do that. So good word, man. Thanks. All right. How about one more before we finish up is so good.
Unknown Speaker 43:03 Yeah, let’s see one more from somebody we haven’t heard from yet. This is from Pat is SG with kind of relationship between the worship leader and the congregation or people just in the church? What are your thoughts about the relationship between the worship leader and individuals in the church? Do you choose songs that will directly apply to someone’s personal situation? Or struggle? If you hear about someone going through a certain situation? Do you take that into account when you’re creating your worship sets?
Alex Enfiedjian 43:30 No, typically, I don’t just there’s a lot of people and I can’t know everybody and everybody’s struggle, and even my own team members struggle. So I, I really base my song selection off of the texts that the pastor is preaching on. Like, that’s kind of my I read the text, I find the central themes in the text, I use Bible gateway COMM And I highlight the key phrases, and I just think what songs and then I look through my master song list and try to pull in a bunch of songs that have that theme. And then I whittle it down. And I can post a link to how I you know, choose my song sets. But I really base it off the theme of the morning and the theme of the passage that the pastor is preaching on.
Brenton Collyer 44:08 Yeah, and I agree with that I do the same thing. In a smaller church context, which many, many of us are in, that might be a little bit more possible. But something that I do try to do is just pray about, you know, maybe not one individual but just try to be sensitive, you know, what’s the mood of our church family right now, you know, that could be indicative of you know, just kind of what’s happening in our culture right now. Or maybe what the pastor has been teaching on recently or just in my personal relationships people in my small group my worship team, the church, this gives an impression you know, what, what’s kind of where people add and you know, there have been times like we’ve been doing this the him be down my vision lately and I just had in my heart like, say the Lord, you know, that’s on a lot. I love that song. But Stoney Lord was saying, hey, right now, like, do that song a little bit that’s going to really serve people. And so, you know, I don’t really know why exactly, but you know, I just want to be faithful to that. So just being Spirit led It’s really important, man, we got so many good questions today. You guys have been an incredible group. I just I hope and pray that this has been just a powerful, insightful time for you. So as we prepare to wrap up, I just wanted to ask Alex, any final thoughts for our crew before we go? No, go go after it. All right, well, hey, I absolutely believe in you guys. I don’t know every one of you personally. But if you are in leadership at your church, I believe it’s because God has placed you there. I believe that he wants to use you to just help nurture that thriving culture of worship and your church. So just go from here encouraged and know that through the power of God, man, you can do great things.
Alex Enfiedjian 45:50 Alright, that’s all we have time for today. I hope you were encouraged by this episode, and that it will help you increase participation in your church services. I also want to encourage you to sign up for the mailing list so you can be notified of the next webinar, just click the link in the show notes and also check out Brendan’s mentorship program also linked in the show notes. So thanks for being listener. Help us by sharing this episode with whoever you think might benefit from it. And I will see you on the first of next month for another helpful episode.