Preparing for Worship: getting beyond the logistics

Every worship leader is faced with a reoccurring blank piece of paper because Sundays come once a week. It is waiting to be filled with an outline of a worship service that will include various items depending on the personality of the local congregation.

I write this post on a Saturday morning meaning the blank piece of paper with tomorrow’s date at the top has been filled between its margins with an outline, and the items that fill the page have been detailed, arranged and rehearsed. We have done all that we can do. The question is: ‘what will the people recognize when they enter the designated place of worship tomorrow?’

In a statement from a sermon in the late 1950’s A.W. Tozer implied he had been asking the same question when he wrote the following:

“Visit some churches, and when you sit down, you are conscious of a Presence. You go into other churches, and when you sit down, you are conscious of the beauty of the music or the stained glass windows, the sonorous tones of the minister, and all the rest, but you are not conscious of the Presence of God necessarily.”

Where we meet you will not find stained glass, but basketball goals; and not beautiful architecture but cement block walls. However the caution for us who plan is that anything we put on stage or plan to use in a service is put there only to help us recognize the very presence of God.

So how do we guard against the items (elements) placed on the blank piece of paper becoming the focus and not God?

•    Ask the question just printed often.
•    Pray that God will take our planning and execution to bring Glory to Him
•    Pray for wisdom and insight to remove anything that could be a distraction
•    Pray: God help me forget about trying to make everything ‘right,’ and forget about being the producer. Instead give me the freedom of mind to worship

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