A Worship Review from September 23, 2012

It is often awkward visiting a church:

  • will I know the songs?
  • will I be put in the spotlight as a guest?

I didn't know all the songs but the new ones were presented in a way, with such passion, that I could easily observe, quickly learn and sing along.

In just three songs the story of God, the Gospel was presented. Scripture was used as the opening words of the service.

Time was given to communicate announcements and I must say in a very creative way. A video had been created to highlight the major events of the week.

The pastor's prayer...it was that and it was clear he cared for the church and its people and that he was pleading to God for the congregation he was called to shepherd.

The offering was intentionally placed in the middle of the service, and through the pastor's introduction, a clear connection was made to gifts as worship and how those gifts support all the ministries of the church.

A testimony from one of the vocal team was a great connection between a song and real life.

The sermon, a continuation in an exposition of the book of 1 Corinthians, was delivered with passion and a clear call to the congregation to apply what they had heard to become a better follower of Christ.

As the sermon came to an end counselors from around the room made their way to the front of the church and became available to the people for prayer or to talk.

The benediction was brief and did not interrupt the prayer and counseling that was taking place.

Overall it was a great experience by which I was able to converse with God through the leadership of the worship teams including the pastor.

The one thing that seemed to take away or interrupt the conversation with God was the announcements: the general church announcements, the mission announcement/call-to-action both done by video. Then there was the re-emphasis of the major events by the pastor. These minutes of announcements brought the conversation of worship to a stop.

As a worship pastor I struggle with having announcements, welcome/fellowship or even the offering in the middle of the service. These all are necessary and important parts of the life of a faith family, however I have found that care must be taken that these do not become a roadblock in the conversation of worship.

If I were to live in this state and in this town, I would definitely visit again and it would be under consideration as my new faith family.

This review is of a worship service I attended on September 23, 2012 at Peoples Church in Fresno, California.

What would make a worship service welcoming to you as a visitor?

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