Ok gang, ever have one of those worship services that just isn't working. Folks aren't engaging, songs are just dead or empty, you're wondering what's happening & what to do? Happened to me last & I was constantly wondering what to do about it???

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There's probably lots of reasons 'why'. However considering this article might be a good place to start: http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/in-the-line-of-fire/40327-lack-...

I'm coming to the conclusion that worship 'working or not working' isn't about technique or the songs themselves, at least at the heart of the matter. Slightly scary if it's ones paid job to whip up a congregation.

This is not sniping BTW - I really hope this helps.

Sometimes it's the anemia, boredom, jadedness or fear of the non-boring (noted in Toni's link); sometimes it's your own limited view of what God was doing in that service.  Look how Elijah, the #1 prophet, misread God's work in his own country.  He thought nobody cared; God said, 7000 care; you just haven't seen them in action).  The very first time I testified of God in public the leaders were looking at their watches and pulling on their collars, and I could see glazed eyes in the congregation.  But afterwards one teenager came up and said, "Thanks - that really meant a lot to me; it made sense." 

Sometimes we don't connect.  Did the pastor fire you or was there a parade with pitchforks, torches and tar?  If not, they still want you there.  Put together a worship service no better or no worse than last week's, pray for it just like you always do; do your best, and don't look over your shoulder, especially if there's a little red guy with a pitchfork sitting on it, whispering.  Ignore him!  Be YOU. 

Love the people with all your heart, even if they sing with their hands in their pocketses.

Toni & Greg, I appreciate your comments. Onward I go to the next service, I'll pray & I'll simply do my best.

in your personal time with God, ask Him to start a fire in you. if you continue asking Him, others in your church will want the same. your church just might set on fire and spread to who knows how far.

start a fire -  (your talents alone will not take you to those kinds of places) just ask Moses ; )

Maybe,  people are being honest about themselves.     Sometimes people need to sing the world is dragging me down, my enemies are surounding me  sort of songs before they can sing the anthems.  Many of the Psalms are like that!   Yet we expect a worship party every Sunday morning.   

I certainly agree we can't & shouldn't expect a worship party, so good point! I would hope that most "church-seasoned" folk would realize that the worship service is a group-participation time for us & not a show where one will just whatch & not enter in. It certainly doesn't have to resemble a Hillsong/Jesus Culture/Chris Tomlin concert with the mosh-pit going on each song but the saint's shouldn't have to be prodded to worship.

Steve - I love the heart behind this reply.

I don't know a quick & easy answer, but corporate worship means that we have to worship corporately, and sometimes people just aren't there for that. I think there are times when the best we can do is to keep offering opportunity and go as far as we can in worship ourselves without leaving them too far behind.

I recall Tommy Tenny stating that worship is the one time in our church services where God doesn't have to do anything but receive our praise & worship. Which is a great opportunity for us all to just pour it out to our Lord & Saviour. So what a crime or wasted opportunity if we neglect to do this.

I'd prefer the Pastor grab the mic first & start speaking about what worship is & if he must, prod the folks to begin praising/worshiping before the first song even starts. This may be considered a gentle reminder of what's coming next & to enter in!

Sometimes we forget this, since to me, it is a commandment for us to follow in worship:-

Psalm 100

1{A Psalm of praise.} Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.

2Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

3Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

5For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

I've had times when I thought the service was dead, but the feedback I got afterwards was very positive.  This past Sunday we focused on the Cross and Communion and for the most part the songs were pared down and acoustic, yet the "heart of worship" was alive and well.  Another thought was from another worship leader who I heard say, "I'm willing to lead the congregation in worship, but I shouldn't have to lead them very far," meaning- the worship leader can lead, but he can't necessarily "make" the congregation worship if their hearts aren't close to a place of worship. 

Ok, it's really not going to work out well now. In the last year (3) vocalists left, guitar & bass player left, drummer left & now the keyboardist is working 7 days a week & can't even make it to church anymore. Just became a solo act.

Are the Pastor and people committed and/or supportive to you (personally - human to human)?  If so, it's not a solo act -- a congregation worships God together, whether one or many lead.  Of course, there is the possibility of the "if not", where you are the only capable person about, and music happens because you are willing; and that's pretty lonely -- but even then there's the blessing of willingness which you extend to them and to God.  It's a blessing shared in common with a lot of public school teachers, missionaries, and people in various walks of life where there seems to be no support group.

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