Developing a Culture of Worship
"we need to BE the example of the culture we want to see, not just talk about it!"
Leading worship isn’t just about the songs we sing on the platform in our church services. Worship is a stance of the heart, it’s a lifestyle, and it’s reflected in every area of our lives.
As worship teams, let’s not just focus on the lights and music and choruses and screens, but let’s first focus on building a healthy culture of worship in our churches and worship teams! Here are a few things I’ve learnt on the way, that help build this kind of culture:
1. IT’S ALL ABOUT EXAMPLE People will follow what you do more than what you say. It’s possible to sometimes get people to do what you say, BUT people will naturally do what they see you doing!
To quote an incredible senior pastor, Brian Houston (Hillsong), “we BE a culture”… we need to BE the example of the culture we want to see, not just talk about it!
2. DON’T LOSE SIGHT OF THE “WHY” As the church it is so often all hands on deck and we find ourselves often doing things we never expected to be doing. It’s way too easy to get caught up in the “doing” that we lose sight of why and whom we are doing it for.
Everything we do should be able to be traced back to glorifying Jesus and helping people see Him in everything! When we remember this is WHY we do what we do then we will do the tasks with much more energy and purpose and joy!! So let’s not lose sight of the WHY!
3. REMEMBER IT’S AN HONOUR! The fact that we have breath – that God IS Emmanuel and always with us – that He would grace us with His presence – my goodness I am grateful!!!! The truth that all we need do is ask Him to come and He does!! WOW!! What an honour that Jesus graces us with His presence!!
When we don’t lose sight of this wonder, it will help keep our team culture healthy! Let’s not forget the HONOUR it is that we get to be ministers of HIS presence!
4. STAY IN THE WORD This could not be more basic, but it is even more important than it is basic. The Word of God is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. It’s the truth! When people hear it and see it and the Word is being spoken into the culture of a team, it will help the team move in the right direction and be healthy! When the Word of God is central to the culture, it’s bound to be healthy!
5. PRAY! In my journey of leading teams and building healthy cultures, it’s rare that a day goes by when I don’t pray a very simple prayer that usually goes something like this:
Relying on God and asking for Him to help lead and guide us is a MUST! Praise God that He hears our prayers and is our very help is present time of need. We NEED Him and He’s with us! So let’s PRAY and ask Jesus to lead and guide us and that we would do it HIS way!
6. DON’T DO IT ALONE We are not a one-man band – we are a TEAM. To build a team you need a team!
Rather than trying to spell out the culture to a large group of people, my suggestion would be to gather a small team of key people and establish the culture you want to build and WHY. Then repeat this week after week after week with them. Once culture is established in your key team, then you can empower this small group that you see as leaders to carry and build the culture in your wider team!
7. EMPOWER OTHERS TO CARRY THE CULTURE As I have just touched on, it is so helpful to empower people to carry and be the culture. It’s great to pray and believe for people to start following the culture you are trying to set, BUT it’s also quite useful to sit people down one on one and ask them to embrace, carry, and lead the culture themselves! When we EMPOWER people to carry the culture and own it, their ownership will help build and keep the culture.
8. TRUST IN GOD!! (Not in yourself) There is a lot we can’t do but there is nothing God can’t! It’s so easy to be discouraged in our own ability (or lack thereof), but it’s not necessarily a bad place to find yourself in — it causes us to trust and acknowledge that what we can’t be, HE can!!! It’s simple and incredibly important!! So let’s place our trust in God’s ability!
9. ENCOURAGE Speak that which is not as if it is! People don’t usually see the incredible potential that is in them, and even sometimes we as leaders can miss it! The truth is that every single person is a gift from God and has an incredible purpose and plan on their life that is given by God!
Sometimes encouragement is the simplest and most important thing that we can deposit into our team to water the gift within. It’s pretty much the main thing that gave me confidence to lead out as a young person. If the leaders in my world didn’t tell me that I could do it, I would have never attempted it!
10. WE NEVER ARRIVE There isn’t really a set time frame that it takes to build a culture. For us in church, most of us have been at it a long time and as long as we are gathering and leading people then we will be endeavouring to keep building a healthy culture.
This is meant to be encouraging! It’s easy to see where we are not and be discouraged… but as long as you can look back and see progress, then be encouraged!! And KEEP GOING! We don’t ever arrive so don’t lose heart!