Pure Praise Week #8

FIVE GOALS FOR LEAD WORSHIPERS (compiled from chapter 8 of Pure Praise as well as notes taken from Dwayne Moore’s lecture on this subject in his “Online Worship Leader Training Class”)

5. Impress them – The word means “to make a favorable impact on somebody.”  In this sense, you want to leave an impression that’s positive and important.  We want to make a favorable impression about the value of what we are doing!

I LOVE what Dwayne wrote on page 128 of Pure Praise:

Scores of people walk into our worship centers and sanctuaries every week with huge barriers to worship.  Some are discouraged and defeated. Many are distracted by a plethora of activities.  Some are disillusioned with religion and the church.  Others are uninterested, even defiant about the idea of entering into a time of worship and praise.  And there are always a few who are simply misdirected. These individuals tend to judge the service and the leaders based on their own ideas of how the worship and praise should be done.  With all those pre-existing barriers, doesn’t it make sense not to give people yet another obstacle or hindrance?”

1 Sam. 16:7 says man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.  We have a responsibility to show up ready to do what God has called us to do.  It is our responsibility to do it to the best of our ability so that God is glorified!

Here are some of the “outward” things people might be looking for when they come into our church for the first time.  We have to “impress” them with: Credibility, Competence, Confidence, Enthusiasm and Humility.

This is what gets the people’s attention initially.  This is important, but it is listed #5 because it’s at the bottom of the list of the 5 goals.

4. Inspire them – People are getting beat up all week long – work, home, etc. – and are looking for love, acceptance and encouragement. “God loves you!” “He believes in you!” “He supports you!”  These are messages of encouragement that people need to experience at our church.

1 Thessalonians 4:10 – Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

Ephesians 5 says “Speak to ONE ANOTHER with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.  Sing and make music in your HEART to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” It starts in our heart as worship to God, then, as it flows out of us in direction to the Father, it encourages those around us and inspires them to join us!

3. Instruct them – Psalm 145:4 “One generation shall praise your works to another, and declare Your mighty acts.”

Col. 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”

Instructing takes precedence over impressing and inspiring.  As we work our way through a worship set, we need to keep in mind that God wants to speak and teach and convict.  We use the music God has given us to disciple other people.

John 8:32 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

For some more reading on the importance of “instruction” in the words we sing, check out Glenn Packiam’s blog post on this subject.  http://glennpackiam.typepad.com/my_weblog/2011/02/does-what-we-sing-and-pray-in-worship-really-matter.html

2. Influence them – Psalm 34:8 “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

We all, as worship leaders, better realize that we are doing what we do in order to influence people to taste and see that the Lord is good…to experience God in authentic worship!

We don’t want to be guilty of getting up and talking about a God who we really haven’t encountered personally!

If we really want to influence our people, we will be more patient with them!  We WANT them to taste and see.  We need to gently lead them…and keep leading them…regardless of the responses they are throwing back at us (Crossed arms – “MAKE ME”).  Our hearts toward those people should not turn angry.

If we don’t influence every single person, does that make us failures? No! We can’t influence everybody all the time.

We can give them an opportunity to be led, but we can’t make them follow.

There is ONE THING we CAN do EVERY SINGLE TIME we stand up in front of people, and it’s something we had BETTER do

1. Illumine them – We can shine!

1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (The King James says “show forth” his praises)

People should sense God shining through us!

Ex. 34:29 – Moses came down from Mt Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, “he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.”  Moses wasn’t even aware!  It’s not something he could do – it’s something that just happened because he had seen God.

The Holy Spirit, as He fills us and flows through us, will encourage, impact and ILLUMINE those around us.

“Today we must do the same thing that Moses did.  Those of us who are leaders must carry God’s presence into the lives of people.  Most of us do the opposite.  We carry people into the presence of God.  We must come down from His presence to minister with anointing from above.” – Dan DeHaan, The God You Can Know

In conclusion, I have to ask you this question: Are you a thermometer or a thermostat?

A thermometer tests the atmosphere in the room.

A thermostat sets the atmosphere in the room.

We are LEAD worshippers saying “come on!” We are turning up the heat in the hearts!

Here are a few more questions you can ask yourself as you think about your approach to leading worship:
-Am I “impressive”? Do I leave a favorable impact? How about our team, overall?
-Do I seek to inspire? Do we?
-Do I prioritize teaching? Do we?
-Do people follow me? Follow us? (If you think you are leader, look around and see if anyone is following you.  If not, all you’re doing is taking a walk.)
-Do I shine with/for Him? Do we?

Have a wonderful week.  We are on our FINAL week of the Pure Praise study.  Our study concludes with the biggest Sunday of the year – Easter!  Let’s finish strong, team!!!

4 thoughts on “Pure Praise Week #8

  1. Thanks for the summary, Adam. (I love Cliffnotes!) Actually, I read the chapter, too.

    My favorite part was about Moses raising his hands (with help) for the victory in battle. I want to design a flag to hang outside my house that can be my physical “banner”. But I also got a inspiration and encouragement from the “instruction” part. I used it to organize myself to bless my teens with a short scripture verse and song to send them off to school in the mornings. I really want to continue to give them stuff to chew on, especially since they almost never attend worship anymore! I think I’ll use either the psalms or the SOAP guide.

    This study has been a true answer to prayer in my spiritual battles. Its a great springboard for me! Thanks!


    1. Lesly, I’m so glad this book has helped “fan the flame” in your spirit! Did you ever think about writing out short snippets of Psalms and putting them inside their backpacks or something like that? Or just giving them the piece of paper as they are walking out the door? Maybe you could use “The Message” for some more interesting paraphrases of the scriptures…something that might really get inside your kids heart and mind on a level they never heard before…

  2. From ‘go,’ chapter eight was wonderful. I loved that he re-appropriated impress as a positive goal without its negative connotations. Although I must say that his short comment at the bottom of p. 127 about people looking at the outside left me wanting further explanation. Realistically, we do look at the outside, but it’s in no way our responsibility to be pessimistic about that and conform to any sort of visual standard people may have (whether that’s pressed pinstripe trousers or ripped Levi’s). Obviously, people have preferences, and aesthetic differences will always arise, but it’s crucial for God’s people to rise above these differences and embrace the unity we all have in Christ.

    1. To clarify, I’m unclear if this was Moore’s intent with that statement, but it reminded of various situations I’ve experienced. For example, my parents were once told by a Christian counselor in marriage therapy that they ought to start dressing more expensively because they were Christians. That was both offensive and unrealistic for their income. While that statement was in some context that would be too boring to go into here, it’s head-scratching nonetheless. Why would someone (with a straight face and good intentions) think that?

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