Cringe Free Worship Services

imprrh@gmail.com —  May 11, 2015

If you’ve attended church for any length of time, you probably had a moment when you cringed when something inappropriate was said, someone acted a fool or a leader or pastor neglected to prepare for their part. When cringe-full moments happen the first people I think about are guests that might get the impression that worship done halfheartedly is the norm, not the exception. Give the wrong person the mic and bad things happen. For example: (these are all verifiable accounts of cringe-full Sabbaths experiences)

*A children’s story about the loaves and fishes that excluded the fishes because the one who was telling it was vegan and would not promote the eating of fish.

*A church where everyone is over 70. As children’s story time comes, (there are no children present) they go ahead and tell it anyway.

Here are three thoughts to keep in mind:

  1. Keep it positive.

I know there are hard scriptures, not every part of the bible is sugar and sweet. I get it. We don’t want sermonettes that produce christianettes. Even when presenting hard truths, present the hope that we have in Jesus. Why do we always equate seriousness with holiness?  Smile. Congratulate the ones that are early in Sabbath school instead of griping about the lack of attendance. Give people hope. Lord knows they need it.

  1. Keep it professional.

Many times I hear the following three excuses for a lack of professionalism in worship services when people in charge of special music sing out of tune, we start late, or have interminable announcements:

*They are committed.

*They are sincere.

*They are spiritual.

Question for you. Do you get operated by a bad surgeon that is spiritual? Would you take a chance getting on a plane with an inefficient yet committed pilot who is sincere in his desire to fly?

Sincere and effective. Spiritual and excellent. Committed and prepared. Let’s stop giving people passes just because they tried. Raise the standard.

  1. Keep it personal.

Instead of speaking to the crowd, break your audience down into individuals. What does the single mother need to hear? How about the elderly man that lives alone? There are first time guests, long time members and everything in between. Instead of addressing the crowd, address individuals. Personalizing the presentation will engage the people listening and will not exclude the ones that need a message from the Lord that day.

Praying that all your worship services will be cringe free!

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3 responses to Cringe Free Worship Services

  1. Maria Saltos Mowry May 12, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Well it was in a Latino church just before church service, during announcements (yeah, I know, your favorite!) and the elder up front was making an appeal for money for some project. He was saying something like, even if you don’t have much, bring your pennies too. Except he mispronounced the English word “pennies” by taking away the long “E” sound at the end. We had some students from Universidad de Montemorelos visiting and sitting in the second row. Those poor guys were trying so hard to keep their composure! I think the elder saw the horrified expressions of members around him and he tried to correct his mistake but it was too late by then! I still cringe when I remember that moment!

  2. I just had to laugh when I read your title!
    Been there!