Dr. Tim’s Worship Tip of the Month – February 2010

Worship Tip of the Month | Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Engage the Back Row

LWF-Tim3Sometimes, in our zeal and haste for a great worship service, we can neglect or miss the very people who could most benefit from an authentic encounter with Jesus. I call it the ‘back row syndrome’ or as we used to call it: ‘sinners’ row’. Though there are many reasons people sit in the back (children, late, handicaps, sound, etc.) but often they prefer it because it buffers them from total involvement and commitment. I encourage my worship teams to engage this group of people as much as possible. Here are some ways to consider:

1.       Keep eyes open whenever possible I know this is controversial on both sides of this thought, but there is much to be said for a whole team that is aware of their surroundings, sees and communicates with one another for transitions and changes in the set, knows what is happening in the congregation, and is anticipating the response of the congregation.

2.      Make eye contact ‘The light of the body is the eye’ – there is something about looking into someone’s eyes with faith and assurance that encourages and stirs people. I encourage my worship teams to have a pleasant expression at all times and use their countenance to persuade the hardest of hearts to look to Jesus. Much of our worship expression can become either distant and impersonal, or professional and unauthentic. Stay in touch with the people as we worship together!

3.       Reference the whole church Keep positive in everything, but make sure everyone is being addressed, not just the front row or ‘preaching to the choir’. I actually speak to the back row and have had some amazing moments of interaction.

4.       Move forward Again, this might seem elementary, but I find a lot of worship teams stand way back on the platform unnecessarily. I especially like the singers forward in the configuration on the stage so they can see the ‘whites of their eyes’.

5.      Consider your lighting Personally, I prefer a well-lit sanctuary during worship so everyone can see each other and be encouraged as believers gathering to worship Jesus. But whatever you do with your lighting, please consider what it does to the encouragement of the expression of worship in your church.

Engage the back row. Let no one be left behind in our worship.

– Dr. Tim Smith

©2010 SongSmith Ministries

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