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!!!