I’m a guy with many hobbies and interests. One of my biggest interests is food! After all, food is one of those things you can’t live without. So if you’re going to eat it, why not make it awesome!
Because of this, I love going to restaurants that I’ve never been to before. Call me nuts, but I’m the kind of person that will go to some sort of ethnic blend restaurant, located in a strange part of town, and tell the waitress to bring me whatever entrée she chooses. Sure it’s risky and I may not like the food they bring, but I think the reward of finding a new dish I like is worth it.
Like a protective father who just met his daughter’s prom date at the front door, I analyze everything about that restaurant. The moment I walk through the door my senses engage. I’m taking in the smells from the kitchen, inspecting the cleanliness of the tile grout, judging the true value of their displayed artwork, and whatever else that may stick out. But…my opinion of the restaurant ultimately falls on one thing; their consistency.
Because consistency means so much to me for restaurants, I have a short list of places my wife and I frequent to. Being a semi-professional pizza enthusiast, I know all the pizza joints in town. My favorite pizza place is Mellow Mushroom. It’s a national pizza chain in the Southeast. Their pizza is good, the facility is always clean, the service is always top notch, and they always have live music on the weekend. Even though every Mellow Mushroom in the States has it’s own unique flair, it will always be a familiar great experience.
Consistency is not just something that applies to restaurants though, it applies to almost everything we do. Want to be healthy? You need to consistently work out and eat the right foods. Maybe you want to be a salesman? You need to consistently call on your customers every day. You want your worship service to be awesome? It needs to be consistent.
How do you make worship consistent?
Have a consistent message:
If your pastor is preaching on thankfulness, your song selection needs to reflect that. Despite how much you may want to bust out “How He Loves”, a better choice would be “You are Good”. Let’s say the pastor’s message is more upbeat and light for that Sunday…then you should probably avoid doing something intense like “Beautiful Exchange”. You will really confuse some people with that.
Having a consistent message goes beyond your song selection. It’s about mirroring what your pastor is preaching on. Worship leaders are notorious for preaching before the preaching even starts. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with giving everyone that little pre-message appetizer of a psalm or quick analogy. Personally I call them “nuggets of knowledge”. Whatever it is, just make sure it aligns with the overall message. There is nothing worse than saying something light hearted and funny right before an intro video about the horrors of modern day slavery. I’m saying this out of personal experience which still haunts me today!
Have a consistent sound:
Your band style, the audio quality, the loudness, and even the EQ has to be the same every time you worship. Your congregation needs to know what to expect (to a degree) when they walk in that building. If you typically run 90db volume every Sunday, don’t have your sound guy crank it to 98db just because you were inspired by a Hillsong concert the night before. If your main sound guy places extra emphasis on the vocals, don’t have an off week in which your people can’t make out what your singing because your substitute has a different ear. If your church doesn’t do many upbeat fast songs, you may not want to schedule all the upbeat songs you play in just one service. Food for thought.
Have a consistent order:
It’s one thing to have a special service in which you want to change things up a little bit. It’s a completely different story if you never have somewhat of a template to go by during your worship services. Your greeters need to know where and how long to welcome people. Your ushers need to know when to take up an offering. Your media team needs to know when to play welcome slides, start a timer, or play a video. Your band needs to know when to exit the stage. Having an inconsistent order of worship every week will only cause confusion and create unnecessary movement which will distract from your worship.
Have a consistent mission:
This is the biggest determining factor of your worship. YOU need to know your church’s mission statement by heart. You need to continually tell your team the mission statement. It needs to be the driving factor of everything that you do. When a visitor of 2 weeks or a member of 2 years walks out of that building, they need to know what your church is about. If you don’t drive your mission consistently in your worship every Sunday, your purpose for existing as a church will not be clear.
Being consistent in worship is not an easy feat and it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes lots of intentionality and preparation. If you can build your consistency in each of these areas, you will find your worship to be significantly different a year from now.
On that note…I’m hungry for pizza.
Prepare For Worship. A resource provided to you by WorshipTrac.