Journey Podcast: Performance and Worship

September 9, 2013 — 5 Comments

I haven’t posted here for a while because I’m finishing a book that is due to the publisher by October 1st.

That being said, I “came up for air” last week to record a podcast with my team on Worship. We deal with the issue of Worship as Performance.

It was a lively discussion. I’d be interested in your thoughts. Just post them below.

Journey Roundtable Podcast–Worship: Is Performance Bad?



5 responses to Journey Podcast: Performance and Worship


    At 63, the performance issue is an issue for me. So many folks serve so little, not participating in Worship is even worse. I can recall responsive scripture readings in church. That was the only time some ever read the Word. Now they don’t even have the opportunity to sing in many churches.


      Thanks for your insight. I think you raise a good point–especially about audience participation. What are some things churches could do to increase audience participation from people in the “pew”? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


        While most churches no longer use hymnals with responsive readings, one could use some printed in service programs. Using verses from Psalms seems like a reasonable place to begin. Singing a medley of chorus’ from familiar songs a capella where voices can be heard. More prayers of an outpouring of simple praise. Printed programs could contain a place for one to list praises. As you know, people often read bulletins/programs during the song service or the sermon. Give them something that pulls them back to the worship experience. I know we live in a germ free society, but joining hands joins hearts.

        Prior to service leaders should pray inviting the Holy Spirit to be present and blessing each element. Some Sundays, extend the time for the Lord’s Supper with more participants doing meditation.

        Finally, bring back personal testimony. There are many, many wonderful folks in worship ministry, but worship needs to be given back to God and His people. People learn by doing, they need the opportunity.


        Are there videos of ceremonies in the tabernacle? On a personal note I loved hearing you talk. Colossians 3:16,17. As long as performance if you want to call it that does not preclude participation. The word perform can mean to render a service. Everyone should perform an act of worship. As leadership listen with God’s heart when people “share” then prayerfully obey His leading. One real concern is for worship to be a spiritual experience, moving beyond emotions and feelings. Submitting to the Holy Spirit is personal each of us must do it on our own. I loved listening in on your discussion. I pray God’s blessing on each of you.


    Arron, I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but do have a suggestion for encouraging participation. My personal opinion is that when it comes to the worship music, there should be nothing that hinders people from singing with the praise team. The soundboard should be set so that it is clear who is leading the singing and the words should be easily understood and words available for singing along and the songs ones that people can sing. The instruments should be an accompaniment to the songs because the team is leading the people to worship. When there is special music, etc. I don’t personally feel those guidelines apply – the music is being presented as a different type of music offering and the worshipers (I really don’t like the word “audience” because that indicates it’s folks coming to be entertained rather than worship) can sing along or not – their choice. The distraction for me personally comes when the instruments drown out the song leader and there are praise team members singing “parts” that make it confusing to people wanting to worship in song and making it difficult to be able to contribute to the music offering. While it might sound pretty/cool, it’s not allowing the worshiping people to be participants and it turns into an awkward performance. I feel like the music and the offering are the two parts of worship time that everyone can actively participate in/contribute to and God must be pleased when those that love Him bring their worship offerings!

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