05
May
11

Keeping it Relevant

As worship leaders, we naturally want our congregation to be happy with the music we choose. This can be taken to a negative extreme of worrying too much about what the congregation or pastor may think. I am not referring to that type of situation here, so please recognize that disclaimer before reading any further.

I was recently given a book about hymns by several older women from a ladies Bible study that I had been leading worship for. They had requested “a hymn every now and then” and I had done my best to acknowledge their request without totally reverting back to hymnal days and losing the rest of the women. The group was comprised of women from their mid-twenties to upper seventies so I did my best to choose set lists that would include at least one song that each woman should know. While most of the ladies would worship to well-known contemporary worship songs, it was the older women who blew me away with their response to the hymns. They were so appreciative for songs that they had known and sung much of their lives and really worshiped. I had known that they enjoyed the hymns that I had thrown in the set lists every now and then, but I was really shocked and touched as I read all of their hand-written thank yous inside the front page of their sweet gift.

It would be nice if our congregants were composed of men and women who were all completely alike in age, stage and musical preference, but in reality that is usually never the case. As worship leaders, we need to do our best to find music that ministers to as much of our congregation as best we can. This usually means that we need to get to know our congregation and be accessible to them. We can’t know what will minister to them if we never see them away from the platform or we never have a moment to talk with them. Jesus himself modeled this, as he went from town to town talking, visiting and ministering to people one-on-one. He had large group ministry (think of the loaves and fishes crowd), but he also had personal ministry as well (think of the woman at the well). My boss Ray Jones has said, “People won’t remember you for the great song you sang or the cool guitar lick you played. It’s when you take the time to talk and pray with them that you make an impression.” Take time to listen and get to know those you are serving and then watch them worship with you.

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