A week ago my wife and I “cashed in” our Christmas present to each other.
We went to Hartville Kitchen and enjoyed the first of three sold out dinner and concert shows featuring the Oak Ridge Boys. We purchased these tickets back in early December. By purchasing early we were fortunate to be at the front table — no more than 15 feet from the stage and performers.
The show was a mixture of country, gospel, hymns, and an Allman Brothers tribute as they totally rocked out “Ramblin’ Man”.
As I observed the performance and the crowd I began to wonder why our church worship services aren’t more like this?
Some observations about the event that might apply:
- Those on stage were fully engaged.
- They knew the material and executed well.
- They were obviously having fun.
- They obviously desired to give the audience an experience to remember.
- The audience wanted to be there. It was a choice — not an obligation.
- There was an engagement between those on stage and those in audience — eye contact, hand shakes, personal stories, and even coming off stage to shake hands.
- It started on time and ended on time – and left the audience wanting more.
- The audience was there to hear music — that’s what they got. Not much extraneous material.
- The audience was encouraged to participate in singing along, clapping hands, etc.
There is more — but here is my point. While I recognize that this “performance” and a worship service are two different things (or should be) — it is my thought that many of the factors above should or could be a part of worship time planning.
We left feeling like we had been with friends and had shared on an emotional and spiritual level. We felt that all in the room had some common ground and common values. The Oaks had humbly “performed”, recognizing the audience was as much a part of their success as they were.
As you worship this weekend — what elements from the list above are in your church service? What’s missing? What can you do about it?