Leading change through worshipby Kenny Lamm, BSCNC Worship & Music Consultant
The vast majority of churches today are plateaued or declining, and a large number will be closing their doors in the next several years.
Many are now awakening to the realization that they have refused to make necessary changes along the way to reach the world around them. They have not considered the need to have a missionary mindset in worship.
As churches awaken to this need, often one of the first alterations in course they feel should be addressed is the transition of their church’s corporate worship. Indeed, that may need to be a part of their renewal, but often, leaders look for quick fixes on the surface without first addressing the underlying causes.
Multitudes of churches have become inflamed in worship conflict due to going about change in the wrong manner or for the wrong reasons. A few (but certainly not all) of these missteps include:
Changing because it works for another church.
Some churches attempt to emulate something that works for a church across town. Just because something seems to work in another congregation does not mean it will work in your unique congregation. Seek God for His vision in your place.
Changing too fast.
Significant change can destroy a church when not instigated in a healthy manner.
Changing without the understanding and support of the people.
If people do not catch the vision and understand the “why,” they will push back.
Allowing personal preferences to take over.
Personal preferences make us very inward-focused and prevent the love and self-sacrifice that true unity needs.
Not having a missional mindset for worship.
Many churches are quite missional except in the area of worship. Understanding this concept can make a world of difference in transitions.
Prayer should precede and continue throughout times of transition. We should not merely ask God to bless our plans, but we must also seek His will and ask Him to help us follow through.
Do you feel there needs to be change in your church’s corporate worship? Are you in the process of making changes? Are you afraid of what will happen?
Do you have a clear vision of where God is leading your church? Do you know how to get there?
Transitioning your church’s worship can be divisive, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
Editor’s note: Kenny Lamm serves as the senior consultant for worship and music with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. He will be leading a breakout session titled “Leading Change in Worship” at the Leading Change in the Church conference on Tuesday, March 7 at Calvary Baptist Church’s West Campus in Advance. To learn more or to register, visit leadingchange.church.