Newfrontiers blogger Gareth McNab at Amos5 is doing me the very great honour of blogging through each of my 12 ways to increase congregational participation and adding his own observations and application based on 9 years of leading.
He’s raised a few great points so far on
Realise that some churches are too big for the congregation to contribute – it’s just that your church is not one of them!
Rehearse for every Sunday, not just next Sunday
[a congregation of 200] is certainly not too big to allow the congregation to get involved in the meeting. It is big enough for the following things to happen for the worship leader or the musicians, though.
- It is a big enough audience to feel like you are the main attraction.
- It is a big enough body of people that it is likely to draw a decent number of half decent musicians, and give them a stage that they would almost certainly not get anywhere else.
- It is a big enough body of people that you will most likely get quite a few people coming along specifically for ‘the worship’ – by which they actually mean, ‘the music’
By way of illustration he says
Newfrontiers North recently had their regional weekend together, and had full on, congregation-participatory worship with tongues, interpretation, prophecy, spontaneous songs, words of knowledge and healings – with more than 1300 people.
My controversial point about hiring jazz musicians prompted the following comment
Practice ‘follow my leader’ – In many forms of jazz, once the basic pattern of the song is understood, the musicians are able to follow the band leader through the performance by means of commonly understood hand signals, vocal cues and musical patterns. Going to the head, round again, go to the bridge – all are able to be done with hand signs that don’t look too Masonic or vulgar.
Vocal cues are much under-rated in worship musicians, I find – everyone wants to come up with the Matt Redman one-leg-stand or the Stuart Townend guitar-lift, or the Al Metcalfe hand-slash (as witnessed at CCM’s recent worship conference!). It is good to talk!
As part of a movement that could be accused of preaching congregational participation more enthusiastically than it practices it, the kind of debate that Gareth is opening up has to be good news. Head over to Amos5 and start make your voice heard.
(You can read my original posts here)
12 ways to increase congregation participation – part 1
12 ways to increase congregation participation – part 2
12 ways to increase congregation participation – part 3
12 ways to increase congregation participation – part 4