Observational Worship

As times continue to change, I think the average worshipper is changing from being a responsive participant in worship to being an observational participant. Check out this video. It's from a recent opening from Buckhead church. Notice how hard everybody is working to pull off such an amazing opening. Feel the energy of the song. But watch the heads. They barely even move in response to the beat. Interesting.
At our church we talk about how to get our people to participate and be responsive in worship. I'm not sure if it's really like that anymore. I think people will respond by observing and praising, but we won't see anything that will make them stand out, especially if we continue to interact with them in the same format.
If we give worshippers a chance to interact in a personal way with a spiritual truth (prayer stations, experiential activities) I think they'll respond and really be engaged. Just thinking.


Anonymous said...

I agree Josh, but one point of clarification. This wasn't a worship song. It was an opening song to the service, which introduced a new sermon series that day called Illusions. This opening song was intended to create a connection, even some tension forcing people to wonder, "What's the connection between this song and the service?" The message explained that later on.

Participatory worship followed this song. In fact, later in the service, hundreds came down and knelt at the altar to pray.


Josh Mc Alister said...

I'm sorry. I should have clarified that. I knew it was the opening and was to be viewed as a performance piece. I found it both humorous and enlightening, though, to watch the heads of the people as they listened to the song. The disparity between the energy on stage and the energy from the audience could not have been greater.
What's awesome is what you mention about people coming down to pray. Moving people to participate in responsive worship is tough. Buckhead and NPCC do a tremendous job in engaging the audience and are one of the examples on how the church should be adapting.
Thanks for the comment and clarification.