How can I engage the average church member in the pew? How can I Increase active participation in worship services? How can I help the average member in the congregation experience the joy of worship?
I serve in what could be termed a county seat First Baptist Church and as many have done, we begin a second contemporary service to attempt to broaden our outreach and boost attendance. At the beginning, we saw significant growth, but after 10 years of offering two different styles of worship growth leveled off and the church drifted into two competing congregations . The decision was made to reunite using a multi-generational approach.
One recent multi-generational worship experience has had a positive impact on our congregation, and the concept is incredibly simple. The idea is to create a onetime multi-generational choir including all ages from preschool to senior adults, and through this group introduce current worship songs to the congregation. In promoting this choir, it is stated that there is no ongoing commitment, just a desire to praise God together in song.
In preparing for this event, I found that using a direct download site such as lifewayworship.com was a valuable source of music for this group. In addition to the actual sheet music, I purchased a demonstration recording for each prospect. This “gift” of a CD really helped increase the odds that those being invited would actually learn the song and participate.
Promotion for the choir began six weeks prior to the service through regularly printed materials, pre-service videos, and direct invitations from the pulpit. All choir members were urged to personally invite not just individuals, but entire families to participate. Each prospect was given a CD and sheet music to prepare for the presentation. Finally, our one and only rehearsal was held 30 minutes prior to start time on the day of the service.
I have been amazed how God has used this simple gateway to reach our congregation. Through this worship experience we have:
1. Increased membership in our regular worship choir
2. Inspired worship choir members to be intentional in their outreach.
3. Observed a new appreciation and commitment to worship by congregation members
4. Introduced new songs into the congregational song list
5. Experienced a general increase in excitement and participation by the congregation
I highly recommend this multi-generational choir as an outreach for your church. It is simple in its approach, but yields very positive results.
by Tom Ariail, Worship Pastor, First Baptist Church, LaFayette