“I could actually hear the congregation singing last Sunday morning!”
“Did you see Frank* closing his eyes during the last song?”
“Couldn’t you feel God’s presence this morning?”
Or in case of Fallbrook First Baptist: “They were actually clapping on beat this morning!”**
These are typical things people on the praise team will talk about after a Sunday service. They are our gauges. These are the factors that we use to decide whether or not a worship service was, in fact, worshipful. Are these valid ways of measuring worship?
My answer: no.
And, though I could go into great detail why I believe that, I will give you a brief defense of my answer and give you a chance to respond.
Leading in worship is much like talking to an unsaved person about the gospel. You can present the truth in a tasteful way, but whether or not it sinks in and affects the heart is not in your hands.
That being said, this is how we gauge success– Did we accurately proclaim gospel truth in a tasteful, non-distracting, God exalting way? If we can honestly answer yes, then we are successful. Even if Frank didn’t close his eyes.
* I chose the name Frank because I’m pretty sure no one in our church is named Frank. And if there is someone in our church named Frank, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t know how to find this blog.
**That actually never happens.