18 things every pastor and worship leader needs to consider

1. Worship without silence leaves no room for awe.

2. The words “cool” and “pastor” don’t go together. For those who are trying: Stop it. (This applies to worship leaders, too.)

3. Prayer doesn’t need a background soundtrack. It’s fine without any light guitar strums or keyboard washes.

4. Every Sunday is missions Sunday and the missionaries are the whole church. It’s fine to bring in overseas missionaries from time to time, but only if you’re highlighting everyday missionaries in the pews at least ten times as often.

5. Worship leaders are supposed to, well, lead worship not perform.

6. On Pentecost, at least mention the Holy Spirit. Better yet, expect his presence and talk about his importance. Do this a lot.

7. Incorporate lament into worship. Give those who grieve a chance to do so in a context that lets them know that God is involved in their grieving and not just in their praising.

8. Clapping for God is just weird. And clapping after a super rockin’ worship song is even weirder.

9. Pastors who mention that their wives are smoking hot are neither cool nor romantic.

10. Evangelistic reader board signs don’t work. Being friends with people does.

11. Sermons that share God’s Word to us should lead to our words to God in prayer. Every sermon should teach us how to pray in response to the God who has spoken to us.

12. You get what you aim for. If there is no real experience of community in the worship gathering, it’s because you didn’t aim for it. Adjust your aim.

13. Does the music really need to be so loud? If the congregation can’t hear itself sing, it’ll stop singing.

14. If the congregation can’t sing without hymnals or projected words, you’re singing too many new songs. A group of people singing from common memory totally rocks.

15. Those countdowns to the start of worship devalue every conversation and prayer before that (though they are effective in getting kids to their classes and people to their seats before the “real thing” gets going).

16. Lots of content in a sermon doesn’t mean the sheep will go away well fed. It means they won’t remember any of it because the content actually competes against itself. Simplicity. Brevity. Engagement. These make sermons memorable and therefore possibly transforming.

17. If you do anything, help us to meet Jesus.

18. Remember, you are standing on holy ground. Be prepared to die.