What Not To Say at the Beginning of a Worship Service

Tim Challies | 9/16/2019 | Staff
lhumara (Posted by) Level 3
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A few weeks ago Jared Wilson wrote an article titled “3 Things to Be Careful About Saying at the Start of Your Service.” In his article he offered some common service-starting cliches that are “worth weighing in terms of their helpfulness to the congregation’s worship.” They were, “How’s everybody doing this morning?”; “I can’t hear you. I said, How’s everybody doing?”; and “Where is everybody?” I’ve heard all three of these many times and expect you have as well. And I fully agree with Wilson that even if none of them are objectively wrong, they also aren’t particularly helpful. We can do better, and in his article he offers some superior alternatives.

What I’d like to do is consider two related matters: Why do pastors or service leaders use phrases like these? And what are the most beneficial things for pastors or leaders to say at the beginning of a worship service?

Pastors - Worship - Leaders - Phrases - Services

Why is it that pastors and worship leaders are so prone to blurt out trite phrases like these as they open their services? I’d like to offer a few suggestions.

Lack of significance. The very beginning and very end of services may seem like the elements that are least significant to our worship. Just watch how many people who seem able to show up on time for school, work, flights, and medical appointments straggle into church 10 or 15 minutes late and you’ll see how lightly many congregants regard the opening moments of our services. But pay attention to the opening and closing elements, and you’ll see that often the pastors and worship leaders treat them with just as little significance.

Lack - Preparation - Leader - Part - Service

Lack of preparation. The leader has not thoughtfully and prayerfully prepared to lead this part of the service, so he just says whatever comes to mind. While every other element is...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Tim Challies
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