Gary Trobee

Ministry Leadership Coach

worship problems

The Sheep Are Not The Problem

By on May 27, 2014

Before I get into the purpose of this post I need to clarify a few things.

First of all life for me the past year has been very busy. Learning a new job that requires all of me for at least 45 hours a week leaves me with no bandwidth at all to maintain this site or any of my social media the way I would like so I have been posting articles written by others that I think are interesting. Also I’m sorry for not responding to every comment I wish I could.

The primary purpose of these posts are to start a conversation.

Recently I posted an article entitled “Who Will Lead Through The Church Disaster” by Randy Bohlender. Over the weekend I posted “Are We Headed For A Crash? Reflections On The Current State of Evangelical Worship” and “Why They Don’t Sing On Sunday Anymore“. I’ve also got coming up in my buffer app “Why Men Have Stopped Singing In Church

This morning I was looking through my Facebook news feed and a friend posted something to the effect of “Stop posting negative things about the way we worship”. I’m not assuming he is responding to me specifically because there does seem to be a lot of articles about what is wrong with worship.  Today I got comments on “Why They Don’t Sing On Sunday Anymore” and while looking through my news feed for something else I found “What Is The Real Problem With Todays Evangelical Worship

Looks like I’ve stumbled into a conversation.

Here are my thoughts.

Since 1982 I’ve been in this arena. Reading and searching for wisdom from all kinds of people. When I first started there was very little being written on contemporary worship. Now everywhere I look someone has an opinion on it. Some good; much of it not so good. I’m also a part of several online worship communities from communities like Worship The Rock to groups within LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+. Frankly I’m saddened by the bulk of the questions and answers being posted.

One post asked the question “What do I do with people who complain the songs are too high when they don’t know how to sing?”. Others are talking about “At what point do I have enough musicians on my team?”, or “Our worship team is full how do I tell people no”. I even saw a post by someone who I highly respect. A staff worship pastor, songwriter, teacher, and mentor say. “As I get older I want to be purposeful about raising up the next generation”. I’ve commented on this here so I won’t go over it again. These are just a few of the many threads that break my heart.

Every problem is a leadership problem.

I’m not saying every problem is caused by leadership but I am saying if your people are distracted, not passionate, or don’t understand what you’re doing its your job to lead them and lead them with a pastor’s heart.

I found “Misplacing Charisma: Where Contemporary Worship Lost Its Way” on a Methodist website that is spot on.

Here is the money quote:

What’s missing? The answer is found in looking at what happened when “praise and worship” was adopted by mainline denominations. During the 1990’s many mainline congregations began to import the songs, sounds, and some of the sights (like hand raising and clapping) of the praise and worship style. In many cases, what got lost was the robust pneumatology behind this approach to worship. In other words, many mainline churches brought the form, but didn’t bring the theology of praise and worship into their congregations.

I hope this is not your problem. I hope you understand your role as a prophet, pastor, teacher, and theologian when you stand in front of your congregation. If not get this book.

May I also suggest a few practical solutions.

  1. Have the correct EQ.
  2. Have the correct volume. Sometimes its necessary for people to not hear themselves other times its necessary that they do. It depends on the size of the group.
  3. Have songs in the correct keys. If you’re doing everything in the keys of B and C I wonder if your leading worship.
  4. Leave the lights up so we can see people’s faces and lead them in worship.
  5. Keep your eyes open and connect with people.
  6. Pick songs that are congregational. If every song in your set list is from KLOVE or have octave jumps in them I wonder if your leading worship.

 

Bottom line, stop blaming the congregation for not worshiping. It’s up to us to lead them and teach them. Bring them lovingly into the presence of God. Meet them where they are and take them someplace.

Maybe the reason there are so many articles about what’s wrong with worship is because something is wrong with worship. 10 years ago there was lots of criticism of contemporary worship that was based on style not substance but when the congregation stops participating its time for us to start asking why.

Let the conversation continue.

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The Prayer Life of a Worshiper

By on December 15, 2006

This is something I picked up at a conference a long time ago and it had a great impact on me. I hope you enjoy it.

By: Brian Anderson

I. Worship is a lifestyle, not just a few minutes on Sundays!

I Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

“We are called to an everlasting preoccupation with God” A.W. Tozier Body Soul & Spirit are to be used in Worship.

II. A worshiper needs to develop a strong prayer life!

A. first book translated in another language is Mark (a short gospel) the second book translated is Psalms (songs & prayers)

B. Worship & Prayer are closely tied together. They both have to do with connecting with God In an intimate way and communicating with Him.

Revelation 5:8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

Harps represent Worship
Incense represents Prayer

Phillipians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

C. Prayer in the Jerusalem Church

Acts 1:14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
Acts 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Acts 6:4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”

III. Why don’t we pray much?

A. We haven’t seen the importance of prayer in the lives of major New Testament Characters.

Paul.
Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
I Thessalonians 5:17 pray continually;
Phillipians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Jesus
Hebrews 5:7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.
John 5:19 Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
Luke 6:12-13 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles:
Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

B. We don’t expect anything to happen.

1. One of the greatest deceptions the enemy wants to pull on us is that our prayers don’t work.

2. That’s why the word of God constantly exhorts us about the necessity persevering in prayer. (Satan doesn’t want us to communicate with God because then we will see things happen)

Luke 11:5-13 Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him. “Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything. I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs. “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Luke 18:1-8 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!'” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
Matt 7:7-11 7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Is 62:6-7 6 I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth. The LORD has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm: “Never again will I give your grain as food for your enemies, and never again will foreigners drink the new wine for which you have toiled;

Real faith is praying even when it looks like it will never happen. Things that won’t work any other way will start working if we start praying about them.

James 4:2 You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.

A common attitude among people is “ I want to get started on the days work” That’s the problem right there! Most people don’t see prayer as a good portion of the days work.

If you see prayer as a religious duty (“I’m putting in my time with God”) over and against an activity that changes the outcome of events, you’ll end up not praying much! We are not that disciplined! But;

if we realize that that our prayer will change our world we will pray !

C. We rely on our personal strengths: (I’ll never quit)

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

1.. Gifted people can get a lot of “ministry” done in the kingdom of God just through their personal giftedness.

2. The problem is we then tend to rely on our personal giftedness to get the “Ministry” accomplished, and often times a lot gets accomplished! But not in comparison. When we work “we” work but when we pray God works. E.M. Bounds

D. Time Pressures

1. In life there are lots of things trying to eat up your time. (work, family, ministry, friends, activities, relaxation, TV, etc.)

2. The most important time commitment you can make is an appointment with God every day.

a. We all know that intellectually when the time crunch comes what we will let go of. And the time crunch will come.

b. Guard that time commitment as if your life depends on it. (because it does). Don’t ever give it to anyone or anything else. It belongs to God. Sacrifice sleep, relaxation, TV, yes even Ministry if you have to.

3. Find out how much Grace you’ve been given for prayer time.

Grace is Gods empowering of you to be who He created you to be.

Ephesians 4:7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.

We were created differently so we have different amounts of Grace. Don’t compare yourself with others.

II Corinthians 10:12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.

IV. Why we should pray

A. To seek Gods face

Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Psalm 27:8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek.

God’s greatest desire from us is for us to love Him.

Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. We only seek God’s face out of a heart of love and that’s pleasing to Him. II Corinthians 5:9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.

It would be shame to do ministry for God all of our lives and never come to know Him.

B. It’s part of developing a “secret history” with God.

1. Everything else in ministry flows out of this. If you’re in ministry it’s probably because you fell in love with Him & formed a relationship…… time has taken the shine off if we don’t keep it up.

2. In life often times you will be overwhelmed with all the tasks at hand. When that happens, there is only one place to go….the prayer room and seek His face.

3. Pastor Cho- “Pray and Obey” ( 50,000 home churches)

C. To receive wisdom & revelation from God

1. Gods communication with us.

Psalm 103:7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel

2. The difference between knowing someone as a friend and knowing someone because you have their resume’

D. Direction & vision in ministry

Proverbs 14:12 there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
Proverbs 3:5-8 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

1. We can’t rely on our own intelligence.

E. In dealing with people.

1. As we pray God will give us direction in dealing with people with boldness & compassion. Ephesians 4:15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.

F. For impartation from God to be released among the people you are leading.

1. Preaching and or teaching by itself will not bring change in peoples lives to a great degree.

a. It takes more than a command to produce fruit.

2. Authority in prayer and laboring in the secret place over people will produce more lasting fruit in their lives than teaching on it for years.

a. Pray that God will raise up the people you need in specific places.

3. God creates and imparts more things through prayer than by any other means! Prayer has more power to make things happen than preaching, organization, administration, programs, music, personalities, etc………

G. To receive direction from God.

1. The most significant things that God has done with us have come in the place of prayer.

2. God will direct us to things and away from things when we are devoted to prayer.

H. Spiritual Warfare

Daniel 10:12-14 “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”

1. Prayer is the beginning of spiritual warfare

2. The battle of spiritual warfare is won through persevering in prayer.

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