Wednesday, July 24, 2013

5 Marks of a Missional Worship Experience

This blog is not designed to teach "style" or "model." I simply want to give you give marks of a missional worship experience. 
We teach our people to live on mission all week. We also work with our ministry teams to be missional on Sundays. Every Sunday every volunteer is taking a mission trip. We are prepared for people far from God to be filled with life in Christ. 

Here are 5 marks of a missional worship experience: 
1. You are expecting people far from God to show up. 
•First and foremost this has to be the key. If you don't expect it then the rest of this blog is pointless. What you pray for and are expectant of comes to fruition. Every team leader and volunteer has to have that mindset. 
•If you are not expecting it them you will just turn your experience into camp meeting each week seeking to satisfy the ones who are coming. 

2. You gear every ministry with the mindset of mission. 
•Our mission at ThriveChurchVA is "we exist to help people experience God's love through Christ." 
•From your parking team to kids ministry; they are on mission. They are cognoscente that they will interact with people far from God. Constantly remind your church of their mission. 
•Help them understand that they participate in the wins. If someone gets saved at your experience help them understand that they, being on mission, played a part with that. 

3. Your worship song selection is Gospel-centered and engaging. 
•Worship is the engaging of mind, emotions and will. You want your songs to speak to them of God's love, the cross and His power that is available to save. You also want them to connect at the deepest level about God's love toward them. Finally you want them to do something. The result of worship music should also inspire people to want to respond to God's grace. 
•Keep a detailed record of all the songs you do. Plan them out and look at the big picture at what you are communicating. Worship leaders preach every week through the song selection. What are you preaching and teaching? Is it Gospel-centered? Does it reveal the true nature and mission of God?
•Be aware of singing songs that don't make sense to non-believers. Also, don't just sing the Apostles Creed or the Doxology. The song selection should be prepared to help them in the three areas  of mind, emotions and will. 
•Many times we do one if these really well but we fail in the other areas. Some churches sing a lot about "praise" but very little about the One who they are praising. Some sing about breakthroughs and new things but never the work of the cross or Christ. 
The main question to ask when looking at the music portion of your worship experience is this, "Are we teaching people the fullness of who the God of the Bible is and are they engaging with Him?" 
This is the essence of worshiping in spirit and truth. 

4. You pass by the cross when you preach and show them the real Hero of the message. 
•We have many different series that we preach. Some are felt needs, others the Gospel and some verse by verse. No matter what series you are in you always need to drive them by the cross. I had an elderly Bible professor tell me that. It has always stuck. 
•Make sure that people see the finished work of Calvary in the message. If you can preach it without needing the finished work on the cross then it is probably not Biblical. 
•Finally show them the real Hero of the story. We often make David, Moses or Joshua the hero. Remember that you are not slaying giants. Jesus did it and is doing it on your behalf. You are not conquering promised lands, Jesus has done it and is doing it on your behalf. Never let someone leave your message believing that they are the center and hero of the story. Point them back to the cross and Christ. 
If you are not preaching this then refer back to point #1 for the reason why you are not. 

5. Your two goals at the end are that people far from God connected with Him and that the people walking with God leave with a missional focus. 
•The main goal is two-fold. You can't make it one or the other. You want people leaving feeling more connected to God and having a greater awareness that they are in mission for God. 
•If they leave with one or the other they are in trouble. If they leave just feeling more connected to God without a sense of mission they become self-centered. However if you try to get people on mission that are not walking with the Savior they feel drained and can even become just a social justice machine. 
•Intimacy and Mission have to be married. Make sure that is woven throughout the worship experience. 

The worship experience requires lots of prayer, planning and evaluation. You can use these five points to see if you are putting together a missional worship experience. 

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