It’s hard to know if you’re doing well as a worship leader. Do you gauge it by how loud the church sings or how many hands are raised? Of course those sound like pretty weak metrics (although I think most worship leaders, myself included, would admit to paying attention to them sometimes). And sure, we all want every Sunday to resemble the scene from Isaiah 6. But I can’t control what God’s Spirit will do, I can’t control what people in the church will bring to the moment, and I don't want either of those excuses to keep me from owning my responsibility in the whole thing. So what are we really aiming for, week after week?
Troy Hatfield has been like a big brother to me these past few years. He’s at Mars Hill (Grand Rapids) in the role of lead worship pastor. Other than his affinity for vegetables and contempt for beef, he’s had a lot of influence on me. He told me once that they aim for three things in their Sunday gatherings at Mars Hill.
- A SHARED EXPERIENCE
Does everyone in the room (not just the team on stage) feel that they’re making this happen together?
- AN INTENSE EXPERIENCE
Is this an experience you can’t ignore?
- A FRUITFUL EXPERIENCE
Is Monday different because of what happened Sunday?
Granted, there’s no perfect way to measure those attributes, but I think they’re great questions to ask.
If you’re a worship leader or have some role in creating services, what are you aiming for?
If you participate in worship services (read: show up for church), what matters most to you in the experience?