3 Solid Reasons Why Pastors Should Worship God

Pastors expect a lot out of congregants.

I’m guilty of expecting the Christians in my congregation to be on time for the service they choose to attend. I’d prefer that they not leave until the final dismissal. I also appreciate their spiritual sensitivity during the invitation and altar service.

I’m guilty, but I don’t apologize for high expectations.

There’s one more thing that most pastors want for their Christian congregants. We want them to be more than a spectator. We want them to be participators in the worship service.

Everyone is not like me. I can shift from being the administrative leader overseeing staff to a prophet with a Word from God in minutes. I’ve had a lot of practice at it, but it doesn’t come naturally. It takes focus!

The kind of worship I’m talking about requires more than attendance. It takes focused desire.

I distinctly recall the Holy Spirit dealing with me on worship many years ago. I was sitting smugly on the platform, awaiting the sermon’s delivery time. My body language oozed indifference (whether intended or not). I was a tired bivocational pastor who often endured fatigue and sinus headaches.

However, it occurred to me how discouraging it must be for the average person to not see their pastor plugged into the worship service. Through that season, I repented. I no longer stoically sit like a piece of furniture. Instead, I do my best to worship God demonstratively.

I believe all pastors and preachers should do the same. Let me give you 3 solid reasons why we should boldly worship God during the corporate worship service.

1. God is worthy.

Pastor, I know this is elemental, but bear with me. Recall the simplicity of what it means to be saved by grace. Think about His faithfulness over the years of your life and ministry. Meditate on His unfailing love for you. God has done too much and been too good for us to sit back with folded arms and not worship Him!

Now put your intellect to work and that body of education you have. Consider what you know about the various names of God used throughout Bible history. Think about the great works He has done and give Him some praise. He is worthy of all the focused worship we can muster.

Pastor, it does not matter what we are gifted or called to do in that particular service. The God of your salvation has called you to worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24).

2. Your staff deserves it.

In my case, I recognize that most of my staff is not fully funded in the ministry. They have other jobs that keep them financially stable. Add to that many obligations they maintain outside of our joint ministry. The fact that we can carry out a decently organized worship service is almost miraculous.

I’ll use my pastorate as an example. Our first worship service is at 9:15. On Sunday mornings, I’m usually the first person on campus arriving before 7 am. I unlock the doors, start the service lights, and check the thermostats. My associate pastor is behind me within 30 minutes because he doesn’t take his ministry for granted. Our worship music staff soon comes in behind us. The dedication they all display means I should not take them or God for granted. They deserve to see their pastor plugged into the worship service.

Pastor, perhaps you have a similar scenario with your staff. Their dedication is commendable. Just like you, the operation of their gifts is sometimes sacrificial. Your team appreciates it when you worship God with them.

3. The congregation needs your example.

I get a genuine thrill when I see my congregation get caught up in the worship of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Seeing their souls blessed as we focus on Him does my soul good. And let me tell you what’s in it for me. When the worship team (music ministry) has prayerfully exercised their gifts, and the congregation has spent their time in Spirit-led worship, my preaching becomes more effective.

However, everyone doesn’t understand their need for focused participation in a worship service. Think about the new converts and newcomers in your congregation. Someone has to show them how it’s done. It’s called leading by example.

Pastor, you appreciate it and expect your congregants to stay tuned to the message. You believe your preaching (through the power of the Holy Spirit) has the power to change their lives. If you expect the staff and congregation to interact with you during the message, you’d better interact with them during the music.

In the end, this is really about culture. What type of culture do you believe God wants for your local church?

I’d rather my church be a tad too lively than too formal.

By church culture, I’m describing your congregation’s thought patterns and accompanying behaviors. It includes attitudes, beliefs, and values. But culture is fluid, and that means you can change it.

(I wrote more about what culture looks like in growing churches here. I think you should read it too.)

Pastor, it’s up to you to set the worship culture expectation. No one should have to guess whether or not you want to be there. After all, you planned this service. You called this meeting. Now lead your people in worship!

P.S. Pastor, don’t mistake this as an endorsement of disorder. God is not the author of confusion but order. You can lead your church to a lively, well-ordered, Spirit-filled worship culture.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.