Phil Cooke says forget the concert and start inviting people to worship.
The truth is, the vast majority of church “worship leaders” aren’t worship leaders at all. They’re simply musicians playing what are called “worship songs” from popular artists who write that sort of thing. The music is fine, and I have no argument with that, but a real worship service should be a lot more than simply a concert. Watch for yourself: If your church still has both a “traditional” service and a “contemporary” service, I encourage you to attend each and watch the audience. You may not care for traditional hymns, but guess what – the congregation in a traditional service sings along. They know the words and are participating. But in most contemporary services, it’s simply a concert. The audience isn’t really participating and is just watching a performer on the stage.
Worse yet – the supposed worship leader isn’t “leading” anything. He or she isn’t encouraging, and hardly says anything to the congregation between songs.
So what do artists like Katy Perry and Taylor Swift know that your worship leader doesn’t?
They know how to engage the audience. They encourage the audience to join in, and they have a constant conversation with the people. In between songs, they’re talking and setting up the next song. They’re creating a mood that allows the audience to participate and enjoy, whether they know how to sing or not.