Tuesday Teaching Tips | Episode 254

Today we are building on the previous Teaching Tip: Tuesday Teaching Tips | Episode 253 | “What kind of participation are you aiming for?”

‘Lack of participation is a growing concern among pastors and worship leaders. Passivity is a problem. It doesn’t have to do with any particular style of worship. We simply fail to design and lead services that invite and even require the engagement of our people.’

Constance Cherry, The Worship Architect

Perhaps you don’t think you have a problem. But have you gone and sat at the back? What measure are you using to assess whether people are truly participating in your teaching and preaching?

‘The large crowd listened to him with delight.’

Mark 12:37

‘Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God.’

Acts 19:8 

What we want

  • Engagement
  • Activity
  • Involvement
  • Tuning in 
  • Joining in 
  • Taking part 
  • Giving of self
  • Transformation 

What we experience

  • Passivity
  • Boredom
  • Disconnection
  • Performance audience mentality
  • Lack of personal transformation
  • Lack of engagement with the world

[worship] ‘is not a presentation or a performance from the front. For the body [of Christ] to function properly it requires that every member give themselves to worship.’

Andrew Maries, One Heart One Voice

Whose fault is it if people do not take part in worship?

  • Church leader – structure to service; culture in church
  • Worship leader – choice of songs, music, way led
  • Congregation – their responsibility
  • Regular change or not enough change?
  • Tech – screen, PA, barrier? consumer mentality?

Which are your responsibility?

If you are the designer of the worship experience, a much longer list If you are only the preacher/teacher a shorter list. Participation is not always manifested outwardly. Ultimately, it’s the testimony of a transformed life that matters.

Overall, I would suggest being less concerned about the immediate impact in the room, but more the medium to long-term impact of the formation of godliness and Christlike engagement with one another in the world. This is about the long-term, not about a short-term fix. We’re not looking to whack the knee and look for the reflex response.

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org (mailto:malcolm@malcolmcox.org).

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://[www.malcolmcox.org](http://www.malcolmcox.org/).

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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

God bless, Malcolm