The weekly worship service of a church should be valued, prioritized, and protected. As pastors and church leaders, we should guard the worship service from those things that attempt to hijack it.
What is a worship service hijacker? It is anything that draws the attention away from the worship of God, singing praises to his name, the preaching of his Word, and responding to the message that has been preached.
The challenge is that seemingly good things can hijack a service by drawing the attention to religious entertainment and unimportant time-wasters. The worship of God is far too important to allow these things to hijack a worship service. Here are several ways we can guard against it.
1- Keep the purpose of a worship service in clear view.
The purpose of the worship service is to worship! This means that everything that takes place in the worship service should aid and contribute to worship. If you are doing something in the worship service that does not contribute to worship, it is a hindrance to worship.
2- Educate your staff and have them also guard against worship service hijackers.
This may take some time and you may have to eliminate those things that tend to hijack a worship service gradually over time, but having your staff on the same page will go a long way toward this effort.
3- Learn to lovingly say no.
There will be times you simply have to say ‘no’ to something that someone wants to do in the service so that you can keep worship as a priority. Simply explain your reasoning, and pray they will join you in prioritizing worship.
4- Understand who the sole audience is.
If the goal of a worship service is the worship of God, then we really only have one audience. The congregation is not an audience, they are participants in worship to the audience of one. Eliminate those things that turn the congregation into spectators who are entertained and highlight those things that help them be worshippers of the one true God.
Pastors, you will always have to guard against those things that hijack your worship service. Be focused on the purpose of the service, educate your staff, learn to say no, and remember who the audience of one is.