Growing churches plan and lead worship with the guest in mind. That’s not pandering to the new person to make worship entertaining just to get them in the door. New people do not come to church expecting entertainment. People want substance, especially in the confusing world we live in. But they can’t hear your heart unless they can hang out with you. That’s the reality of our current culture. If a person can hang out with you, they can learn about Jesus from you.
Planning and leading worship is as much cultural as it is theological. If the church experience is so far outside of a person’s frame of reference, how is it possible for them to know what Jesus is saying about the turmoil in the world, be it public news or something that has happened in their own life, like the loss of a job or a loved one. Planning and leading worship with the guest in mind is about helping new people see that you get it and that you get them. All the strategic things you need to have in place that seem so superficial … stuff for kids, connection points with people, local brand coffee, very good music, a user-friendly environment and building … it’s so a new person can fit in quickly. When people drop their defenses, their heart opens up. Planning and leading worship with the guest in mind is very loving behavior.
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