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Dealing With An Uninterested Congregation (Q&A)

Dealing With An Uninterested Congregation (Q&A)

By Chris Olson on May 15, 2013

This article is a part of a series we call "The Leadership Roundtable" - where a team of "leaders" take a question that was submitted and answer it here on our site so that it may help others out there that may have the same question. If you have a question you'd like to submit, contact us!

Hey, just wanted to ask how to deal with a congregation that doesn't seem interested in worship? As a band we are pursuing His 
Presence more than anything, but it sometimes is discouraging when people stand and look at your face during worship.

Thanks for submitting your question! This is an incredibly common question and something I think we all struggle with as worship leaders. Sometimes it simply comes down to the denomination and/or how people in your church were raised. So depending on where you land in your ministry, you may be facing that uphill battle from the get-go.

It's important to minister to the flock you are given in a way that facilitates that ministry, and not be overly eager to force change upon or within them. If you come at them with something completely different, and do so in a forceful way, you'll end up making things worse and causing a disconnect. 

The best bet is to start small. I find that often if people aren't really getting into worship, they simply may not have an understanding of a couple things:
1. Who it is we are worshiping.
2. What it is that we are singing.
Many congregations are used to singing words on a projection screen. It's something you do at church. It's habit. Because of that, it's good to occasionally remind them that the act of musical worship is far more than just singing words. 

So, one small place to start is to interject some "teaching moments" into the worship times (during songs or in between songs). This can (and should) include Scriptures, as well as some simple thoughts and explanations about the "who" and the "why." Why should these words matter? Why do we sing these lyrics? Who are we really singing to? All of these are good questions to ask, and may help to slowly allow people in your congregation to get more connected to this act of worship, and understand it for what it is. 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below:

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Chris Olson

Chris Olson

Chris has been involved in worship ministry in some way for over 20 years, ranging from worship team guitarist/bassist/drummer to staff worship pastor. Chris presently serves as one of the worship leaders at Grace Church in Overland Park, KS, and is also a songwriter with a passion to write songs for the local church.  Chris married WAY up when his wife Rachel said “I do,” and they have two awesomely awesome kids, Aedan and Caitlin.