This past Sunday I sat in the pew rather than leading in worship through preaching.  In fact… since January I’ve been able to do this several times… and have seen some things from another perspective… that of the pew.

Maybe it’s just me, but here are some things I’ve noticed from the pew that I needed to see and be reminded of as one who stands behind the pulpit.

People come to church to worship God… not be entertained.  Forget the monologue of sweet stories and funny jokes, do that another time… but not while leading worship of God.

People come to church to hear from God… the opinions of the preacher do not matter.  No need to explain…

People come to church to encounter God… not hear announcements about what’s happening (People can read… put them in the bulletin.  If it’s important to them, they’ll come.  Otherwise don’t waste time that people can be worshiping or hearing God’s Word!)

People come to church to be encouraged, please don’t do anything that can distract from their worship experience!

Pastor: Exposit the text!  Preach the Gospel! If you do anything else, you have failed!

Pastor: The most important thing in worship is exposition and preaching of God’s Word!  Allot the time necessary to reflect that to God’s people.  Then bring the best you have from your time of study, prayer, and seeking God.

I fear offering “strange fire” and/or leading God’s people to do the same in worship.  But it seems that too many church leaders aren’t taking their role in worship seriously enough.  As I look around at the faces of people, they look bored… maybe because of how worship is being led. My thought is that God’s people have lost their zeal in church because too many worship leaders aren’t taking their call seriously enough.  I’m just saying…

More tomorrow (God willing).