Last week, I talked a little bit about the wrong ways to evaluate a worship service. This week, I am going to talk about a few of the ways that, when used correctly, will help to correctly evaluate a service. Some of these aren’t designed to be used by themselves or even all the time, but they’re definitely better ways to get a grip on what you’re doing right.
Target Audience Attendance
Who’s coming to your church? Many churches say “we don’t have a target audience.” They’re wrong. Everyone has a target whether they mean to or not. Look at your cross-section. That cross-section is your target audience. Your church is perfectly designed to get the results you are getting. I love tacos. I can say that I didn’t mean to make tacos, but if they came out of our kitchen, I’ll bet I put all the ingredients in. You can say that you don’t have a target audience, but if only 55-75 year old women seem to be coming back, you’re targeting them somehow. So, what’s your target? Are they coming back? Are they telling their friends about it? If so, your worship service is effective at reaching those people.
People Coming Back
People not only attending but coming back week after week is a great way to track your effectiveness. I have told people this in kids’ ministry for years: “Kids don’t choose to be bored.” The same goes for adults. In fact, some parents make their kids go to boring kids’ ministry. But not many people can make an adult go to a boring church. So, what happens if an unchurched adult decides to give church another chance, shows up at yours, and is bored? They’re probably not coming back. People coming back, especially those in your target audience, is another good way to track if your worship service is effective at reaching people.
Trust your leadership
This one is a hard one. Like I said last week, everybody has an opinion on just about everything, including the worship service. A Biblical form of leadership puts that responsibility of evaluation and structure on one person or a small group of people. In a healthy church, a worship leader should be able to make those decisions with the help of a small group of elders. I believe this to be the most Biblical approach. So, when questioning the effectiveness of the worship service, trust those people that are Biblically leading the church. Opinions are always welcome, but a final decision must rest with a small group of Biblical leaders.
One great way to measure the effectiveness of a worship service is one also used to determine the effectiveness of the church as a whole. Are lives being changed? Many times, I have had the discussion of what worship is about, what you should be expecting in a worship service, and other conversations that have ultimately led to the question: Should I expect something out of a worship service? Long story short (unless you want to read the long story): Yes. You should be expecting to be challenged and changed. When we worship, we enter the throne room and stand face-to-face with God. If your worship service is effective, you are helping people to respond to the Holy Spirit and be changed. No one can come away from this experience unchanged. If lives aren’t changing, you need to examine not only the effectiveness of the worship service, but the effectiveness of the church as a whole.