By Kemtal Glasgow
Music is such a powerful medium. It seems to connect people in a way that transcends culture, background, social or economic obstacles. Music has the power to bring people together; the right song, the right series of songs or the rights series of sets can express more than a sermon ever can. If you’re a preacher like I am that can be a bitter pill to swallow. Our goal is to communicate a message and bring people hope and life. Ultimately we want lives transformed and music, specifically worship music, has a remarkable ability to do that.
What does evangelism through worship mean?
It’s sharing the gospel through our worship, through our melody and through our sound. It’s communicating a message that evokes a feeling and setting a stage for God to move. It’s about being authentic, not superficial (and certainly not spooky), and balancing showmanship. Yup, I said it, showmanship! David assembled the most skilled and excellent musicians to worship the Lord. And while worship is not intended to be simply a show, we should pull out all the stops when we’re worshipping the King of Kings! When we make our praise glorious it captures the hearts of the hearers and draws them closer to God. In John 12:32 it reads, “If we lift Him up, it will draw ALL men unto him!” Evangelism through worship is about authentically worshiping God and doing it with such excellence that it grabs the heart of that teen that has one hand in his pocket and the other gripping his cell phone.
7 Keys for Evangelism Through Worship
1. Have a vision for the worship set when picking songs.
This is the idea of creating a journey. For example, if you want people to experience the love of God, then try to pick songs that blend together to bring people to a place where they can experience God’s love. This is a great opportunity for worship leaders to get creative and to collaborate with the pastor in an effort to make a power packed service.
2. Sing songs that speak out the Word of God.
It’s important that musicians and song writers have theology that’s rooted in the Word of God. Singing and worshipping with the Word of God is tremendously powerful.
3. Adapt to your surroundings and to your audience.
For example if you’re primarily ministering to young people, you want to make sure that the music style is reflective of the audience that you’re ministering to so that you maintain your relevancy. And while it’s important for us to be cutting edge and new, we don’t have to be dissuaded by trying to keep up with every fad, fashion, style, beat and riff. We serve the creator of heaven and earth, the one who flung the stars into existence and we can rely on God to help us to be creative, innovative, and powerful as we’re putting together our arrangements.
4. Choose songs that tell a testimony of what God did.
Remind people of the goodness and faithfulness of God and bring them into a remembrance that God is love and is good.
5. You want to be real, transparent, and authentic.
You want to show people the joy of the Lord. They should see it on your faces and on your bands’ faces as you worship the Lord from the stage.
6. We want to remember that we are a vessel and not God.
The best worship sets are where they forget about us as the leaders and who is on the stage and their attention and focus is brought to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Let God do the work in hearts and always keep in remembrance that we are only a tool.
7. Every worship session should bring people back to exalting God.
What normally happens when people come to worship is that they come, bring some circumstance with them and it takes them the first couple of songs to finally stop thinking about all the stuff that’s going on in their life and give their full attention to God. Our goal as leaders is to get them to a place where they stop thinking about their circumstances and put their focus on the Lord in the worship set as soon as possible.
In addition to these 7 keys, we want to make sure we are using every single tool at our disposal; lights, video, words on the screen, etc. I remember one of our lighting directors explaining something to me as they were vigorously and passionately programming our lighting display. They said, “I gotta get this. I gotta it just right. Every single one of these lighting fixtures needs to be worshipping God tonight!” As we evangelize through worship, we know that it can bring refreshment, clarity, revelation, vision, hope, peace and comfort. As you lift up a sound, understand that our worship can be a sound that echoes for all eternity.
Having grown up in his native Canada Kemtal Glasgow has been involved in reaching young people and equipping leaders both here in North America and abroad for more than 10 years. Kemtal counts it a joy and honor to build the Kingdom of God as he serves as Executive Director of Acquire the Fire and Acquire the Fire Music. Get Acquire the Fire’s newest release, Epic Truth, on iTunes, here.