Evaluating Your Worship Service
Evaluation is critical if you want to be effective.
Is what we’re doing working? Could it be better? Is it still necessary that we do ____? These are the types of critical questions you should be asking about each element of your church service. And I mean every element, no sacred cows.
Here are some tips to make sure your worship service evaluation is as effective as possible.
1. Approach evaluation from an outsider’s perspective.
Nothing looks unnecessary or unsuccessful if you know the why behind everything – especially if that why is “because we’ve always done it that way.” Thus nothing will change if you approach evaluation from an insider’s perspective.
But when you evaluate as an outsider, you’ll question everything. “Why do we sing songs?” Because we are worshiping God. “Why do we sing that style?” Because that’s the style we like. “Why do we sing ten songs?” As soon as you find a question that doesn’t have a good answer, look for a solution. Critique.
2. Evaluate immediately.
I know many pastors like to take their day off on Monday. It makes sense. Unfortunately, for many church staffs, Tuesday meetings take place in a bit of a fog. Nobody can quite remembers what happened the previous Sunday.
That’s why it’s a great idea to have at least a quick meeting right after service on Sunday. Do a quick debrief and take notes on what issues there were. You can deal with them all that afternoon or you can regroup on Tuesday after you’ve had a chance to think about some solutions.
3. Don’t make it personal.
If you don’t like the way someone approached their job, look for a way to make it less personal. If you must confront something someone’s doing, be sure to do it with grace. There’s no reason to stomp all over someone just so the worship service is perfect. Remember, without love, you are nothing – even if everything about your church service is flawless.
4. Don’t take it personally.
It makes it much easier not to make critique personal when you learn not to take critique personally. There’s always room for improvement, so let people help you improve. Think of it like this: Would you want someone to let you walk around all day with spinach stuck in your teeth? Of course not! Well, maybe that critique you’re about to hear will help you avoid that same level of embarrassment.
I’d much rather have a few close staff members and friends point out an area of improvement than to have a room full of people see the glaringly obvious shortcoming.
5. Think in terms of action steps.
Finally, break down what needs to change into action steps. If there are no action steps associated with a critique, it’s just criticism. Choose steps of action for every critique so you can make forward progress in the effectiveness of your worship service.
I encourage you: If you don’t already have a healthy environment of critiquing your worship services, start. Work with your team to make your services as effective as possible. It’s important.
Creative Entrepreneur / Writer
San Antonio, TX
Jonathan is a creative entrepreneur and writer. He is the author of Created for More —a devotional for creatives and Unwelcome —a book helping churches become more welcoming. Jonathan is also the creator of Sunday|Magazine, ChurchStageDesignIdeas.com, and SeriesIdeas.com. His latest e-book, “Set the Stage: a Manifesto for Church Stage Design” is available now. You’ll find him in San Antonio, Texas roasting his own coffee beans enjoying life with his Argentine wife, Carolina.