Overseers Adam Diehl & Jon Paul Robles

The other two parts of this series will be available here and here.

Everyone makes some unintentional mistakes in ministry. I happen to be particularly good at it and could probably build a whole graduate degree program around my vast experience with this rather embarrassing subject. I’m happy to say that nobody died and no buildings collapsed as a result of these errors, but, as folks often say, “I wish I had known then what I know now.”


Mistake: I used to “sell” my point of view about worship endlessly. I believed that it was my responsibility to inform, enlighten, and change people’s views about sound worship practices. Certainly (I thought), I knew more about worship than they!

Reality: People assume that you know a lot about your job, but they also want to know that you are willing to learn. They want to teach you, but they may not be as articulate as you in describing what they mean, believe, and have experienced in their worship history. So, let them sell YOU. BTW, their history is as valuable to them as yours is to you.

Conclusion: I finally learned that the best strategy for dealing with this situation was to enlist your fellow sojourner instead of trying to win them over! I would research a couple of churches where that person’s perspective on worship might be a closer fit and invite them to look in on a service at that church, then communicate to me and our worship committee about their observations about what worked and didn’t work. Incidentally, their take is very often that they prefer their own church to the one they visited and usually end up affirming what they’ve already got! Enlist…don’t annoy!

This post was written by Doug Lawrence, internationally recognized speaker, author, and advisor. He helps churches assess and improve their skillfulness in creating engaging worship experiences by utilizing his more than 35 years of “deep trench” worship leadership in prominent mainline churches. You may reach him at dlawrenceconsult@mac.com. Or, if you wish, call 650.207.8240 for assessment information and scheduling. Doug now teams with the slingshotgroup.net to place extraordinary worship leaders in extraordinary churches. His blog can be found here.

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