When it comes to Christian music, there is a difference between “worship” and “performance.” It seems lately that many Christians have replaced real worship with attending Christian concerts. I am not against concerts, they can be very powerful moments in time, but to be healthy spiritually, Christians need to be engaged in genuine worship on a regular basis in a local community of faith.
In Christian worship, the attention of the audience should be pointed to the Lord and who He is. Worship should also remind of us what God has done, is doing and will do in the lives of the saints. In a concert performance, the attention of the audience is most often pointed toward the musical score, or the musician, or both. There is nothing wrong with being a performer. But it is very different than being a worship leader. In a concert, the musician, or the music, gets the glory. In worship, the Lord gets the glory.
In Christian worship, the words we are singing are just as important as the musical score because the words are what we are saying about the nature of God and our relationship to Him. Therefore, the words should be at the “center of the stage” instead of the worship leader. Though many buildings in which churches meet do not allow this to physically be the case, when possible, physically putting the words in the middle and the musicians to the side makes a powerful statement about the place of the worship leader.
Using a projector, or other system, to put the words in the middle and have everyone focus on those words as they sing may sound overly simplistic, but it is a subtle way to remind everyone that it is not the worship leaders who are the focus. That does not mean that a church cannot also have hymn books, as those are helpful to those who read music and can help carry the musical notes for the congregation, but for the vast majority of the audience who cannot read music, looking at the words together at the center of the stage can help create a worship experience.
What types of things has your church done that enhanced the sense of worship in your church services?