I had a rather unique experience yesterday. Following the morning service, a woman who was visiting, and I’m not sure if I’ve ever met before, met me on the way out and asked if she could share her views on her worship “experience” with us that morning. I said sure, and she promptly gave me a brief “critique” of our service, from how she “felt” due to the seating arrangements to her opinion about the number of songs we sang. I thanked her for sharing and she left.
And I’m left thinking, “what was that all about?” Granted, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but to walk in to a church for what I believe was the first time, and give a critical review to the pastor on the way out? I don’t know this person, I don’t their background, I don’t know their spiritual maturity level, I don’t know a lot of things, and so quite frankly her opinions didn’t carry much weight.
Not that I don’t care what people think, but I value more the opinions of those I know, those I know have a mature relationship with Christ, those who I know have a mature understanding of worship and what we’re trying to accomplish. So, while I appreciate the person’s candor, in the end I didn’t find it very helpful.
Or was it. Certainly we ought to take time and consider what we’re doing in worship from time to time. We’re all open to a little critique and we all have room for improvement. Her comments weren’t overly harsh (and she did say nice things about the sermon, after all, so she can’t be that off!). One comment I agreed with, while the others I thought were just pure opinion/personal preference.
But still, can we not use things like this to ask ourselves some questions about what we’re doing and why we’re doing it? Reflection and evaluation are good, and while in the end we may decide we like things the way they are, is it not healthy still to make sure we’re doing it all for the right reasons?
With that in mind I’d simply point your attention to a series of articles written by Dr. Don Whitney on ways to improve our worship. I started to just reprint some of those things here, but I didn’t want to violate any copyrights or anything, so I’ll simply link you to the pdf files as they appear on his website. All three of these are worth your time to look at and consider.
In worship, as in all things, we ought to be giving God our very best. Evaluation and a willingness to make changes is a healthy thing in that regard. We don’t have to listen to every opinion, don’t have to cater to every taste (especially those that are just looking for feel good/warm fuzzies). But a genuine desire to improve our worship is always to be lauded.