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Participatory Anemia April 13, 2014

Posted by worshipconvergence in Christianity.
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This morning, as I heard of a church passing out volunteer surveys due to lack of participation, I began thinking about why so many churches suffer this, disease, if we can call it that. Participatory Anemia sounds fitting. Why is it that churches can’t get the help they need to run?

One key possibility is that the church model has changed from the relational organizations of days past, to a consumer driven model. Focused on the statistics, modern churches take their cues from the entertainment industry, playing chart-toppers in popular styles, using concert style lights, casting peers of the target demographic into high profile staff and volunteer positions like pastors, worship team members, etc. This brings in the people they want, and in numbers that make things look to be going well. But then those people get up, leave, and may or may not contribute a monetary donation for consumed services. Participatory Anemia sets in. Children and youth ministries, parking directors, tech teams, hospitality and other ministries find themselves overstretched and underequipped to fill the needs of the amassing number of consumers entering their care.

Another factor may be the frequency of which help is sought. If the church is only seeking help when they are desperate, the people who feel called to serve may not feel wanted until it’s too late. Waiting too long to post opportunities can result in a “we didn’t really want you, but now we need you,” feeling among those waiting for the chance to dig in and serve. Thus Participatory Anemia can occur due to leaders withholding opportunity.

Relational ministries can’t be closed or close-minded to volunteers. How many musicians are in your church band’s roster? How many are up front most every week? How many get rotated? What does it take to get in the band at your church? Open auditions? Invitation only? Maybe they don’t accept new musicians? In an attempt to provide the most entertaining and distraction-free atmosphere, many churches have a closed band or invitation-only policy. While this lends itself to the band becoming very close musically and relationally, it also fences out new blood and denies relationship opportunities. Those who are called to serve in worship ministries may find themselves called away from your church if you won’t use them, God will send them to one who will. God may cause Participatory Anemia if He sees his gifts being squandered due to fear of a fleeting mistake or the leadership’s lack of willingness to train and qualify the called.

When a local assembly of the Body of Christ is on level ground with one another, and new disciples, who have shunned the belief that they are righteous and know they are sinners, are brought forth from outreach endeavors, Participatory Anemia should go the way of ye olde reformist hymns that refer to “the bowels of God.” The Body will thrive with servants, and consumers will listen to their favorite songs on the radio or internet and consume the writings and videos of the likes of Joel Osteen and Adam Hamilton until they emotionally join the ranks of disciples who worship with their lives and not just attendance and cash.

Dig Deeper, Worship Wholly February 9, 2013

Posted by worshipconvergence in Christianity, Church, Leadership, ministry.
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I always find myself frustrated at the lack of depth, or, the superficiality of music in worship services. While I’m not against using songs that are popular, I believe in presenting more than the best selling songs of the day. I have compiled, into 2 Amazon listmania lists, a small assortment of songs fit for use in congregational settings, yet most are rarely heard in worship -too new, too old, too obscure, too fast, too aggressive, sound more like background music. Many excuses to mask the truth: most modern churches are businesses and thus are consumer driven, therefore they use topical, superficial. “accessible”  songs that occupy the Billboard Christian charts to attract “seekers,” i.e. trend-seekers..

There are more than these 80 songs, but this is a start. Not all of these fall in the categories I mentioned above.

http://www.amazon.com/Praise-amp-Worship-for-all-generations-part-1/lm/R1LOICE00GXE3T/ref=cm_lm_byauthor_title_full

http://www.amazon.com/Praise-amp-Worship-for-all-generations-part-2/lm/R1T6KXM8OIZFYX/ref=cm_lm_byauthor_title_full

I hope these songs bless you and your congregation.