Here’s the top 10 ways to guarantee a terrible church service:

1. Ask the worship leader to talk for 5 mins between each song and thus quench the flow of a worship time.

2. Give 11 announcements complete with all details of time, address, who to see to register & endless other boring details.

3. Tell people you are going to finish in 5 mins and take another 20.

4. Don’t train anyone in platform presentation. Just be “led by the Spirit” and trust everything will be ok dokie.

church service

Photo courtesy of echiner1(CC ShareALike)

 5. Berate people about their lack of commitment or dedication.

 6. Get the worship leaders and vocalists to never open their eyes and be aware of what’s happening in the congregation.

 7. Preach messages that have no relevance to the day to day lives of your people.

 8. Loooooooooooong offering talks.

9. Completely ignore visitors or include them to the point of embarrassment.

10. Encourage team pastors to talk authoritatively to the church just like the senior pastor.

And that’s how you help make a church unhealthy.

23 Responses

  1. You skipped 9. Oh, and I completely disagree with #6, if the worship leader is worshipping God, why does he need to open his eyes?

    1. Oops! Good pick up. Fixed.

      Thanks for joining the conversation.

      My angle with # 6 is that the worship leader is doing more than worshipping God, they are leading others into worship.

      Therefore if they spend the entire time with their eyes shut they cannot engage people thru their eyes or be aware of how the congregation is responding & thus lead them appropriately.

      I was recently in a service where the leader lead eyes shut 90% of the time. Unfortunately he was oblivious to the fact that 30% of the congregation were sitting down after 30 mins of worship & disengaged from worshipping.

      Eyes open enables you to read the congregation & adjust your leading.

  2. “10. Encourage team pastors to talk authoritatively to the church just like the senior pastor.” Oh, yes, we have to be clear there is only one ‘lord’ and that ‘lord’ is the ‘senior pastor’ no one else can speak with authority, after all no other Christian really has the Holy Spirit, do they!

    NB for the chronically literalist this is sarcasm, I mean the opposite.

  3. These are all symptoms of a deeper problem make them comfortable lul them to inaction and then wonder why they are leaving in droves the church has become like a country club it used to be a army always on the march training solders for Christ not sitters for Christ desensitised inactive asleep

    1. So I could be picky Don and ask for a specific NT reference to the church being called an army but why be picky is what I say.

      My church is certainly no country club!

  4. Not sure what you mean by number 10 John. As a team Pastor and a passionate one at that I rarely say anything from the platform that isnt put fairly strongly and enthusistically. At a guess: Are you referring to the need for team Pastors to be championing the Senior Ministers message, values and vision? Or are you saying that we need to reference often the Senior Ministers thoughts and comments when making a strong points from the front? Could you add a clarifying context or example?

  5. Superb question Seth.

    My context is primarily The Family Chat pastors have to have sometimes to their church e.g. slovenly attendance, coming into meetings late, bad attitudes that have infiltrated the entire congregation etc

    Children have only one father and uncles and granddads shouldn’t try to take on that role and discipline a child. My job as granddad is to reinforce dad’s authority when discipline is needed.

    So the context is more about The Family Chat moment.

    Nothing wrong with team pastors being strong and authoritative!

    Hope that clarifies

  6. Hi John,

    Any chance you could elaborate on point “10. Encourage team pastors to talk authoritatively to the church just like the senior pastor.”
    In a future post or alternatively point me to a resource?

    Love your work?
    Micky (I am a team pastor)

    1. Hey Micky thanks for connecting. It comes from my philosophy of ministry that there is only one lead pastor in a church, only one father of the house if you like. So if the family needs a ‘chat’, dad needs to be the one to deliver, not the elder brother.

      The way I worded my my point is a bit obscure so hopefully this clarifies it.

      Please don’t misunderstand me, team pastors should definitely speak with the authority of their role (I was one for 10 years!) but there’s a limit.

      Make sense?

  7. I agree with most of these. Number 3 is a pet peeve. But I don’t know whether a loooong offering talk guarantees a terrible church service … I’ve been in some services which are only offering talk – some of the most exciting times!!

  8. What kind of “church” is this? – potential for chaos methinks!!!
    Worship is directed to God and as Genesis illustrates requires order and variety. So use a good Liturgy with good hymns, a brief positive sermon, pastoral prayers, times of silence, and a gathering around our Lord’s Table, to eat bread and drink wine, in response to his command, “Do this in remembrance of me”. In other words, a Eucharist my friends!
    In Christo,

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