How can one provide leadership in worship unless he is first a worshiper? As part of the congregation a believer can be totally focused on worshiping God.
However, when one is called into the preaching ministry our focus becomes two-fold; simultaneously inspiring others to focus upon and glorify God while we provide many aspects of service to God’s people and worship Him.
Learning to structure this two-fold process within the service of worship is the expectation of every preacher.
It’s not just a matter of preaching but every aspect of the service must be accomplished.
The over all structure i.e., the liturgy, the music, communion, baptism and of course preaching of the Word of God, to name a few, all come under the direction of the preacher/pastor.
In many traditions, during a Worship Service the preacher may only come to the pulpit when it’s time to deliver God’s Message but usually this is done only in large churches.
In small congregations the preacher will likely conduct the service from the Call to Worship to the Benediction.
Nevertheless, it is the preacher/pastor responsibility for every thing that happens in coordinating the service of worship from the Call to Worship to the Benediction (that includes all music, responsive reading, prayers, speakers and dancers).
The contemporary church (not all churches) has lost it’s appreciation for pulpit etiquette and so I want to talk about a few things for the sake of young preachers.
We should not be doing anything in the pulpit that distracts from the glory of God.
This includes wearing too many rings on our fingers; that focuses the congregation’s attention on us instead of God’s glory; overly dressed (GQ) again we are at the center not the God we worship; positioning ourselves in a cocksure body language, for example, crossing your legs up high with your ankle propped on top of your knee while in the pulpit.
Sometimes we just want to prove to the congregation we can be funny…it’s usually at the expense of distracting worshippers from a focus on God.
When preparing for the preaching ministries have a basic, standard Order of Worship etched in your mind. It will be a welcome remembrance just at the time when you need it most. Here is an example:
A MORNING WORSHIP SERVICE
Call to Worship
Hymn O Praise
Hymn of Assurance
Dedication of Offering
Sermonic Preparation (Hymn)
Purchase a Minister’s Service book and have it ready as you visit churches with different traditions. It will help you establish how their Service of Worship is coordinated and keeps you abreast of what’s happening.
As you prepare for the preaching ministry be aware of the liturgical year which is also known as the church year.
It is a time set aside for certain days and seasons of each year to recall and celebrate various events in the life of Christ.
You certainly want to be aware of these seasons so that your preaching can be on topic.
Some protestant traditions do not celebrate all of the days in the church year but just be aware of them in your tradition.