The One Ingredient That Matters Most

By Brian Taylor

I’ve had an idea floating around in my mind for some time. As I’ve been working with teams and churches, I’ve been drilling down on the elements of a great worship service that transcend the things that normally divide us into sub-groups, denominations, and the like.

I think that I’ve come across a “formula.” It’s something I think could really impact what you’re seeing on Sunday morning.

The Secret Sauce

Now before you close this window, I’m not talking about a magic wand to wave or some special phrases. I’m talking about something that’s more foundational. It’s a way of BEING that informs our way of DOING. So here it is.


I hope that comes out on your screen like it does in my head. Let me write it out some.

ENGAGEMENT is equal to EXECUTION and EXPRESSION multiplied by our EXPECTATION consistently over time.

Let me briefly define the terms for you, as I’m using them:

  • “Execution” is about skillful preparation and implementation of the songs and the flow.
  • “Expression” is about the team modeling what is prayerfully happening in their hearts on their faces and in their body language. It’s also them setting the example of what you’d like to see in the congregation.
  • “Expectation” is about the faith you’re bringing. It’s about asking God to breathe into the “form” and make it come alive by the power of His Holy Spirit. It’s asking and believe for God to meet people in your meetings.

Each of these components is necessary! Execution without expression or expectation produces a lifeless performance. Expectation without execution and expression can produce more distraction than anything else. Expression and execution without expectation produce a heartfelt same old, same old.

The One Ingredient That Matters Most

I could go on and on. But here’s the secret. These things must happen over time for there to be any real impact. It’s consistency that makes the difference!

We live in a “right now” culture. In an age of mobile orders, no lines, and instant downloads, it’s easy to bring those experiences into Sunday morning. However, an engaged congregation is cultivated, not commanded. It’s something that has to be developed – so we have to model these qualities over time.

3 Ways to Get It Going

Thankfully, you can cultivate this kind of culture in your team and in your congregation – even if it’s not something that has come naturally to them. I’ve got three ways to do that. Put these into practice and I promise you’ll see results.

1. Pray it.

How simple but easily forgotten. Prayer actually changes things. As a leader, pray for God to move this way in your team in your congregation. Gather your team together to pray for it before services and rehearsals. Remind them in emails through the week to be praying. Storm Heaven with fervent prayer!

2. Say it.

Don’t underestimate the power of what you say. When you speak to the congregation on Sundays, speak words of faith, truth, and expectation. When you share with your team, stir their faith to believe God for what they have never seen before.

3. Highlight it.

Take the time to highlight the moments when you see glimpses of what is to come. Share the stories. At the end of the day, take time to gather as a team to reflect on what God did in your midst. Recognize team members who are embodying the right elements of the equation. Encourage them to keep pressing on. You will raise the tide of your team and your time of worship.

You can affect change. Your church can see God move. You can have a congregation that’s engaged and enthusiastic during worship. It just takes time and intentionality. Start here and don’t give up. You’ll see what you believe God for.

Question:What is one thing you can do THIS WEEK or even RIGHT NOW to implement this equation?

Brian Taylor serves as Associate Pastor of Worship at Prestonwood Baptist Church.

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