4 Questions For Evaluating Where Your Congregation Is At In Worship



How can we evaluate where our congregation is at as a worshiping community?

Taking the pulse of your church isn’t, unfortunately, as simple as counting how many people you are singing with on a Sunday morning!

When we talk about assessing where your congregation is at, we’re talking about assessing the spiritual and worship maturity of your community.

That intuitive assessment has everything to do with a few particular elements that worship leaders should always keep their eyes on.

You can ask yourself four questions along the worship journey you are on with your community, each highlighting one important area of growth in your church.

1. Is it a growing family?
2. Is it a connecting community?
3. Is it a missional unit?
4. Is it a disciple’s paradise?


Is it a growing family?

The first question we need to ask is whether or not our congregation is a growing family.

Is there a sense of growing connectivity and mutual friendship in our church? Does that connectivity and mutual friendship run across age, ethnic, and even philosophical lines?

Is there a sense that we are becoming spiritually bigger than we were before, or that are we joyfully expanding our congregation together in many different ways and directions?

Are the relational elements of being in a family bubbling up in your conversations, your messages, and your outreach? Is there laughter?

Is there engagement? Is there unity in diversity? These are the goals, and where your congregation is at as a family is key to where that family is at when it comes to worshiping together in one accord.


Is it a connecting community?

Once you’ve established where your relationships are at as a growing family, the next question to consider is how your church is connecting.

Are people linking together in worship? We want our expressions of worship to have a sense of unity about them. Is there a sense that people have gotten beyond individuality into deepening community as we gather together to praise God?

We want to create a community that inspires joy as people find their place in our larger family, and a sense that the community is going somewhere in worship, purpose, and discipleship – together.


Is it a missional unit?

The third question we need to ask is if our congregation is actually heading somewhere together. Is there a sense that the interior life we share in our worship gatherings is overflowing, blossoming, and flourishing into missional activity in our society around us?

Are we committed to nurturing Christ-like love in action in all spheres of life?

Are we caring for the poor and broken?

Are we serving those who are vulnerable in society?

Are we aware of the deepest pain points in our community?

Are we voices for goodness and biblically shaped, nuanced, and Christ-like ideas of justice?

Are we influencing and educating in government, in entertainment, and in all the different arenas that make up our city?

Are we developing families within our city that aren’t necessarily just within our four church walls?

Are we a missional unit together?

Is there a sense that our worship is overflowing into the streets of our city?

We know our church is nurturing health in worship when our interior church experiences are overflowing into exterior action, extending the love and grace and mercy of Christ into homes near and far.


Is it a disciple’s paradise?

Will someone who has dedicated their entire life to serving Jesus feel at home when they walk through our doors? We want to create an environment where the worship leader can say – without even speaking a word – we’ve come here to meet with God.

How about now? Let’s meet with Jesus.

Yes, in all of our churches we sing songs, and we respond to God through music, liturgy, through prayers, through symbols, and through physical actions. But when we respond, is there a sense that the disciples are in the room are saying together:

“Yes, we want to give ourselves to Jesus as our ascended Lord and King of the world. We want to surrender in allegiance to Him, heart, soul, mind, and body. We recognize His love for us and we want to offer ourselves to offering His Good News to the world and to our community.”

That kind of worship environment is magnetic to both believers and to unbelievers.

Keep making worship about spiritual formation into the likeness of Jesus, reinforcing core biblical ideas that keep the story stirring within the congregation and allowing the Spirit room to form Christ in the individual members of your community.

There is no greater compliment than for someone to say, “The way your church worships is making disciples of Jesus.”

There is no higher goal.


These are a few questions we can ask to assess where our congregation is at as a worshiping people.

It would be nice to just check how many people’s eyes are engaged with us or with the screen as we worship, but it’s not enough.

  • Is our church a growing, deepening family?
  • Are we connecting deeply as a community in worship?
  • Are we activated in mission and are our eyes lifted beyond the four walls of our own life together?
  • Do faithful people who love Jesus find that our worship stimulates their desire to follow Christ?

Keep these questions in mind the next time you stand before your congregation and lead your community in worship.



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Sheltering Mercy: Prayers Inspired by the Psalms

Sheltering Mercy, along with its companion volume, Endless Grace, helps us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. This book contains 75 prayers drawn from Psalms 1-75, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning in the Psalms. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

This artful, poetic, and classic devotional book features compelling custom illustrations and foil-stamped hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms.