4 Principles to Engage Your Congregation in Worship - Jeff Deyo


4 Principles to Engage Your Congregation in Worship

What’s in this Episode?

In this episode of the Church Tips Podcast, Jeff Deyo (former lead singer of Sonicflood) gives you 4 keys to engage your congregation in worship.

Show Notes:

Be notified when the Worship Leadership Track by Jeff Deyo is live!

The Pastors Guide to Navigating Generational and Cultural Worship Gaps
The Worship Pastors Guide to Honoring The Lead Pastor

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Read the Transcript

Jonathan Hardy 0:06
Hey, we want to welcome you to the Church Tips Podcast today. Today is a very special day.

Dick Hardy 0:25
Big, big day.

Jonathan Hardy 0:26
I am so excited about today.

Dick Hardy 0:35
Big day.

Jonathan Hardy 0:13
It is official, I can’t believe we are finally here after months and months of preparation. The long awaited Worship Leadership Course, is now live and available. And so if you are a lead pastor or a worship pastor, you have got to take a look at this course. This course is designed to help worship pastors, lead pastors, to take the worship ministry to the next level.

Jonathan Hardy 0:36
I mean, it is just jam packed, it is chock full of just so much good stuff to help the worship ministry go to the next level. Because, as you know, when people are making decisions about whether they’re going to come back to a church, so we’re talking about guests, we’re talking about people who move into the area, and they’re looking for a church home, the worship ministry is pivotal for people in their decision making process to decide if they’re going to come back.

Jonathan Hardy 1:02
And so much so that they’re going to make up that decision most often, before the preacher ever gets up to start preaching.

Dick Hardy 1:08
Right, right.

Jonathan Hardy 1:08
And so this is so important for us to be improving our worship ministry and making it the best it possibly can be.

Dick Hardy 1:15
And one of the things I think is so great about this is this not only relates to senior lead pastors, worship pastors, volunteer worship leaders. If you’re on a worship team, you’re just a major player in the church. You want the church to win. You’re gonna find this Worship Leadership Course, to really be helpful to you. The presenter of this entire course, is Jeff Deyo, the former lead singer of Sonicflood, now a professor at North Central University.

How should a worship pastor/leader honor the lead pastor? Download the free guide worship pastors can use on ways to show honor and respect to the pastoral team.

Dick Hardy 1:44
And I’m just telling you, we watched this all be created when this was recorded. Absolutely gold. And we’re going to we’re going to show you here a clip of an episode in Module 9, that’s going to talk about engaging your congregation, as Jonathan said. And so we want to cut to that clip right now. And then we’ll pull back and do a recap here in a few minutes.

Jeff Deyo 2:09
Welcome everybody to the next video in our Worship, Leadership Course. This video, we’re going to talk about the topic of engaging your congregation. This one is super practical and super important. I know there’s some wars about this stuff on YouTube. I haven’t put out a teaching on this concept and had tons of comments where people were frustrated. They’re like, hey, it’s not your job to engage the congregation you just need to worship and let it be as it is. Well, to me, that’s worship. But this is worship leadership.

Jeff Deyo 2:40
And we do have a responsibility to call people to action, to engage people. Here’s the question, right? Does your congregation stare at you like zombies when you lead worship? It’s time now to break down the towering wall that divides the seats from the stage. Have you felt that sometimes? Have you felt that like, you know, there’s this huge 1000 foot thick, 1000 foot tall, wall that separates you from the congregation? Part of our job as worship leaders is to tear down that wall.

Jeff Deyo 3:10
And there’s all kinds of ways that you can do that. And I want to give you some strategies to help you bring that wall down so that we can be a community together. Worship is not just vertical. Of course, it’s important that we all engage with God vertically. But worship is also a community sport, where all of us together are worshipping our God. That’s what we gather for, so that we can be together with God. So we want to break down the walls that sometimes come up between us and the people, and then also tear down that ceiling that sometimes is there between us and God. Right?

Jeff Deyo 3:45
So a lot of times I’ll get asked questions like this, you know, somebody will come to me say, Jeff, you know, I worked so hard as a worship leader. And I try so hard, I give it all I’ve got and all they do is they stare back at me like this. Right? They’re just like, you know, drinking their coffee or looking at their watch or yawning or whatever, that type of thing. What do I need to do to help the people engage? Well, I’m going to give you some keys.

Jeff Deyo 4:10
All right, we’re going to discuss how to lead by modeling, right? This is the most basic form of leadership. But I see that so many worship leaders, they don’t even engage in this type of leadership modeling, right? Leading by example.

Jeff Deyo 4:28
1 Corinthians 11:1 says, And you should follow my example just as I follow Christ, right? So it is important that as us as leaders, we embrace the idea that people are following us. It is part of our responsibility for us to lead so that others will follow. Have you thought about it?

Do you wonder how to get all ages to enjoy the worship music and hymns in your church? Download the free guide pastors can use to navigate varying worship music preferences and help your congregation grow together.

Navigating Generational and cultural Worship Gaps free PDF for Pastors

Jeff Deyo 4:47
Another version of this verse says, Imitate me as I imitate Christ. Here’s a good question, and I’m gonna make up a word here. But are you, am I, imitatable? When people look at you in the way that you lead worship, when they look at your team, and the way that they lead worship, can they emulate what they see from you? They should be able to.

Jeff Deyo 5:11
Alright, let’s jump into our bullet points. Number one, you’ve got to become a lead worshiper. I love this term. I think the first time I heard it was from Matt Redman, we’re really just flipping the term worship leader and saying, helping us understand that we are lead worshipers. It really is our responsibility to worship God and to show people because we know that they are going to follow us, right?

Jeff Deyo 5:37
Now, what we don’t want is we don’t want cheerleaders, we want lead worshipers. We’ve got to show people what it looks like to worship God and be the leader that they can imitate. One of the other terms that I love when it comes to worship leading is I like to call worship leaders tour guides. I love this concept, because it kind of goes along with analogy that I’ve shared earlier.

Jeff Deyo 6:00
But imagine if you went to the Grand Canyon, and you became a tour guide. Now, if you have never been to the Grand Canyon, and you get this job as a tour guide, and then someone tells you, Yeah, go ahead and you lead your first tour. They hire you on and they say, Hey, there’s a tour ready to go and you go do it. You say, Well, wait, I’ve never been on the tour before. Well, obviously, you’re not going to be a good tour guide, if you haven’t been on the tour. The way I like to say it is this, you just can’t take people where you haven’t been. So as worship leaders, we need to make sure that we have been on the tour so that we can lead by example.

Jeff Deyo 6:41
Alright, number two, don’t ask people to do what you are unwilling to do. Man, you guys remember that song, I am free to run, I am free to run. I am free to dance, you know that song? Right? It’s kind of an older one. Or the song, I’m free. I’m free. I’m free to dance and sing. Alright, we sing these songs. But I’ve been in many services where we’re singing these songs, and nobody’s running, and nobody’s dancing.

Jeff Deyo 7:13
You’re like, Jeff, man, it’s just a metaphor. You know, I’m just running in my heart, right? I’m just running, running, running. You know, I don’t know, I don’t know if I like that idea. Here’s the thing. I have this pet peeve, right? As a worship leader, you cannot ask people to do something that you are unwilling to do. Here’s a great example of that.

Jeff Deyo 7:35
How many times have you seen a worship leader, come to the end of a song and they’ll say, hey, let’s lift up a shout of praise. And they go tune guitar, tune guitar, tune guitar, you know? They don’t shout as well. Well, as a leader, you can’t ask people to do something that you’re unwilling to do. If we’re going to sing songs that say, Hey, we’re going to dance or we’re going to shout. And it doesn’t make sense for us as worship leaders to not be engaged in dancing and shouting.

How should a worship pastor/leader honor the lead pastor? Download the free guide worship pastors can use on ways to show honor and respect to the pastoral team.

Jeff Deyo 8:05
It’s not a metaphor, it actually is something that is calling us to a greater expression in God. The problem is we want them to look excited and full of joy, but we don’t. You know, how many times have we looked at the congregation and we’re like, man, they just seem like they’re so bland, nobody’s happy, they’re not full of joy. Well, have you looked at yourself as you lead worship? Maybe you also are not worshiping with joy from the stage. So I want to encourage you to lead by example, in that way, as well.

Jeff Deyo 8:35
Number three, you want to lead with the authority of Christ. Now, I’m not talking about top down authority, like I’m the man, you know? What I’m talking about is you need to lead as if you know who you are in Christ. And I talked to a lot of people who are a little bit more timid when they lead worship, and they’re, they kind of lead out of their their own personality. But I want to encourage you not to lead out of who you are, but lead out of who Christ is in you.

Jeff Deyo 9:04
You need to step into this. You need to lead with authority. I found that people really respond when you lead from the authority of Christ. I’m going to read from Luke 4:31-37. It says this. Then Jesus went to Capernaum, a town in Galilee and taught there in the synagogue every Sabbath day, there too the people were amazed at His teaching for he spoke with authority. Once when he was in the synagogue, a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit cried out shouting, Go away. Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are the Holy One of God.

Jeff Deyo 9:46
Verse 35, says, But Jesus reprimanded him. Be quiet, come out of the man he ordered. At that the demon threw the man to the floor as the crowd watched. Then it came out of him without hurting him further. Verse 36, says, Amazing He used the people exclaimed, What authority and power this man’s words possess. Even evil spirits obey Him, and they flee at his command.

Jeff Deyo 10:12
But Jeff, that was Jesus. Yeah, I know it was Jesus. But you know what it says in Luke 10:19. Jesus said, Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy. Worship leader, God has called you, he’s anointed you, he’s given you the authority that you need to step in, and lead out of not who you are, don’t come with who you are, don’t lead out of your soul. Lead from your spirit, and let the Spirit of Christ come through you as you lead. Are you leading from who you are? Or are you leading from who God is in you? That’s what we need.

Jeff Deyo 10:54
All right, number four, we must use body language and expression when we lead. You know, I referred a little bit to this when I was talking about the dancing thing. But I want to ask you, what is the most powerful form of communication?

Jeff Deyo 11:09
You imagine if I stood here in this video, I just said, How’re you guys doing? It’s great to have you here on the video would love to teach you some things about worship leading, it’d be really great. I think you’re gonna really want to buy these and, and have all your your worship team go through it together, it’s gonna be great. I’m gonna enjoy being here with you.

Do you wonder how to get all ages to enjoy the worship music and hymns in your church? Download the free guide pastors can use to navigate varying worship music preferences and help your congregation grow together.

Navigating Generational and cultural Worship Gaps free PDF for Pastors

Jeff Deyo 11:27
I mean, can you imagine if I talked to you like that? No, I can’t talk to you like that. I’m excited, so I don’t have to get over excited for this video. But it helps that I’m using my hands. I’m using my face. I’m smiling. I’m laughing. I’m singing. I’m doing whatever I can do to communicate to you.

Jeff Deyo 11:44
Well, it’s the same thing when we lead worship. You can’t just get up there and be like, Good morning, church. I’m so glad to see you all. Today is the day the Lord hath made. I will rejoice and be glad in it. I don’t know why I do a southern accent, but that’s just what I do so. But you have to understand that everything communicates, all right? There’s a few things that communicate.

Jeff Deyo 12:04
Number one, our bodies communicate, we’ve got to lead worship with our bodies, right? The Bible calls us to do this with our hands, with our arms, with our feet, with our knees, be free. Also, our eyes communicate. Some people think you can’t open your eyes and look at anybody during worship, that would be weird. No, it’s not weird, because this is community.

Jeff Deyo 12:26
Now you don’t want to stare somebody down. That would be really awkward. But you let your eyes dance around. And you engage with different people as you lead worship, because you’re saying to them, I love Jesus. And I know that you do too. And they’re saying, Yes, I do, too. And it builds synergy, as we all learn that we love each other, and we love God. It’s a community aspect. It’s a community sport. And so we can engage with each other with our eyes.

Jeff Deyo 12:56
We also communicate with our facial expressions, right? I’ve seen so many people, they’ll sing a song like, Oh, happy day, happy day. You wash my sin away. I’m like what, Dude, you need to tell your face? Like, do you have any joy? Do you have any true love for God? Come on, you got to get that.

Jeff Deyo 13:15
Now listen, what some people hear me say is, Well, Jeff said I need to smile. So I’m gonna get up there, and I’m gonna lead worship and it’s gonna be great. No, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying you need to go back and dig the well, you need to get the revelation of God and the joy of God in your life. So that then when you get on a stage, you’re not trying to manufacture that, but it’s coming out in real joy.

Jeff Deyo 13:39
You understand that it really is a happy day, that your sins are washed away, that you’re not going to hell, and you’re going to spend eternity with God. We need that passion. We need that facial expression, that joy. And for you to lead out of that. Not because you feel it all the time, because you’re going to live it by faith, right? Everything communicates. Our posture communicates, our clothing communicates, everything that we do communicates.

Jeff Deyo 14:09
So with that said, I want to encourage you, we have got to grow in our passion. We’ve got to grow in our ability to lead by example, right? This is only one step. I’m gonna give you two more steps in another video. But this is the first step. It’s the most foundational, it’s the most basic and yet in many ways we are failing at step one of leadership. So I want to encourage you, get this stuff in your heart, get a passion for God in your life, and share it with your congregation.

How should a worship pastor/leader honor the lead pastor? Download the free guide worship pastors can use on ways to show honor and respect to the pastoral team.

Dick Hardy 14:41
Well, there you have it. Was that great content, or what?

Jonathan Hardy 14:43
Yeah, that was really good.

Dick Hardy 14:43
I’m just telling you. Let me do a quick recap of these four principles that Jeff walked through.

Dick Hardy 14:50
Number one is to become a lead worshiper. Number two, don’t ask people to do what you’re unwilling to do yourself. Number three, lead with the authority of Christ. And number four, we must use body language and expression when we lead.

Dick Hardy 15:00
That was just gold when he walked through those things. And of course, Jeff just as a unique way, an energized way, to talk about those principles.

Jonathan Hardy 15:15
Well, they’re so practical.

Dick Hardy 15:16

Jonathan Hardy 15:16
And I just love how practical it is. And really that’s the way the course is.

Dick Hardy 15:20

Jonathan Hardy 15:18
This entire course is 53 plus videos. And there’s other ancillary resources that are part of it. So it’s not just video teaching, but it’s primarily video teaching. And this is just a snippet. I mean, this wasn’t even the full episode. This is just one snippet of one episode. And it’s just chock full of so many practical things.

Jonathan Hardy 15:34
One of the things I really love about it, too, is how much he’ll go to Scripture, as he’s talking about the principles.

Dick Hardy 15:32
Oh, it’s just loaded with scripture.

Jonathan Hardy 15:46
And it’s just, it just really gives a very solid biblical basis for how to take the worship ministry to the next level. And so I want to encourage you, grab your copy of this Worship Leadership Course. Make sure to sign up, get enrolled today, before it’s too late. Today’s the special discount, it’s the launch discount that we’re providing and it’s only available for about a week.

Dick Hardy 16:09

Do you wonder how to get all ages to enjoy the worship music and hymns in your church? Download the free guide pastors can use to navigate varying worship music preferences and help your congregation grow together.

Navigating Generational and cultural Worship Gaps free PDF for Pastors

Jonathan Hardy 16:09
And so you want to make sure that you jump in now. I you’re listening to this or watching this after the initial launch period, that’s okay, you can still go to Churchuniversity.com. And get the course at that time, depending on when it is and what discounts are available then. But right now, this first week, this launch week, if you’re listening during this launch period, this is the special launch window that you’re going to be able to get all this stuff at a deep, deep discount.

Jonathan Hardy 16:34
And I want to encourage you to do it because it is so practical. And because it will help the worship team go to the next level. And as the worship team goes to the next level, that is going to elevate the church as a whole. I mean, just think about if every person in the church begins to grow in their musical worship of God, as their singing in their honoring God, and how that will set the stage for what God will do through the body, through that local body. I cannot, I cannot even imagine what is going to happen as people start doing this.

Dick Hardy 17:03
And you’re not talking about even people having to be skilled musicians, we’re talking about people in the church, making a joyful noise to the Lord.

Dick Hardy 17:12
You know, one of the other things I want to mention to you, and you’ll see this when you go to Churchuniversity.com and you just check out the course. We’ve got a number of bonus videos.

Jonathan Hardy 17:23
Oh yeah

Dick Hardy 17:24
I’m just telling you now. Well, Jeff’s got interviews with John Bevere. He’s got an interview with Paul and Hannah McClure from Bethel Church, from Randall Cartwright, and from John Larson from Church of the Highlands. And I mean, he’s just got, Bob Sorge is in there. And I just telling you, these are all just added. I mean, Jeff had the contacts with these people and he put those in there for you to really just give added value to you.

Dick Hardy 17:56
So I cannot encourage you enough to jump into Churchuniversity.com, grab the Worship Leadership Course, and believe, we’re going to believe with you, that God is going to take your church to levels of worship that you’ve never imagined before.

Jonathan Hardy 18:12
That’s right.

Dick Hardy 18:12
It’s just going to set the stage for the preaching of the Word and more people to be reached. Any final comments, Jonathan.

Jonathan Hardy 18:18
That’s it. Thank you so much for being with us today. We’ll look forward to getting you in the Worship Leadership Course. And in the meantime, be blessed. And we’ll see you soon.

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