120 - How Do We Increase Engagement of the Congregation?


How Do We Increase Engagement of the Congregation? – Jeff Deyo

What’s in this Episode?

In this episode of the Church Tips Podcast, Jeff Deyo (former lead singer of Sonicflood) and Dick Hardy discuss ways to keep the congregation involved and engaged in worship.

Show Notes:

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

Dick Hardy 0:05
Hey, friends, great to be with you today on this newest of your Church Tips Podcast. I’m Dick Hardy and I’m with my good friend, Jeff Deyo, from the great state of Minnesota, Say hi, Jeff.

Jeff Deyo 0:16
What’s up guys? How you doing, Dick? Man, I’m pumped about this podcast. We’re gonna talk about some really, really great things.

Dick Hardy 0:22
Hey, you know today, we um yesterday, we had a great, great conversation on a lot of topics that all surrounded the subject of what is worship. We have just released the Worship Leadership Track inside of Church University. Just go to churchuniversity.com, go up to the upper right hand corner, you’ll see the blue button says Learn More, and you can get all the information you want on the course. Jeff did a phenomenal job as our presenter.

Dick Hardy 0:48
This course has all sorts of bonuses. We got, in fact we even said publicly the bonuses we have with your interviews with John Bevere, Sean Foyt, who am I forgetting.

Jeff Deyo 1:02
Bob Sorge

Dick Hardy 1:05
Randall Cartwright to John Larson. Yeah, just some great interviews are added bonuses for you if you go to churchuniversity.com. And it’s two thirds off during this week up to Thursday, the 23rd, it’s two thirds off. So you need to jump right on that and get into the Church University, our Worship Leadership Course.

Dick Hardy 1:25
So we’re going to start today now with the subject, how do we increase engagement from the congregation? I mean, I know you’ve lived with this, but I hear this more and more, Hey, I am up there, I’m pouring my heart out, and those people are sitting there like bumps on a log. What in the world does a worship leader do with that? So we’ve got two or three questions, we want to run by you, Jeff, and just see if you can just speak into our lives on this subject.

Dick Hardy 1:49
Number one, what are ways to increase audience engagement during worship?

Jeff Deyo 1:56
I’ll tell ya. Right off the top, Dick, what I’ll tell you is that I didn’t realize there’s a lot of controversy surrounding this topic. Here’s the thing. There are actually a lot of worship leaders out there that don’t believe we should even be asking this question. And it’s really important.

Dick Hardy 2:11
Oh my

Jeff Deyo 2:12
Yeah, you might even realize this, because people think that, How dare you? Like I literally have some stuff on my podcast, my own personal like, YouTube podcast, where I did a little video on how to engage your congregation, all right? And so and then I went back like months later, and I saw a bazillion comments, and I’m like, Whoa, people are asking questions. I didn’t realize people were fighting. They’re bickering about what in the world? This is not necessary.

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 2:42
You know what they say, Dick, is they say, Well, you know, that’s not your job. You’re supposed to as a worship leader, all you do is get up and worship God and let the chips fall where they ma. Man, I disagree wholeheartedly, I gotta be honest, because your job. See, that argument comes from a place where the people have not spent time with God off the stage. And they actually believe that their time with God is to be spent and found with God and deep relationship while they’re on the stage.

Jeff Deyo 3:08
No, I counsel and encourage worship leaders to spend time in the secret place, developing their personal walk with God. So when they step on the stage, they are now serving God’s people, they are there to help and serve and equip, and it’s okay to pay attention to the people. In fact, that’s our role, is to try to help the Body of Christ be encouraged in God’s presence. And if we look out, and we see no response, we know that there is no revelation.

Jeff Deyo 3:39
If the people are not responding. People say, Well, Jeff, that’s not your responsibility. If people don’t respond, that’s too bad. No, that’s poor leadership. Great leadership is, hey, listen to this right? Worship leadership is 100% worship. So I’m not saying you ignore God while you’re on a stage. Of course, you engage with him. But it’s 100% worship, and it’s 100% leadership. And what is leadership? It’s service. So we come under the Body of Christ, to try to help them, to try to serve them in connecting with God.

Jeff Deyo 4:13
Now one thing I’ll give you, a practical example of this, is every leader, I don’t care if you’re a worship leader, a pastor, a teacher, anybody, your number one job is to pass the baton. What do I mean by that? You’re trying to engage people, not just speak at people, not lecture to people.You’re trying to engage them, equip them, encourage them to step out and lead themselves. Because at the end of the day, guys, I can’t actually, and I shouldn’t want to, force anybody to worship God.

Jeff Deyo 4:44
In fact, I have commissioned whole congregations to become worship leaders themselves, and you’re like, What do you mean? Like, how’s that supposed to work? We’re not talking about being a worship leader for 1000s. We’re saying you have to lead yourself. So each individual person has to lead themselves into God’s presence. So as a worship leader, I’m trying to do anything that I can, that will call out the congregation, to begin to step into something themselves.

Jeff Deyo 5:11
So, imagine the way so many churches exist today, is it’s like everyone gathers like it’s a track meet. They gather and they put on their outfits, bring their coolers, their umbrella, their cushy seats, and they dress to sit in the bleachers, and watch the professionals run around the track. Oh, they’re so talented. Oh, look at that amazing pastor. He speaks so well. He’s got great jokes, all that stuff. Oh, these worship leaders are so gifted.

Jeff Deyo 5:37
Imagine if the runners on the track decide, You know what, we’ve had it with this. It’s not about us. It’s not about us. It’s about the people of God coming together to worship, so they ran up on the stage with the baton, right, we get that relay race happening. And they started handing the baton to the different people in the congregation, right? Can you imagine the congregations like What, what’s going on? I’m not ready for this, I’m not dressed for this. You know what, it’s time to call the congregation out of the bleachers and onto the track.

Dick Hardy 6:09
That, that is so good. That is so good. You know, you and I had a note earlier. The whole subject of put the coffee down and get engaged. Come on, let’s go.

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 6:22
Let’s go. It’s not a concert, it’s not a performance. Oh, I just sit and sip my cup, No is this is your moment to engage with God. Now we want you to do that at home too. But how powerful is it? When we look around the congregation, we look on the stage and all of us are united together singing one song, with one heart, to our King. And it gives God glory and it changes us.

Dick Hardy 6:48
I’m telling you. And I don’t say this in any judgment way. But I’ve been in two different churches that are the other opposite ends of the spectrum on that. One, everybody is doing exactly what you’re saying. Their hands are raised, they’re engaged, they’re personally communing with God. And another church. It was a great church, but I’m telling you, they were standing there and watching. And I’m just saying man, oh, man, that church is missing so much of what’s available to them.

Jeff Deyo 7:18
Well, and Dick, the thing is, people will push back on that and say, Oh, are you saying that all people have to worship the same? What if I wasn’t raised that way? What if I didn’t come from that denomination? Guys, what does the Bible say? Love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your strength, right? Whole person. We’re looking for holistic worship. Guys, I didn’t grow up in a church where we lifted hands. I thought if you lifted your hand in service, you had a question. Right?

Jeff Deyo 7:46
But I realized that God wants holistic worship, not because He’s trying to hurt you. He’s not asking you to lift up your hands or get on your knees because He wants to make fun of you or make you feel awkward. No, it’s what He wired you to do. If you refuse to lift up your hands, you’re actually hurting yourself. Right?

Jeff Deyo 8:05
It’s not like He wants us all to be uniformity, come into uniformity, no, but He’s called us all to lift up holy hands, to get on our faces before Him, to dance, to celebrate, not to worry about how you were raised. I was raised in a very quiet, you know, we sang hymns. Stanzas one, two, and four, right? Okay, that’s fine. But God calls us to more than that. So let’s go.

Dick Hardy 8:31
Well, and the issue I had a pastor friend tell me, Well, I’ve heard him say it publicly, you know, when you say, Oh, that’s not the way I was raised. The issue is not how you were raised. The issue is what does the Bible say? And that’s what I’ve appreciated so much about what Jeff has done in the Worship Leadership Course. In fact, if there’s any mistake we made, Jeff, you and I didn’t even about this, is we should have put lower thirds on all those scriptures throughout all the videos in there. Because it’s just chock full of, what the what does the Bible say about worship, But anyway.

Jeff Deyo 9:02
They’re just gonna have to write them down in their notes and their journals.

Dick Hardy 9:06

Jeff Deyo 9:06
And they’re gonna have to study the Word of God. Like I say it, push pause, write it down, and go study for yourself.

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 9:06
That’s a novel thought. That’s a novel though. Study the Word of God. Oh, man, I’m loving that. So hey, here’s another question for you. A buddy of mine out in Colorado sent this, how do you create a set, a worship set, that engages people, not just not just singing your personal preference songs?

Jeff Deyo 9:33
Yeah. Man, it’s so good. It’s such an important idea here. Number one, I just think we’ve got to be careful with the songs that we’re choosing. And we understand that there are different types of songs and I do want us to remember the Psalms, right? Those Psalms in the Bible. There is a balance there.

Jeff Deyo 9:50
I know some people get frustrated. They’re like, oh, there’s all these too many songs where it’s about me, and we don’t want a boatload of songs or the majority of songs to be, I need You, Lord, Like the song, How He Loves. He loves us, oh, how He loves us. That’s a beautiful song. I love that song. But it is about me, you’re trying to tell yourself, God loves me, so therefore I want to respond and love Him in return, right?

Jeff Deyo 10:16
But there are other songs where it’s like, Holy, Holy, Holy, like direct worship songs to God. We want to try to keep those in balance. So be aware, when you look through these songs that you want to make sure you keep those songs in balance. It’s okay to sing songs about God, like He is great. He is wonderful. But that is a different thing than singing God, you are beautiful, you are wonderful. They’re both powerful in their own right. So be aware of that, as you’re picking songs and think through that.

Jeff Deyo 10:46
Another thing we want to do is make sure that our songs are scripturally true, right? There’s a song out there that kind of uses Zechariah 4:6, and it kind of misleads us on this scripture, right? And I won’t say that name of the song, but it kind of talks about, hey, not by might, not by power. And then we know what the verse says, it says, not by might, but not by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord.

Jeff Deyo 11:11
Well, there’s a popular song, which I still love, but we got to clarify. It says, Not by might, nor by power, but by the cross of Christ. Now, we understand the cross of Christ is beautiful, very powerful, but that’s not what the Bible says. So if you’re going to quote a scripture in your songs, and then use the back half, where it is not what the Bible says, you got to be careful with that, right? We don’t want to take those things out of context. So make sure that your songs are chock full of scriptures.

Jeff Deyo 11:41
Now, the last thing I’ll say, is, I think it’s so important to balance the old versus the new songs. I mentioned this in the last podcast. But as you plan remember, as Bob Sorge says, You understand the old songs, or I shouldn’t say familiar songs, gather us. Think about this, right? They gather. So oh, the song starts and everybody kind of looks around, and you feel that, that rush over the people like, oh, we know this song. This is like, oh, let’s worship with this song, this is amazing, like it gathers us, brings us together.

Jeff Deyo 12:13
But however, there’s a danger there. Because if we always sing songs that we know, it’s so easy to check out, it’s so easy to get into a rut, it’s so easy to love the song, instead of loving the God of the song. So that’s why new songs propel. It forces us out of our boxes, forces us out of our ruts. And when someone brings a new song, then it’s so, it helps us go to new places, go to new heights.

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 12:41
One last thing I’ll say about this, I mentioned the idea of scriptures and songs. It’s not just important to have songs that are scripturally true, but it’s also important to identify, we’re talking about engaging here, right? The way that you can engage people in a song is to actually point out the Scripture in the song. I know, it’s amazing, right?

Jeff Deyo 13:05
This is the idea. I don’t need you to preach a sermon, your pastor won’t like that. But I do want you to take 60 seconds, and identify where that song is found in Scripture. That will awaken the soul. Every time I bring scripture, people come alive, and they go, Oh, I was just singing the songs, mouthing the words. Now it comes alive, because I know I’m singing the Word of God.

Dick Hardy 13:28
That is so powerful. And just so right to the point of exactly where the worship pastor lives, the pastor lives. I just really appreciate you fleshing that out for us in that way. Let’s let’s do one more question here, Jeff. How does one lead worship, not just sing in front of people? So differentiate those two different things.

Jeff Deyo 13:53
Yeah, it’s so important. You know, I have a mentor who says it this way, Dick. He said, Jeff, it breaks my heart. But many, many leaders minister from their soul, instead of from their spirit. And just let that sink in. Think about that and ask yourself, is that you? I want to ask myself, is that me? Are you ministering from your soul? That means are you ministering out of who you are, your gifts, your talents, your knowledge, instead of out of who the Spirit is in you?

Jeff Deyo 14:24
There is a big difference and it is very dangerous for you to lead out of your soul, out of your gifts, out of your understanding, right? It’s very, very dangerous and so important for you to lead from the Spirit. Now, how do you do that? I don’t know how to do that, Jeff, how do I do that? Oh, my goodness. We talk about this a ton in the course. So you need to go get this, but I’ll give you at least one help-me-hint.

Jeff Deyo 14:49
This all starts in the secret place. If you take anything that I say and you try to bring it to the platform before you bring it to the secret place, it will fail. It will possibly even put you in a worse situation than you were before. Because you’re trying to impart something, to your congregation, to your team, that you have not dealt with in your own life. Okay?

Jeff Deyo 15:13
So it’s important, whether it be like, maybe you didn’t grow up lifting your hands, maybe you didn’t grow up dancing. And so you you go, Oh, my goodness, Jeff, I understand. I finally understand, I’m supposed to do these things. So you bring it to the platform, and you begin to teach your congregation I’m telling you, it can be good. But until you work that out in your secret place with God, it’s never going to be authentic.

Jeff Deyo 15:36
You’ve got to kneel down in your own bedroom, you’ve got to lift your hands as you worship God to a song you’re not singing this coming Sunday. You’ve got to work these things out in your own personal walk with God. That’s how you move from being just a singer, or a performer, to being anointed. We use that word anointed. When I was growing up, I didn’t really understand that word and I understand some people, we abuse that word. I’m not trying to abuse that word, but anointing, you think of King David being anointed to be king, right?

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 16:09
This is where God affirms our leadership. He affirms us and says, Hey, I’m behind you. I’m speaking through you. I’m anointing you to carry and do the work of the ministry. And you desperately need the anointing of God, but you can’t develop the anointing on the stage. No, sir. No, ma’am. You cannot. In fact, the only place you can develop it, or cultivate the anointing, or let’s say it this way, increase your anointing, is in the secret place. You’ve got to spend time with God in the secret place. And guess what, when you get into the public place, it’s just going to overflow. You don’t have to try to be anything, God’s gonna use you powerfully.

Dick Hardy 16:54
That is so good. That is so good. Any final thoughts for us, Jeff, before we hit this thing up?

Jeff Deyo 17:00
Oh man, I would say one last thing that we sometimes miss, is that we’ve got to love people. So many people don’t understand that worship leadership. You know, we talked about it being 100% worship and 100% leadership. We know that worship is 100% worship, but worship leadership is 100% worship, 100% leadership. Its service, right? So you can not leave lead people if you do not love people, right?

Jeff Deyo 17:30
And they’ve got to be able to feel it, not you not with you faking it. But you have to begin to cultivate not only a love for God, but you have to cultivate a love for what God loves. What does God love, he doesn’t spend time sitting around loving Himself. But He loves us. And so we need to also love what He loves. That is a big part of worship leadership. And if you want your congregation to engage, they need to feel the love from you, just as they are looking to find the love from God.

Dick Hardy 18:05
Wow. Yeah, that is so good. Thanks very much, Jeff. We really appreciate you taking time to answer a few questions here on, how do we increase engagement in the congregation. I hope the viewers and listeners have have been gravitated to the content here.

Dick Hardy 18:20
I want to remind you as well, the Church University course, new course Worship Leadership, that Jeff is the presenter of, is alive and well at churchuniversity.com. Just click there, go to the upper right hand corner, click the blue button, and that will give you the whole description of everything you’ll want to know about the Worship Leadership Course.

Dick Hardy 18:42
And I want to remind you that it’s two thirds off, up through Thursday the 23rd. So, this is a steal of a deal. I’m telling you going to look at that content, you’re gonna say, Oh my goodness. And honestly, you can make a one time purchase, or you can get a 6-month payment plan, or it’s down as low as $47 a month for a 12-month payment plan. So we’ve really tried to make it work for all ranges, sizes of churches, and worship pastors and lead pastors.

Jeff Deyo 19:10
Dick can I just interject here real quick?

Dick Hardy 19:12
Of course

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 19:12
Guys, I want to encourage you, like some people are nervous about this idea of, maybe selling a course like this, but it’s so important to understand the Bible is clear that the worker deserves his wages. Right? And that when we invest, like that God takes care of his ministers. Okay, but here’s the thing. If you want to grow, you need to make an investment in your church, right?

Dick Hardy 19:38

Jeff Deyo 19:38
I mean, we’re talking about $500. Now, I know that is a big investment, but it’s pennies.

Dick Hardy 19:45

Jeff Deyo 19:45
When it comes to what is going to happen in your church, if you will make this investment it will multiply your reach 100 times over. I truly believe that and I speak that over your ministry.

Dick Hardy 19:59
Absolutely. Absolutely so well said. Well, thanks very much for watching the Church Tips Podcast, or listening. We’re glad to have you and look forward to tomorrow’s episode. Make it get a great one today and be blessed.

Jonathan Hardy 20:10
Hey, Jonathan here real quick before you go. Everything in your ministry rises and falls on your leadership. So investing in your leadership is essential to staying healthy and growing the ministry. And that’s why I want to invite you to join us inside the Leaders.Church membership. This online streaming service for pastors gives you access to more than 300 videos plus training material to level up your leadership and improve your ministry skills. If you’d like to do that I want to invite you to go to Leaders.Church/Boost. Again, that’s Leaders.Church/Boost. Well, thanks again for joining us on the Church Tips Podcast. We’ll look forward to seeing you next time.

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