AOG Worship

DON'T GET DISTRACTED

DON’T GET DISTRACTED by Simon Harper, AoG Worship 


We can have all the glitz and glam of church and make worship ‘cool’ but we’ve missed the point if we don’t have the presence of God. After all it’s the presence of God that changes lives and transforms us

I find myself writing this in the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool. I’m sat in one of the side chapels surrounded by such beautiful architecture, design and craftsmanship. There is such simplicity, yet the attention to detail is amazing. What I love though is that everything surrounding me does not distract me from what its intended purpose is. It’s a space which draws me into the presence of God.

Why do I share this? How is this relevant to us today? For me it’s simple, but something that even I sometimes get distracted from all too quickly, and it’s this… sometimes we focus so much of our time and energy into how things look in our church. In our worship times we have the lights, the smoke machine and maybe we’re even tempted to get a giant LED screen for the back of the stage. We want our singers to jump up and down, the band to at least sing along to the songs they are playing. All these are great and I love them and at times these things are really important, but the danger is that they can become our focus. Our job as worship teams is to create a space where people can come into the presence of God, not create a space that replaces the Presence of God. Everything we do and bring, the surroundings we create and design should always have a purpose in helping to point people to Jesus.

Psalm 22:3 tells us; ‘But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel’. I love this verse as it reminds me that God’s presence dwells in us when we worship him. But our worship must come from a place of authenticity and not dressed up with bells and whistles!!! We can have all the glitz and glam of church and make worship ‘cool’ but we’ve missed the point if we don’t have the presence of God. After all it’s the presence of God that changes lives and transforms us.

As church leaders, worship pastors, worship leaders, creative freaks, let’s not get so caught up in how things look in the experience of worship that we forget the one true thing we should experience in our worship. The presence of Jesus. There is no substitute for that.

 I’m not against all the lights and technology, in fact it’s something I love, embrace and encourage my team to work hard at – but it has to have a purpose. As worship teams, our services are an opportunity for us to worship God and just as importantly help lead and encourage others to worship Him. Let’s lead from a place of authenticity without creating a distraction, keeping the main thing the main thing. Let’s create an environment which helps point people to Jesus.


Simon is the Worship Pastor at Life Church Wirral and part of the AoG Worship Team. He is married to Becky and they have four children Ollie, Izzy, Evie and Tilly. 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