C.S. Lewis offers a great warning to worship leaders and designers. I was reminded of this last week by a former boss and great friend J.D. Walt. We were given this admonition as we began a relationship of planning worship together and I have kept it close to me for years. I blogged on it a few years ago, but there are certain things which always need to be revisited.
A worship service works best when, through long familiarity, we don't have to think about it...The perfect church service would be the one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God' But every novelty prevents this. It fixes our attention on the service itself; and thinking about worship is a different thing from worshiping....Tis mad idolatry that makes the service greater than the God. A still worse thing may happen. Novelty may fix our attention not even on the service but on the celebrant....There is really some excuse for the man who said, "I wish they'd remember that the charge to Peter was 'Feed my sheep'; not ' Try experiments on my rats' or even 'Teach my performing dogs new tricks.'
As leaders and designers of worship, our task is not to do cool things for the sake of cool, but to lead people into expecting amazing encounters with God. There will be times we are tempted to break this works, but I find them to be ever encouraging and helpful during planning and execution.