Megachurches are astonishing. The size of their crowds, budgets, meeting places, and ministry lists are enough to cause many to be impressed even though they may not be in agreement with their doctrine and practices. Former shopping malls and sports arenas are now housing some of the world’s largest megachurches. Even in fundamental circles, the large ministries are the ones that are often paraded as the epitomes of spiritual success in ministerial training classes, conferences, and publications. The emphasis on bigness can leave a smaller congregation feeling as though they are not doing much and that there is not much they can do unless they reach a certain size. This is simply not true. One of the many things I appreciate about the Lord is this. He can take a small church and give it a large ministry. As a pastor of a small congregation, this truth is encouraging to me, and I trust this article will be an encouragement to you. While some churches may not be megachurches, they can have mega-ministries. Mega-ministry is “where it’s at.”
I was listening to some music from a popular ministry the other day, and the idea for this article came to me. After the completion of one of the songs, the worship leader began what I affectionately term “praise venting.” “Thank you Jesus! Praise you Jesus! Lord, you are wonderful! Majestic!” Forgive me if I don’t have the quotes down correctly, but you get the idea. “Praise venting” has always bothered me. When I hear it, I find myself thinking, I’m glad he’s enraptured. What’s my problem? Would I ever have the guts to do that publicly? Why does that always sound fake? What am I supposed to do while he’s doing that? While pondering praise venting, I have been reading several books on worship that have stirred my heart on the issue of congregational worship. Thus, I’d like to scratch out my musings (or ventings) in this plea to worship leaders.