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Congregation

Your congregation - and the community outside - are the main reasons why you're leading worship.  You may have surveyed the congregation recently, but you still may wish to check out how they're being nurtured by your leading.

Some musicians and leaders change their contacts in the congregation regularly to make sure they're understanding and meeting the needs of those in the pews.  If that's new to you, you'll be surprised how people welcome the opportunity.  Make sure that you show how much you truly welcome their views, otherwise you'll both end up disappointed.

Describe your congregation
Here are a few starter questions to help you establish the varied needs of your congregation

What cultural backgrounds do they own and desire?
Where are they on their pilgrimage?
What’s their understanding of the heart of worship?
How’s their relationship with their Father?
What state are they in this week?
What are their expectations of God and the Church leaders?
With their cultural and social grounding, where is God leading them? (They may understand far more – or less – than you)

Differing relationships with God
You may also want to work out the kind of relationship God yearns for his people.  Discuss these with your group or leadership:
Does God want the same sort of relationship with each of his sons and daughters?  What are the differences?  How happy is he with varying levels of understanding and intimacy?
How can we adequately lead the congregation’s response to God’s intimacy with us?  How well are you succeeding at the moment?
What plans do you have to make sure the congregation understand why you are introducing changes - or keeping things as they are?
How will your gifts, leadership and service help your congregation have a deeper and active relationship with God?

If we feel inadequate in responding to God’s love, we have only one option: to ask for his continual guidance in everything we do.

Hearing God's voice; staying in his presence
If we find it difficult to hear God’s voice for the simple daily things in life, how much harder to hear him in the midst of a worship service!   Homework: ask your Father to help you recognise his voice.

How much time do we need to "tune into", or recognise your Father's voice?  Is worship something which takes time - that is, does coming into the throne room require a "ten minute prayer time"?  What does "entering into his presence" demand of us; and how do different people enter God's presence?   It's worth working hard to discover and respect the experience of other pilgrims so that you can help all your congregation worship.  Above all, avoid pleasing just those people who think like you!

Do check Psalm 139; remember how much God is always in our presence, it's usually only us who walk away.  It's like the armour of God - avoid taking it off, and don't do anything which takes you from God's presence.

Until we’re used to hearing God’s voice we may need to learn to trust those who already have that experience. That level of discipline in itself will help us get used to hearing God’s voice

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