I have the opportunity to serve on what we call the programming team at our church. One of the things we do is evaluate the services and look for areas to improve. This is a difficult task because we understand that the worship/singing part of a service is something we really cannot control the how effective it is.
In fact, a person can worship to an out of tune acoustic guitar with a tone def worship leader with acid reflux.
Because worship isn’t about us. It’s not about our preferences.
However, if you have guests in your home you clean up, you make sure it is looking nice, you cook something you’re delicious (my wife is an excellent cook) or buy nice mean (my case). The same is true of the way some churches do weekend services. We expect guests, so we put out best foot forward because we want our guests to feel welcome.
But it struck me as odd, because it’s kind of like evaluating the effectiveness of an escalator. If an escalator breaks it’s still stairs.
And I am very familiar with God using me in spite of myself and how He does that for His church every weekend all across the world.
This does not mean we shouldn’t strive for creating environments where people are most likely to encounter God, it just means we have a gracious partner.
And it is humbling because it is like working for a boss that wants you to succeed but doesn’t need you.
Here is a really good resource if you are looking for more info on service planning from Andy Stanley called Rules of Engagement.