Stop Comparing Your Service To A Worship Conference

Congregation Not “Into” The Worship Service? Maybe That’s A Good Thing

Sometimes the greatest nuggets of truth emerge on Facebook — I know, most if it is banter, but once in a while some solid gold comes through.

That’s what I thought when I ran into a post by Sam Leyde, Worship Pastor at One Place Church in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. 

Sam communicated a feeling just about every worship leader experiences: inadequacy, due to comparing ones own church service to a big conference or and worship concert.

These words are encouraging because they obliterate the “excitement = valuable” fallacy. In fact it’s reversed; perhaps the less engaged your church is, the better job you are doing. 

Even Jesus said it’s the sick who need a doctor, not the healthy.

Without further explanation, these are the words lifted straight from his Facebook post:


I’ve been a worship leader since 1996. I’ve led for home groups and huge conferences but 99% of my time leading has been leading in the local church.

I remember seeing videos of Jesus Culture and Hillsong leading these services with thousands of people who were all singing every word at the top of their lungs and being so inspired and thinking, “This is how it should be all the time.”

But the truth is, the next time I led, it wasn’t really like that at all. Eventually. that started to frustrate me. I would get down on myself because the experience I had wasn’t like what I saw on the video.

A couple years ago I was talking to a guy who leads worship at a really really big church and he said something that totally freed me up.

He said, “Don’t compare your service with what you see in those videos. Those are conferences and concerts full of Christians who paid to be there. Of course, they’re all engaged. If your church is made up entirely of already convinced people, then you’re not doing enough to reach your community.”

Man that really encouraged me and I hope it will encourage you too.

Don’t compare yourself to what you see on the conference live stream or at huge worship concerts. Do what you are called to do where you’re called to do it. Be faithful and bear fruit.

Celebrate the fact that people who aren’t already convinced have come to see what this Jesus thing is all about.

That’s the weight you should carry.

I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. For more tips and tools for worship, sign up for free worship updates via email below and I’ll update you when future posts are published.

Photo: Unsplash / Ezra Jeffrey

1 thought on “Congregation Not “Into” The Worship Service? Maybe That’s A Good Thing”

  1. Sajan M Titus

    Its time we increasingly teach youth about what sin is, what obedience means, what it costs to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, and what WORSHIP means. Most youth confuse a time of singing with worship when God demands our entire being to worship Him through our life – not just when we are in church or in a christian meeting.

    Christian life is costly but that’s the ONLY WAY.

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