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  • "Mock Worship Service"

    Hey guys, its been a while since I have posted.

    Due to the economic downturn, there was a church wide decrease in giving, ultimately it resulted in the loss of my position as well as the janitor at the church. Tithes and offerings can only support the pastors salary and the electricity now. I loved that church, and I will miss it, but now I am looking for a new position.

    Recently, I applied to a small church who had just started a contemporary service about a year ago. They are hard core traditional, and have over 200 people coming to their traditional service. In fact, it is so packed that they have run out of seats and some people have to stand in the back just to attend the service. Their Contemporary service is another story entirely. only 32 people attend their contemporary service (including the worship team and sound/video guy). Thats not even 3 half empty rows! And this service has been going on for a year now! Needless to say, they just dont know how to craft a good contemporary/modern service, and after attending their service this last week, its obvious they need guidance, if not from me, from someone else who has gone through the traditional to contemporary transition before.

    I interviewed with them last week, and 14 people came to the interview. That is almost half of the entire service's attenders! They asked me and my wife several questions and then asked me to lead them in worship, right there, at the conference table. I could understand this, I mean, they want to see how my voice sounds and how I do under pressure. I picked three songs on the spot and we all sang them. They were impressed.

    Anyway, I got an email from them today asking if I could work with their worship team, and create a "mock worship service" where I do music and prayer and scripture reading and everything. And the same 14 people will come with their families on saturday afternoon and actually WATCH (very specific here, to watch, and not participate) my "mock worship service" to see if they want to move to the next step.

    Now, I have already given them DVDs and YouTube links of worship services I have led. I have given them a full CD of music that I have recorded so they can hear my vocal tone and hear how I preach. I have given them 10, yes, 10 references, and several letters of recommendation, one of which who is actually a Christian Celebrity and has several CDs out. The interview I had with them was over 2 hours and I agreed to sing them a few songs in the interview too. Even before the interview with the committee I had an hour long phone interview with the pastor and a 45 minute interview with the head of the search committee. I can understand them wanting to be careful and making sure they hire the right person, but It just seems like we have already done a lot of interview and prep work for a minimum wage, 10 hour a week part time position for a contemporary service that averages only 32 people on sunday. Ive been in ministry for over 10 years and at this point a church normally lets me candidate for the service.

    I didnt mind them asking me to sing a song or two (or in this case, three) in the interview. Perhaps some people there didnt get copies of my DVDs or YouTube links. But as an ordained pastor I do have an issue with doing a mock service where the whole purpose is to watch and not participate. I am not a show and I dont do performances. Its my passion to lead people into worship, to engage with them. And to be asked to get on stage and literally fake it so other people can watch how I would write a service is not something I am comfortable doing. I need to respond and let them know my thoughts but I am not sure how to feel.

    What do you guys think of this whole idea?

  • #2
    Mock worship

    I agree with your concerns. By definition, mock worship is not something I would be willing to do. Given the info already provided, they should have enough to decide whether or not to let you candidate. It sure sounds like this effort is a compromise project, run by some very strong willed Type A persons, who are wanting a lot of control, and don't really understand the nature of contemporary worship. I would question the level of support for contemporary worship given the attendance info. Unless you know and are comfortable with some of the folks here, my instinct would be to move on.

    Blessings and prayers...
    Dave

    Comment


    • #3
      Agreed. I'd move on unless you really feel God is leading you specifically to this position. All of this would be an indication of what it will be like working with this church and I know it would drive me, personally, crazy.

      As an ordained minister with several references and examples of the way you lead worship, as well as a couple hours of interviewing if they should be able to make a decision. If they can't trust you to lead an actual service at this point (instead of a 'mock worship service') then they probably won't ever fully trust you to take this contemporary service on and make it good. Could be wrong, but for a 10 hour a week position it seems like a gamble that might not be worth the frustration it may cause you in the long run.

      Comment


      • #4
        Sounds like they are being (overly) cautious...

        Since half the battle in doing worship is getting people to participate, perhaps you could give the 'mock' service, but invite the people to get involved, with a feedback or Q-and-A session with the interviewers afterward.

        There may be some factionalism going on. Maybe they have tried hiring worship staff and been burned before. Not surprising, with the average being less than 2 years in a position.

        Maybe you could stress training/getting more people involved in the worship team, so they can be raised up to help expand the contemporary ministry...

        Comment


        • #5
          This sounds suspiciously like testing to me...

          -mark <><

          Comment


          • #6
            I would be very uncomfortable with a "mock" worship service, and I would tell them so. Can they not let you do the same on a Sunday morning, with participation?

            Nate
            Practical Worship

            Please Pray For My Wife

            Comment


            • #7
              I would agree to do the mock service on one condition: that they participate fully, and allow the Holy Spirit to work in the midst.

              If they can sit there as you worship before them and analyze you, you can expect the same thing in a "real" worship setting.

              Sounds like, if you accept the position, you need to spend a good bit of time teaching authentic, biblical worship.
              Tom

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Wannabe a Worshiper View Post
                I would agree to do the mock service on one condition: that they participate fully, and allow the Holy Spirit to work in the midst.

                If they can sit there as you worship before them and analyze you, you can expect the same thing in a "real" worship setting.

                Sounds like, if you accept the position, you need to spend a good bit of time teaching authentic, biblical worship.
                Tom
                I agree w/ Tom. My thoughts are to be the leader right now, tell them you do not do "mock" worship. That you only worship God in Spirt and in Truth. That you will do a real worship service and expect them to participate. You can not lower your standards by "putting on a show" for them. It is not about entertainment but about Jesus! Bring some of your friends and family to help show them how. Sounds like they need help...
                or it could be a test
                to see if you put on "mock" shows for people.....

                blessings....c

                Comment


                • #9
                  I emailed him and told him I was not comfortable with it and didnt think the job for was something I was interested in. His response was this:

                  Originally posted by Email from Pastor
                  Jordan,
                  The use of the term “mock” for the worship service is an unfortunate term. We are operating outside of our usual Sunday morning service because we have more than one person applying for the position. To get you both in a regular worship service would necessitate having 2 Sundays, which could normally work, but we are going to lose two of our praise team members after this weekend for a short time which then pushes us into Easter. The other difficulty is fairness to the congregation and freedom for the search team – if they really like one person for the director position and get attached to them but we find that God is leading us to bring on another (for whatever reason: they way they relate to/lead the praise team, etc.) then that can cause some hard feelings and disruption.

                  For these reasons we’ve set up separate services outside of regular worship to give us the freedom that we believe we need. The main purpose here is to give the praise team members some “face time” with you – see how well you all work together and see if this might be a good fit that God is seeking to bless. We’re not looking for a performance. We indeed are looking for genuine passion. We are looking to see if this might be a good fit.

                  We believe you are very talented and have great leadership gifts and hope that you might reconsider.
                  What do you all think?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Based on the pastor's message to you, it seems like a reasonable request.

                    If you go ahead and meet with them, you should have a much better feel about whether this is where God wants you or not.
                    Tom

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Reconsider
                      Pray first

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you don't mind my asking, do you feel God nudging you towards this?

                        -mark <><

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Doulos View Post
                          If you don't mind my asking, do you feel God nudging you towards this?

                          -mark <><
                          Ive been wrestling with God with this for a while. Right now Im unemployed and me and my family are living with my parents since I lost my job. Being married and living with my parents is tough. Bills are piling up really high. To be honest, even if they offered me the position, yeah I would take it to pay bills but it would only be until I found a full time position elsewhere. I feel like I would only be taking this position just for the money, and for that reason I dont feel right about it.

                          Besides, Ive attended their services, and I feel like being in a contemporary leadership position, especially at such a traditional church, would cause a lot of hostility because all of the old people hate contemporary music, and the church is obviously not supporting the contemporary service when there are 30 people that attend it when over 200 are at the traditional.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            "Jordan,
                            The use of the term “mock” for the worship service is an unfortunate term. We are operating outside of our usual Sunday morning service because we have more than one person applying for the position. To get you both in a regular worship service would necessitate having 2 Sundays, which could normally work, but we are going to lose two of our praise team members after this weekend for a short time which then pushes us into Easter. The other difficulty is fairness to the congregation and freedom for the search team – if they really like one person for the director position and get attached to them but we find that God is leading us to bring on another (for whatever reason: they way they relate to/lead the praise team, etc.) then that can cause some hard feelings and disruption.

                            For these reasons we’ve set up separate services outside of regular worship to give us the freedom that we believe we need. The main purpose here is to give the praise team members some “face time” with you – see how well you all work together and see if this might be a good fit that God is seeking to bless. We’re not looking for a performance. We indeed are looking for genuine passion. We are looking to see if this might be a good fit.

                            We believe you are very talented and have great leadership gifts and hope that you might reconsider."


                            None of this would explain to me why they would need you to lead an entire worship service so that they can simply observe. I totally understand the desire to get you together with the band and other worship leaders, but again, why the "mock" service? If I were you, I would offer a few alternatives, and again express my uncomfortableness with the idea of organizing an entire worship service simply to be observed.

                            Nate
                            Practical Worship

                            Please Pray For My Wife

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well, you've got some good reasons for passing on the whole thing...so why haven't you?

                              At the risk of sounding like one of "them," as a brother in Christ, I feel led to encourage you to go after this. Feel free to berate me if things don't work out.

                              -mark <><

                              Comment

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