Making Worship WOW

I have been reading Michael Hyatt’s book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World and I think there is a lot to glean from it for the local church.  (which I guess is why Cokesbury was selling it)  You will probably see a post now and then telling you some tidbits I found interesting.  Like this post for example…

During the first section of this book he talks about the product we are selling.  He says that product has to involve WOW.  Hyatt doesn’t directly define wow but states we know it when we see it.  We see it when we look over the Grand Canyon or Victoria Falls.  It is the feeling you have look out over the NYC skyline on the Empire States Building or watching one of those reunions of a child and their parent who has just come home from war.  It is the gut check that makes you sit back and simply say, WOW.  He says, “We don’t need more messages or products or services.  Instead, we need better messages, products, and services.  Specifically, we need those that wow.

Making the leap in my head I wondered if I was producing a ‘wow worship’.  Not that CD that is made up of popular worship songs, but the experience people have when they come to worship, is it WOW or simply “mmm-eah.”  I don’t think we can knock every week out of the park.  I cannot deliver WOW sermons every week because of many reasons but I should be created wow more than once a year.

Hyatt states there are ten elements that a wow experience has in them. (pg.8-10)

  1. Surprise
  2. Anticipation
  3. Resonance
  4. Transcendence
  5. Clarity
  6. Presence
  7. Universality
  8. Evangelism
  9. Longevity
  10. Privilege
Is the worship at my church doing any of this?  some of this?  one of these on the list?  Is yours?  It is eye opening to think about it and there are lots of excuses why I/we don’t get to wow on Sunday mornings.  The fourth chapter in the book talked about obstacles that get in the way and they cut me this morning.  Here is is list of five obstacles that get in the way of creating wow experiences: (pg.17-18)
  1. We simply run out of time.  The deadline looms.  We are scrambling to get the product out the door.  or we have to wrap up the service so we can get to the next client before he starts complaining.  We simply don’t have the time to give the job our best effort, so we let it go.  Half-baked.  Before it is really done.
  2. We don’t have enough resources. We’d like to do a better job.  We sincerely want to take it to the next level.  But we just don’t have the money or the staffing.  We rationalize by saying, “I did the best I could do with the resources I had.”  And again, we let it go and turn our attention to the next project or client in the queue.
  3. We don’t have sufficient experience. We just don’t know how to do what we know needs to be done.  Our vision exceeds our know-how.  We know what the product or service could deliver, but we don’t have the knowledge, the skills, or the experience to get us there.  So we settle for something less than our vision demands.
  4. Too often, we acquiesce to the committee.  Perhaps we are a little unsure of ourselves.  “Everyone else seems to like it,” we say to ourselves, “Maybe they’re right There are a lot of smart people in this room. C’mon, just let it go!”  And so we do.  We dial back our own vision for what could be and succumb to the collective judgment of the group.
  5. But the biggest obstacle of all is fear. In fact, this is the primary obstacle.  If we are honest, we must admit that the previous four items are only excuses.  If we had enough courage, we would find the time, the resources, or the experience.  We would stand up to the committee.  We wouldn’t settle for something less than wow.
Number 5 cut me like a knife.  I am fearful.  I do stand up on some Sunday morning knowing I’m offering up a message, a worship experience that has been half-baked.  I felt convicted that what is getting in the way of the wow is me.  
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