Five BAD ideas that will make your worship services FAKE!

We have all been there. Everything may sound fantastic, look attractive, and planned with purposeful intent. But, something just doesn’t seem right. You feel fake vibes when hoping for authentic ones. Regardless, what makes a worship service fake might be boiled down to a few things even though there may be many things we can put on a list.

Here are five ideas that promote the “fake factor” in church worship services.

  1. The worship team is performing like they are in a stadium and only 200 people are in the worship center. Just means over-scaling your team, sound and presentation might not be helping you. The energy put into production shouldn’t outweigh the value of building relationships with the people in the congregation you serve. Your haze machine cannot fill that gap.
  2. There is no context of God’s character, just our experience. We can sing “we worship You” all we want, but who is “You”–a fuzzy God who just makes us feel fuzzy or an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God who is jealous of us loving anything or one more than Him.
  3. You do the latest song or idea because it’s the latest song or idea. Content is king in worship, not the buzz of the newest thing. We should be building a local community of worshipers not simply echoing what others are doing.
  4. Worship team members are there more for their talent or to play music and not for their spiritual growth.  The story of the messengers or artists on stage is important. They are not just tools, they are real people you put up there. Hire people, by the way. But, treat them like…people.
  5. The goal for the congregation is a feeling, not a transformation. I am all for emotive expression of worship, it’s just that the goal is that we are formed into the image of Jesus a bit more by all that we do in worship and life. So, to just reduce the outcome to sentiment is just a bad idea. Period.

Any pushback, affirmation or additions?

Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.


  1. Rich, there’s something wrong with the code on your site. The left menu will not go away on Chrome and I can’t even read your articles.

    1. Should be fixed. Uploaded a new file from my theme coder.

  2. Thanks Rich, It can also go the other way .”we will minimize to so our humility” musicians do not play to express your joy play to Show….

  3. In #4 you speak as though praise team members are paid. What church can afford to do that? Mine certainly can’t! Most praise team members are there because they feel called to be there. They WANT to be there. I put hours into my playing every week so that I am offering my best to the Lord. It would be wonderful to be paid for that time.

    1. Whether paid or not, if the goal is not the person and just the “sound” or end product then it will be fake. I’ve seen same issues with my mostly volunteer teams over the years. Even volunteer players can have mixed motives. Do we lead them to be more? That’s the question.

  4. Would add “your set leaves the congregation with a greater view of itself” because there are those churches who only songs are those of self value without the recognition of self depravity. A greater view of myself is usually a smaller view of God. Keep these blogs comin’.

    1. I believe CS Lewis says that humility is not thinking less of yourself. It’s thinking of yourself less. Confession should take care of this. But, we can also have a too low view of ourselves. We are created in his image after all.

      1. I feel like what I’m thinking and what your saying don’t contradict, I just don’t have the words to explain lol. Just want to elevate him and lower myself to him

  5. 6. Asking people to stand and greet others when in reality there is no community, but we’ll just pretend that there is.

    1. Christian tradition is that we pass the peace to each other. If we teach people our priesthood even the greeting can have significant meaning and impact.

      1. If it was real you wouldn’t have to ask people to do it. It is FAKE!

        1. Nope. It just might mean you maybe don’t like people or being asked to do something that stretches you. Sometimes real takes actual effort on the part of the worshipper. It’s like acquiring a taste for coffee, perhaps.

  6. When I started the Worship department at MorningStar 26 years ago my Pastor Rick Joyner gave me one instruction, he said,”You can do any type of music you want to do but never tell the people what to do”.

    1. And what you guys started 26 years ago has literally influenced most of what our current worship is and I want to say thank you for doing that. I don’t think we’d be experiencing what we have today if you hadn’t been obedient to the call AND the task you were given. If ya’ll don’t know it – Leonard is a father is the worship movement that we all currently experience.

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