Worship is one of our most intimate times with God; our chance to totally focus on him alone with no distractions. The modern-day church has created an environment which is hostile to the presence of God, inserting as many distractions and interruptions as possible into the flow. To add insult to injury, often the sermon or announcments begin with a joke or some kind of humor. Worship requires and creates an atmosphere of reverence. To be deep into worship and then suddenly interrupted by a loud joking voice one minute later is insulting even to man, yet infinitely moreso to Father God. We must restore worship to its rightful place and treat it with the reverence in which we are pursuing the presence of God. Worship should be the final event which occurs in the service. The culmination of our quest together as a body of believers to meet with the Lord. It dishonors and offends God to cut off worship because the schedule forces this in order to to make room for the pastor’s message. If God is moving powerfully in the service, worship should be continued. What if God wants an extra hour of worship? Why do we just put him in a box and allow the exact same allotted time every Sunday. Every revival which has taken place is based off extending the worship and letting God have control of the service. Some will say worship must come first because it “prepares the people’s hearts to receive the pastor’s message.” The question is, where in the Bible does it say the purpose of worship is for the pastor? Worship is to please God and prepare the people to enter in to his presence, not prepare them for the pastor’s sermon. An opposite argument has also been made: that worship should come after, so as to give the congregation a chance to show their enthusiastic response to the pastor’s message by celebrating in worship. This is a totally wrong motive and some of these pastors are going to have to realize that church does not meet for the purpose of worshiping the pastor.
There is also a common problem where worship leaders like to stop in-between songs to begin giving little lessons and encouragements to the congregation. This has to stop. The flow of worship cannot be allowed to be interrupted once set in motion. It takes some time for people to warm up open up to the place in which the congregation can truly connect in a powerful way with God; it doesn't just happen after the first song. Trying to worship God, and then having a worship leader take our focus off of him is idolatry at its finest. This is the spirit of Lucifer, the first worship leader. Lucifer thought he could steal the attention of heaven's worshippers and direct the focus onto himself instead of God. Worship leaders, you may want to think twice before inserting your opinion in-between each song! God does not share his glory with another. Worship leaders should be given an opportunity to preach at the normal preaching time. As the scripture says “when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.” (1 Cor 14:26). Too many churches are based on the pastor being the only person who teaches. The most the congregation is ever allowed to do is to give a two-minute testimony of some way that they were blessed materially/financially that week. In the early church the entire church was involved in sharing the word. Thus the worship leader would be given an opportunity to share the word and it would be expected that mature members in the faith would participate in the sharing of the word. There is no excuse for a worship leader who butts-in in-between songs to distract everyone and take their focus off of God. Church leadership must confront this immediately and show no tolerance for reoccurrence going forward.
In this age of print, most of the information can be put on a bulletin to take home. There is no excuse for announcements going over five minutes. They must be condensed and take up the minimum amount of time which is possible. Announcements should be done before the service begins and gotten out of the way as soon as possible. There is no greater anointing-killer that has ever come about than the announcement-lady which is in every church. The worst possible thing you can do is to place the announcements directly after the worship service. This is like interrupting an intimate moment with your partner to start texting and making loud jokes. The disrespect to God when the spirits of everyone in the congregation have opened up and they are entering in…. it is unbelievable.
ANNOUNCEMENTS CANNOT COME AFTER WORSHIP UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE.
Now what time should the preaching of the word take place? This should be the first half of the service. The word is the beginning and worship is the end. This is why Genesis begins with a word “let there be light” and Revelation ends with New Jerusalem in worship. The first book of the Bible begins with the word, the last book ends with worship. Worship is what we will be spending most of our time in heaven doing. It lets us leave the service with our hearts focused upwards to God. Worship does not have to be interrupted to fit a schedule when it is put after the preaching. It can be extended when the anointing is really flowing and people are into it. If it goes on for several hours, those who need to leave early are free to go. There is no obligation for 100% of members to stay for the full worship time. Most will be happy to stay however, when the power of God comes down as the end-times church aligns into God’s order and into his will.