Welcome to episode 51 where today we consider a hidden benefit of good relationships. A benefit I bet few of us have ever considered.

Not too long ago I was on the search team for our church looking for a new worship director. Part of the process, as you can imagine, is interviewing candidates, and the way we did it was to schedule initial interviews over Skype with them.

One night our team was in the middle of interviewing a candidate when our pastor, as a member of the search team, asked what I thought was a most unusual question. He asked the candidate,

“If you couldn’t use music, how else would you lead our congregation in worship?”

What a great question, I thought! The candidate’s answer wasn’t anything memorable, but after he finished responding, I felt like jumping out of my seat, thrusting my arm in the air and shouting, Hey, everyone. Look no further! Hire me! I can do this job! If I don’t have to deal with all the music stuff, I could do a really good job! I’m your guy!

Fortunately, I did not act on my feelings, and instead remained silent. But all I could think of the rest of the night was how I would answer the question of

“If you couldn’t use music, how else would you lead our congregation in worship?”

You see, I had recently been reflecting on Romans 12, the most relational chapter in the whole Bible, as I mentioned in episode 48, “Worship Without Words.”

I see 3 distinct sections in chapter 12, all of which are about a specific kind of relationship:

vs. 1-2 How we are to relate to God
vs. 3 How we are to relate with our self
vs. 4-21 How we are to relate to other people

These 3 kinds of relationships are all in the context of vs.1 where Paul urges us to present our bodies as a living and holy sacrifice to God. Since relationships are a big part of all that we are as a human being, they can be seen as a means of sacrifice and worship to God.

So all of this is on my mind, this thing about relationships and worship, from which I would answer our pastor’s question of

“If you couldn’t use music, how else would you lead our congregation in worship?”

I would answer the question by starting off talking about the Sunday morning worship service, with no music of any kind (whew! I wouldn’t have to sing or play an instrument, or even clap in rhythm. This is a real life saver.)

Instead of opening prelude…….videos of people having in-depth substantive conversations with each other, especially about last week’s sermon

After announcements …. people would make appointments to meet with each other after church or during the week to just listen to each other.

Scrape the idea of simply greeting each other, or offering the bond of peace. Too superficial.

Instead of music during the offering….take prayer requests from the pulpit. I’d also talk about giving of your financial resources during this time, and how we relate to our money. I think I’d say something about money more often than most pastors.

Instead of a song after the sermon …. 3 people come to the front to discuss briefly how God spoke to them from the message.

Instead of a benediction ….there would a relational call to action based on the sermon. Maybe question to ask one’s self, or each other.

There would be no more worship wars. No service for Baby Boomers plus, and then another for Millennials.

And then during the rest of the week there would be other relational things we would do as a worship team

Instead of worship team rehearsal with all that music stuff….the team would gather and pray for the relationships in the congregation. Pray for healing needed in relationships. Prayer in praise of relationships improving and going well.

I’d have the worship team out meeting with our church people, asking them how they’re doing. Praying for them, walking with them down whatever path the Lord has for them.

I’d have the worship team focus on Romans 12:4-21, getting to know people in our congregation. Encouraging them to use the gifts God has given them. Weeping with them. Rejoicing with them.

Here’s what I learned today. Here’s what struck me

If you forget everything else, here’s the one thing I hope you remember from today’s episode. Our show in a sentence

Worship is a lot more than singing songs on Sunday morning. We can take our praise and worship of the Lord to another level when we focus on our relationships and offering them as a sacrifice to God – all throughout the week.

Here’s what you can do in response to today’s show

Ask God for his help in making your relationships the best they can be. Ask him for his direction in tangible, practical things you can do in one or more of your relationships to make them worthy as a sacrifice to him.

As always, another thing you could do is let me and your fellow listeners know what resonated with you about today’s episode. You can share your thoughts in the “Leave a Reply” box at the bottom of the show notes. Or you can send them to me in an email to john@caringforothers.org.


I hope your thinking was stimulated by today’s show, to both reflect and to act. So that you will find the joy God intends for you through your relationships. Because after all, You Were Made for This.

Now for Our Relationship Quote of the Week

Those who wish to sing always find a song.   ~ Swedish proverb

That’s all for today. See you next week. Bye for now.