This post is for pastors who have a congregation that are more like spectators then they are participants when it comes to worship on Sunday morning. I don't know if this is a common issue in many churches but I do know it is for some.
By participants I do not only mean that they sing out but that they join the worship leader and team to sincerely and humbly express their heart to our God and our King.
Here are 4 simple basics I hold to that will encourage your congregation to be participants and worshipers.
Teach them about who they are worshipping. Do your messages exhalt The Lord? Every message should do this and not merely be an excercise in theology. How can they worship who they don't know. This means you will need to grow in your relationship with The Lord. Your teaching about him must come from a personal relationship with him. When they see what you have they will want it for themselves.
Teach them what worship is. Teach principles and not methods. Worship is not merely singing but our expression of exaltation and adoration to our God in word and deed. We find worship throughout the scriptures but also examples of how not to worship Him. Emphasis these as you teach through the scriptures. I do expository teaching through the Bible and find worship throughout from Genesis to Revelation. You may also choose to do a series on worship tied to a time to actually practice it.
Exemplify worship. Does your congregation see you worshipping The Lord in prayer meetings, in Sunday worship service or even when you teach? They watch their pastor and learn from you. If you live a life of worship they then have something to follow.
Take time to minister to your worship leader on what worship is and that he is to lead the congregation into the presence of The Lord and to exhalt him together. He and the worship team are not artists or performers. Allow him/her to share their heart for The Lord to the congregation and about worshipping God. I also allow my worship leader to have the freedom to seek The Lord for his song list and to change or add to it in the midst of leading the congregation. Trust in the spirit leading him. It is incredable how my worship leader has picked the perfect songs or shared the right words that compliment my message. His having freedom to extend worship if the congregation needs it has only benefited me and my teaching.
As I said these are simple. It isn't about methods or style of music or how big your worship team is. It is about your people expressing their love to their God and facilitating an opportunity for them to voice their hearts to him. When you have a church that worships then you have a church that transcends age, culture, and social difference. You also will see a remarkable presence of the Love of God among your congregation.