What’s Wrong When Worship Seems Long?

What’s Wrong When Worship Seems Long?

As Christian leaders, we believe our hearts are postured toward the Lord. We’re eager to engage with our teams in worship and in the Word. Or are we?

We made a recent board decision to rotate leadership for our engagement with God at board meetings. We want each board member to share in leading this core aspect of our ministry’s culture.

As the second board member took his turn, I readily entered into the scriptures he laid out for us.


The scriptures turned into an exercise, and I could sense it would go longer than our typical 10-15 minutes.

Hmmm… I thought. If other board members take their cue from him, these times with the Lord could go really long. And besides, we have a big agenda tonight!

The worship extended to an hour and a half of very significant time with the Lord—full of faith and direction for the future. Afterwards, one board member said, “I could go home right now. God has already done so much.”

She was right. And God led us through that hefty agenda with ease and unity.

I was surprised by my initial reticence. I’ve come to deeply value extended times with the Lord. Why did I think the worship was going long?

How to Keep Your Heart Open to Worship

  1. Put honoring God in first place. It’s a subtle thing, but not uncommon for leaders to allow the work of the ministry to supersede the Lord of the ministry. Make an intentional effort to guard the supreme place God deserves in your hearts and ministry.
  2. Follow God’s lead, not your watch. If you’re like me, you can be time-based in your valuation of activities. It helps you to be an organized leader, but it can also quench the Spirit. Let’s consciously let God be Lord of time.
  3. Beware of ruts and routines. It’s human nature to fall into predictable patterns of seeking God at our staff and board meetings. Let’s resist that temptation and receive God’s fresh wine and wineskins.
  4. Tune in to your heart response. If you’re chafing during corporate times of worship, ask yourself why. God will reveal what’s off in you, and He’ll grace you to get back on track with honoring Him.

My guess is that until heaven, we leaders will periodically bump into our human tendency to value work over worship. Thankfully, God’s Spirit is ever present to point our gaze heavenward. When we give God free rein in our worship, He will freely reign in our ministry.


“The true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth,

for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.”

John 4:23b