By Bishop Randy Barnett

                                           OFFICIATING THE WORSHIP SERVICE

The office of the fivefold minister is the most important job on earth, and one of the most important aspects of the job is
officiating the gatherings of the saints. The time when the saints come together to worship God is the high-point of the
week. As an elder God has commissioned you to lead His people in this worship experience and you alone are held
accountable to God for what takes place in it. He looks to you to direct that divinely sanctioned meeting under the
direction of the Holy Spirit and according to His Word.


Because you have the responsibility of the worship service, it is advisable that you spiritually prepare the sanctuary and
the atmosphere in it prior to the worship service. Consider the following priestly duties:

1) Arrive there early before others.

2) Present yourself to God before the altar and anoint yourself with oil as a consecration of yourself to God for the
present task. You are functioning as the priest as well as the sacrifice at this time.

3) Stand behind the pulpit and release the power of God into the house and over the people. This is done through
declaring the Word of God and through spiritual warfare. Use your spiritual authority by binding and loosing. This
charges the atmosphere with faith and arranges the spiritual realm for effective ministry. You remove demonic powers
aligned against you by binding them, preventing them from hindering the plan of God in that worship experience. You
release the angels of God assigned to you and to that church to fulfill the perfect will of God. In that hour, you are the
quarterback, calling out the signals and directing what happens.

4) May I further suggest that you anoint each chair in the church declaring that all who sit there will receive from God
and be blessed by Him. The chairs then become a point-of-contact for the anointing in much the same way the prayer
cloths were used by the apostles.

Once the worship service begins you are under divine commission to officiate that service to the glory of God. Since you
have prepared the sanctuary properly and obey the promptings of the Spirit, the plan of God will be fulfilled. It is
important to remind yourself that He is directing the service, not you; therefore, be sensitive to listen and to discern His
will. Hear with spiritual ears even while you are speaking.


I want to discuss a strong psychological force called “crowd momentum.” Any group of people in any situation (including
a congregation inside the church) can move in any direction like a flock of birds that swing first one way then another for
seemingly no reason. The challenge for you is that you do not allow crowd momentum to take the worship service in a
direction contrary to where God wants it to go. I have personally seen congregations swing widely from elation and
praise to lethargy, stubbornness, and even anger. I have seen the spirit of unbelief take over a group of people and
thwart the plan of God for that hour. This need not happen. Man of God, do not be reluctant to stop the service and do
spiritual warfare right then and there. Do not hesitate to pause in the middle of the message to enlighten the saints on
what the enemy is trying to do, thus making them aware of it as well. That worship setting is too important for something
like this to hinder the plan of God, so don’t allow it.


You are responsible for keeping control of the gathering. If there is some kind of interruption or disruption by certain
ones present, you are like the captain of the ship in the storm. You must guide the meeting through the problem. You
may even need to stop things to give directions to ushers and deacons or even to other elders to remedy whatever
problem has arisen. All who serve in the church should be trained to handle things like this being always ready to
preserve the plan of God for the hour. I remember one Sunday morning when there was such a precious and solemn
moving of the Holy Spirit. He was ministering to each of us in a quiet and gentle manner. All of a sudden, a woman leaped
to her feet and began to clap her hands loudly and shout praises to God. Her actions, even though not meant to bring
disruption, did exactly that. My glance at the usher told him to move quickly to silence her. He did so, and the Lord was
able to continue His ministry to us.

I fully embrace the charismatic doctrines of the Holy Spirit; however, charismatic churches seem to always be challenged
with “flaky folks” who are overly zealous in spiritual gifts and try to manufacture spiritual manifestations. Either through
ignorance or for an ungodly need to be seen and heard, these people do and say things that are not of the Spirit. Do not
tolerate such things when you are in charge. The Holy Spirit will show you in that moment whether to bring correction
verbally right then or just have the problem person removed from the sanctuary to be dealt with later. But in any case,
handle the problem with grace and strength so the Lord can get back to the business at hand which is edifying the saints
and releasing truth into the earth. God is a God of order, as we know from Scripture, and He has commissioned you to be
the overseer and maintainer of order in that hour. Be a diligent and faithful servant. I encourage you to always lovingly
use tact and dignity when dealing with difficult public situations. You are the ambassador of the King and must present
yourself in that light.

Not long ago my wife and I were attending a church gathering in which the Spirit of God was being poured out in power.
What a glorious thing it was! A young teenage girl took the microphone and with well-intentioned motives began to
exhort the people. Most of what she said was “right on” until she came to the part where she said, “Jesus did not have
to die, He just loved us enough to do so.” Her emphasis was on the love of God for us. When she finished, the worship
service continued on. This lesson is not meant to be a deep theological treatise so I will simply say that what she said
was not correct. Jesus did have to die because that was the will of God and His plan since the foundations of the earth.
This theological error is a seed that may cause damage to someone who does not know better. If he perpetuates this by
telling someone else the same thing, the problem grows and grows and can eventually form into a stumbling block to the

What should the pastor have done in that situation? Gently and with grace and tact, he could have lovingly publicly
corrected the error in such a way that the young lady would not feel badly and the truth could have been preserved.
Certainly, privately he should bring loving correction to the young lady while encouraging her to continue to be useful to
the Holy Spirit in the spiritual gifts. I have found it never to be an easy task to bring doctrinal correction, but to fail to do
so is a grievous ministerial error.


When God places you in that sacred position of being in charge of a worship service, take the responsibility seriously. To
a great extent, all that happens there is under your jurisdiction. You can relax in one respect; however, because you
have His promise to be there guiding all that happens by His Spirit. Success is His responsibility. So rejoice ahead of
time knowing good things will happen and you get to be a part of it! Hallelujah.


Questions on Lesson #5

1) Explain how to prepare the sanctuary prior to a worship service.

2) What does it mean to you to “go on the offensive” against demonic powers?

3) Define the term “crowd momentum.”

4) Explain how crowd momentum can dictate how a worship service goes.

5) Give two illustrations of disruptions in worship services you have personally witnessed. How was each handled?
Would you have done differently? If so, how?

6) Explain the term “decently and in order.”