During his Saturday sessions, Adam Hamilton shared tips for improving worship that he has learned over the years of leading worship every week at Church of the Resurrection.

He talked about intentional discipleship and asked, “What is a disciple? What does one look like?” He said every church should have a clear picture of discipleship, and define goals to help them reach people in any stage of their faith journey.

Hamilton said the purpose of worship is to help people have a spiritual encounter with God, but most people don’t expect it because it doesn’t happen very often. He then walked through the beginning of a worship service at Church of the Resurrection, and identified some of the ways their worship services help people encounter God. This includes being high energy, not being afraid to change words in hymns, or explain what they mean before singing them, and inviting everyone to the communion table.

When it comes to preaching, Hamilton said sermons should teach people something they didn’t know before. “I use maps and charts in my sermons,” he said. “I’m looking for one thing I can teach them.” He added that good preaching is interesting and heart-touching. “Talk about hope. Ask your members to respond and act on your sermon.”

For sermon topic ideas, he said that he periodically sends out email surveys to ask the congregation for feedback. Some questions he asks include: What sermon series would get your unchurched friends to church? What do you want to know about the Bible? Where are you or your family struggling? How can I help and encourage you? “I will get back 40 years of sermon ideas from these surveys,” he said.

Finally, he talked about how Church of the Resurrection intentionally reaches out to new people. “Greet people in the parking lot,” he said. “How is your signage? Do you have a website? What does your nursery look like?” He added, “Is your church intentionally reaching out to people who are lost sheep?”

In the end, he said the key is to focus on loving and welcoming everyone who walks in the door. “People don’t become Christians because of our superior theological arguments,” he said. “They become Christians because we love them. “