Eye Contact During Corporate Worship

When a teacher has something special to say to the class, he or she waits until all eyes are up front; even insists that it be so before the news or instruction is delivered.

When a parent wants to be sure he hears and understands, little Timmy finds his hands cradled in strong, gentle hands while the will of the parent is explained eye to eye.

When siblings have plans at about a certain time, eye-contact is all it takes to launch a plan of action.

When athletes on the basketball court or other playing field need to communicate in a split-second – a look is all it takes.

When discovering and deciphering their love for each other, looks and expressions are vital to couples in love. Desired. Longed for. The eyes speak volumes.

When an employee has a concern, the boss’s eyes convey whether or not the matter has been heard and understood.

When a witness tell his or her story, jurors compare the eyes’ messages with the tongue’s account, and measure the latter’s credibility.

Similarly, we need to make excellent use of eye contact in corporate worship. To sing into thin air diminishes the quality of the words being expressed, while singing and communicating with the eyes adds value to the message of the moment. Whether you’re one of three on the platform this week, in a choir of 40, or the songleader, your eyes speak with you and for you. They add depth to your thoughts. They reinforce -or dilute- your message, depending on how you carry yourself.

When you look at a visitor and there’s “welcome” in your eyes, you make a difference. When you see the face of one in pain today, and empathy links you for a moment, you share that brother or sister’s load. When there’s joy in one’s eyes and you connect, it multiplies.

Use your eyes, they are indeed the windows to the soul, the soul in worship.

5 Replies to “Eye Contact During Corporate Worship”

  1. Jonell

    Excellent thoughts – thanks!

    You wrote: “They reinforce -or dilute- your message, depending on how you carry yourself.” I got to thinking about when I’m at the piano that I face the front and nobody really sees my eyes, but they can see me maybe sway a little or lean into the music and know that I’m enjoying myself. Guess that’s a bit of non-verbal language. 🙂

    New family at our church. The dad plays on the church softball team and helped some of the guys when they reshingled the church roof a couple weekends ago. Then I realized the next Sunday who the mom was, and what 3 young girls are theirs. I smiled and we’ve talked a few times. Just Saturday we walked into a family wedding and sitting in the pew was this mom. I was surprised to see her, but I smiled, she smiled, and come to find out her brother in law was a groomsmen in the wedding. We talked a short time at the reception, and when she left, she gave me a hug. I musta done something right! 🙂

    I work at an eye doctor’s office and today I checked in a lady who had the same name as my Gma. I said, “I talked to you on the phone when you scheduled your appointment and told you that my Gma’s name was Eva as well.” She gave me the nicest smile!

    You are so right that the eye contact and the smiles can change somebody’s entire day! 🙂

    – Jonell

  2. Julie

    One thing that I have noticed in the contemporary music movement, is that praise leaders sometimes hardly ever make eye contact with the congregation. Instead, they are closing their eyes in what is seemingly focus on God throughout the song.

    That, in itself, is understandable and commendable. However, I have seen it leave the congregation “on their own” many times. I feel like a praise leader’s responsibility is to do what they can to bring the congregation along on their way to the Father. It would be better to look at the congregation and share some of that eye contact which indicates the experience of true worship.

    I hope I’m making sense! I am not saying that praise leaders shouldn’t ever shut their eyes or not focus wholly on God — just that the reason they are “leaders” is to lead the congregation.

    Maybe I am hanging on to traditional music ministry where the leader is talking to the congregation, smiling, looking into their eyes, and evaluating what can be done to help them enter into worship. It just feels more personable and involving when that happens.

    To sum it up, I’m thinking that praise leaders can enter into God’s presence through song AND bring the congregation along at the same time.

    Hope I’m not rambling too much!?
    Have a great day,


  3. Julie

    Jonell – You are so right. People crave the attention and focus of others, and eye contact is the means of great ministry. I will never forget an ordinary day several years ago, when I went to my ordinary grocery store, and was getting all the ordinary items on my list, that I rounded the corner, saw an unknown woman, smiled at her in greeting, and then continued on.

    She turned around, came back to me, and thanked me for smiling at her. She said that she had been having a rough day, and that receiving a smile from someone brightened it.

    I was the one who received a blessing and a lesson! It is just automatic to me to smile and greet someone that I come in contact with, and yet that ordinary reaction was used to lift someone else. It was a great reminder that we are to be interested in the lives of others — even those we don’t know.

    Here’s a big smile for you 🙂
    God Bless,


  4. Jonell


    Thanks for the big smile! 🙂 We may not know until heaven the good that we did just by smiling.

    God Bless,

    Phil – we’ll get back to the topic at hand of eye contact and corporate worship, we just took a bunny trail here about smiles and reaching out. Hope you don’t mind! 🙂


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