How We Measure Success w/ Cody Carnes

Cody Carnes sat down with Loop Community Founder Matt McCoy to talk about how worship leaders should measure success, as well as his album God Is Good!

Measuring Success

Matt: “It can be so easy for churches to measure success and define what that success is with attendance or with engagement. Did they raise their hands, did everyone sing along, etc. But I think the danger of that is that then you think the opposite is true. If people are engaged and clapping, then it was because of you. How should worship leaders measure success and transformation?”

Cody: “I don’t think it’s about the amount of people in the room, it’s about the amount of presence in the room. That’s how I would gauge success. I can encounter the presence of God with 30 people, and if God’s presence is rich and his manifest glory is in the room, then we’re doing something right.

I remember being a worship pastor at a church plant with 40 people in the room. Planting a church is so hard and a test of character of the heart. I remember feeling that I didn’t have a gauge on what was happening. And I remember the Lord encouraged me to go find the stories. What I was doing as a worship leader was disengaging from people. I would lead worship on stage and then go hangout with my team in the green room. I wasn’t going that extra step of meeting people. But when I started to, often the people that were stone cold with arms crossed during the service, would come up and tell me how they were impacted by worship.

I cannot base my gage on what God is doing based on the responses of people. It’s all about revelation of the Holy Spirit and getting to know the people you are leading. And when you get to know the people, you build a trust with them. Don’t be a green room worship leader. You’ll build that trust, you’ll hear their stories, they’ll follow you, it’s a win-win all around.”

Avoiding Comparison

Matt: “The reason that some of these things have been on my mind, is that long story short, my church imploded a few months ago and I’ve found myself in a position where I’ve essentially planted a church. We have 50 people in a community center with no sound system. Last weekend I was leading on an acoustic guitar and advancing the lyrics in between strums. But it’s been great getting to know each other on a deeper level and hearing stories of people building relationships.”

Cody: “I love that. The only thing that can steal your joy from that, is comparison. If you think, ‘well we’ve got to do this’ or ‘we have to grow this much’, and obviously you want to see growth, but in my mind 10 years ago I would have thought if it could just hit this mark, that can steal your joy in something that is really beautiful. You’re seeing the things in this season that you weren’t able to do before. If you’re encountering the presence of God, it doesn’t matter how many people are there.”

Click the video below to watch the full interview.

You can get all the Master Tracks for Cody Carnes’s songs on