Friday, July 31, 2009

The Development of a Worship Service

Recently I received an e-mail from a member of Grace Church who was away on a Sunday at another church and wrote me the following message:

“I wanted to tell you that as I sat in the un-named church I kept thinking how great it is to be part of a church that is so forward thinking and willing to try different approaches to worship. It would be good for our entire congregation to sit in a church like I did today and realize how much God has blessed us at Grace. The pastor did a nice job with the sermon but there was no worship experience and really a very stale, old atmosphere. We do have it good at Grace.”

That really encouraged me. We work very hard here at Grace to put together services that are both Biblical and engaging. So what path do our services take in development?

6 Months in Advance: It all begins sometimes up to 6 months in advance as I prayerfully consider the themes for the upcoming Sunday services and start putting together tentative overviews of where I will be going with the message on a particular week.

3 Months in Advance: I send out my tentative sermon overviews to our Worship Design Team, a group of ten people who plan our Sunday services. This gives them a full month to read the notes, look at the passage of Scripture we are focusing on, and prayerfully think of creative ideas to help us communicate the Biblical truth of that morning.

2 Months in Advance: The Worship Design Team meets to brainstorm and plan the creative elements of the service. This meeting ends by assigning tasks for team members to work on over the next two months in order to bring these creative elements to fruition.

2 Weeks in Advance: Two weeks in advance, our Worship Arts Director sends out reminders to the Worship Design Team regarding the elements that we are planning to use for that Sunday morning’s service.

6 Days in Advance: I meet with our Executive Pastor, Worship Arts Director, and our Media and Audio Producers to make sure that everything is set for the upcoming Sunday.

90 Minutes in Advance: On Sunday morning prior to final rehearsals and sound checks, I meet with our Worship Arts Director and our Audio and Media Producers to go over the final service format and order to make sure we are ready for our first morning service.

12 Minutes in Advance: I have a brief 2-minute meeting 12 minutes before our second and before our third service with our Executive Pastor, Worship Arts Director, and our Audio and Media Producers to make sure that no changes are needed to be made.

1 Day After: We have one final meeting to evaluate the previous Sunday’s services.


Chris Nagy said...

This email note Pastor Scott received from a member of Grace Church is highly discouraging.

When God is your greatest treasure and your joy is in Him, then the worship of our God in a corporate setting can never be "stale or old". We meet with God's people in God's house to receive Jesus and that can never be old, stale or boring. The worship of our great King does not rise or fall with the "media producers" or the "design teams" ability to plan a so-called creative experience or the pastors charisma on the stage, but we will find it in the hearts of the people who are there to worship & receive Jesus with the means He gave us in His Word.

kutlessfan4ever said...

wow, thank you for what you all put into each and every worship service! it pays off everytime when we as a church family, worship Him, through song and His Word. bravo

Pastor Scott said...

Thanks so much, kutlessfan4ever! Your encouraging words are always appreciated!

Anonymous said...

The planning by you and your staff sure does show in each and every service! Thanks for the time and effort. I've never been to a church where I feel God's presence like I do at Grace! You just WANT to praise!