Have you ever found yourself scrambling to make copies of charts on Sunday morning only to discover that three of the vocal charts are missing for today’s set, the bass player went out of town, and two of your singers, who happen to be both your tenors, have the flu? All of us have moments like these in ministry, but I’m a firm believer that if we plan ahead of time, we can limit them to rare occasions. Here are some tips about how to create authentic, spontaneous worship experiences with the excellence God deserves.
Let the planning begin
Every Monday afternoon we meet to review Sunday’s worship services and plan for the next week’s worship service. Our primary planning resource as a team is a giant dry erase board mounted on the wall in our Creative Ministry office. It is divided into eight equal sections where we can look at service element ideas eight weeks at a time. Each worship element has a different color Post-it note. At a glance, we can look at flow for all three of the worship services we are working on and the Post-its make it easy to change, rearrange, or delete an item.
The hard work of executing ideas well
The rest of the week, our production team comes up with a plan to technically pull off what the programming team has dreamed up for Sunday’s worship service. Both teams set very high standards for themselves, but the extra effort always pays off when the plan comes together on Sunday.
Setting the scene
At any worship rehearsal, it’s crucial to have a plan before it begins. I’m constantly making lists of things that need to be done, rehearsed, or changed. At the beginning of a rehearsal, I know what I want to accomplish and communicate this with the technical crew.
Putting the plan into action
Our creative and technical teams arrive at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday morning to prepare for the worship services. During this time we also make any last-minute changes and then head to our battle stations to start technical preparation for the day (mic checks, lighting programming, camera shot choices, etc.).
What might look like a spontaneous flow on Sunday morning took many hours of preparation and planning to pull off. As we plan and execute out Sunday morning services, remember that God deserves our best efforts. He gave His very best for us. There is no place for mediocrity in God’s kingdom. He is an awesome God. We should strive to be awesome in everything we do.