For anyone who has dedicated their lives to following Christ, worship is more than just singing hymns on Sunday morning. It’s striving to be the person God wants us to be every day. This can take a lot of time, effort, and prayer, but it is not always easy because life happens.
Planning worship services
A worship service is a formal assembly of Christians who come together to praise and worship God, so it’s no wonder we would want our worship planning to be perfect for the congregation members and visitors to have the best experience possible.
Theology of worship
Jesus came to serve, not to be served. Serving others is a part of who we are as followers of Christ. Worship is about serving God, and worship isn’t just about getting praise from our congregation or bringing people together for fellowship. Worship does that too, but it also builds up the people of God.
Formal vs. informal worship
Basic description: Formal worship service usually occurs on a set day and time, with the pastor leading the services in prayer and preaching the Word of God. In contrast, an informal gathering of Christians may occur at any time (even on Sunday morning) with no formal structure at all (written or verbal).
Why planning is important
Most churches have both a formal service and an informal gathering, but it is important to plan for both. The time and place of the formal service should be communicated ahead of time and known to all who attend. The informal gathering can be anywhere where people feel comfortable and will welcome them.
Benefits of planning
Worship planning benefits the congregation members, pastors, and volunteers by improving the quality of worship experiences for all involved. Here are some specific advantages that can come from a well-planned worship service:
Worship planning helps people and God to be able to communicate more clearly with each other. Having a service depend on everyone’s ability to communicate and helps us pray together more efficiently.
Inviting non-Christians to the formal service can build relationships with them and lead them to a deeper understanding of the gospel of Christ. However, the same hospitality must be extended into the informal gathering as well. Monthly family Bible studies are a great way for families to grow in their faith together as they discuss Scripture, hear guest speakers, and fellowship together.
Fellowship is one of the most important parts of a church body. Without this, everyone in the church becomes isolated and misunderstood. When people can gather on an informal basis, it creates an environment where they can get to know each other better and feel comfortable.
How to plan a worship service
The following are ideas on how you can plan an engaging service.
Idea #1: Pick a day, time, and location
With so many different aspects of planning a worship service – from advertising to writing encouraging words in bulletins – it is easy to get overwhelmed. The best way to avoid burning out is to plan one aspect at a time. Start with the big things first, then refine everything later.
Idea #2: Choose the theme or focus of each worship service
The theme is the heart or focus of your religious service. Through this theme, you can walk your congregation into the life they need to live while they are away from the church to glorify God in every area of their lives.
Idea #3: Come up with ideas for each worship service
It is a good idea to have a few ideas for each worship service and some information about them before you begin the first service. This can help keep things organized and allow you to make changes without worrying about it during the week of the service.
Idea #4: Write down your ideas
You can write all ideas down in a notebook, but it’s a lot easier to just type them up on your computer. After you’ve written all ideas down, you can start trying to come up with a theme.
Idea #5: Write a weekly bulletin and advertise the worship service
The bulletin should help people know where your worship service will be held and when. The announcement of the worship service should also be placed in the newsletter or website so that it’s accessible to all followers of Christ.
Idea #6: Write sample lyrics for each hymn or song
Hymns are sung during most Christian services and can be very discouraging if they’re not well-written or well-sung.
Idea #7: Write a plan for the service
With all these different aspects of planning a worship service, it can be hard to see exactly what should go in what order. A good way to plan is to write it out so that you can see where you’re going. You’ll be amazed at how much more efficient this plan will make your second service, and you’ll be able to make changes easily if there’s something better than the original idea.
Idea #8: Remember that some things have to change
Just because you have an idea in your head doesn’t mean it’s the best one possible. As you refine things more and more, some ideas may need to change or be discarded altogether. This is okay! It’s a good thing that you can see those things and find something better to replace them with.
Idea #9: Add music to your worship services
Not only will music help people learn about the theme of the service, but it also helps people feel more comfortable with being there. Music is a very effective way to communicate with your congregation and build relationships with them.
Idea #10: Develop a better rehearsal process
Once you have all your ideas written down, it’s time to try some of them out. While you’re rehearsing, you should always try to make things more efficient so that it looks like less work overall. An excellent way to do this is to divide up the many aspects of the service (prayer, preaching, music playing, etc.) so that they can be divided up into smaller parts.
Worship is an act of obedience
As the church carries into practice what they have been taught, they can more fully internalize their faith and become obedient to God’s Word. Worship, as an act of obedience, is an important element in the Christian experience.