There is never a shortage of blog posts and articles with tips and suggestions on how to plan and execute a worship service. The funny thing is that it’s not that we don’t know how to do it. It’s just that it’s so important to do it right that we need constant reminders.
It might sound silly, but as I work my way through the Old Testament again, I realize how easy it is to fall away and make mistakes that, to the outside observer, frankly look stupid.
So I count myself as a wandering Israelite as I continue to seek out and link to more and more tips and suggestions. Recently, I ran across Planning The Worship Experience by Kenny Lamm at his blog Renewing Worship. What caught my attention is that Kenny’s post goes way beyond the song list and into the structure of the rest of the service as well. Kenny writes:
A goal of worship leaders is to identify and eliminate as many distractions as possible, so that through the medium of music we can create an environment that makes it easy for people to connect with God. Here are some ideas that will help you in planning worship experiences for your church.
I think we often miss that crucial element: eliminating distractions. It’s so important to remove any obstacle that may try to take away from God’s glory. One way to eliminate possible distractions is, as Kenny says, to strive for seamlessness:
Our times of worship should have a natural flow with no interruptions. We should strive for seamlessness, providing a sense of journey from the time the worshipper enters the room for worship until he or she exits.
Kenny also addresses another crucial element we often overlook – evaluating how “participatory” our planned service is:
The final step is to evaluate your plan for the upcoming worship event according to the level of participation that will be required of the worshipper. Remembering that worship is not a spectator sport, but a participatory event in which each person contributes as fully as possible, spend some time working through the outline to identify all the ways in which people will participate.