Another Perspective On Thematic Planning

Most any regular reader of this site knows that I’m a big fan of thematic planning – crafting a worship set that ties into (and hopefully reinforces) the pastor’s message. But it’s not the only way to plan, and I’m always open to new ideas, so this post by Neil Oldham at Blue Collar Worship struck me as interesting. It’s called Square Peg In A Round Hole: The Problem With Sermon-Centric Planning. He writes:

When I started out, I was taught to plan my song set around the sermon (and that was what preachers expected, too)…so the first half of my worship ministry career felt like I was trying to fit that square peg into the round hole… Sure some messages were easy enough: “Neil, I’m going to be speaking on God’s faithfulness this week.” Ok, yeah, I can plan about 3 sets around that off the top of my head. Other weeks, not so much: “Neil, I’m going to be talking about marriage…how the woman’s brain is like spaghetti and the man’s is like a waffle.” Ummm, should we sing “On top of spaghetti, all covered in cheese, I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed….”???

Really interesting article. While I do strive to make my services thematic, I can certainly relate to Neil’s frustrations with trying to come up with a good set of songs for certain themes. You should go check out the full post. Good food for thought.

2 thoughts on “Another Perspective On Thematic Planning”

  1. Thanks for sharing this! And thanks for the open-mindedness and lack of “diatribeness” 🙂 …not that anyone would ever disagree strongly with a blogger, right?? Ha but seriously, thanks and I’m glad you found it interesting!

  2. I reckon this is another reason why exegetical sermon series (i.e. preaching through books of the bible) should be the bread and butter of preaching. Apart from being really healthy for the congregation itself, it means that the church can be singing the themes which develop and unfold throughout a book, and when it comes time for hard passages, there’s still a broader framework or trajectory to hang on to.

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