I love planning worship services. I really do. I love reading the text and praying over it and figuring out which songs fit where. But one of the worst things is planning a worship service with no set theme, topic, or scripture. There’s no reference point, no framework to start from.
Allowing the Word to lead worship means in a very practical and concrete way giving God’s Word the central place in your service planning.
To start, take the preaching text that your pastor will be working from for that given Sunday. If he’s doing his job well, he’ll be asking of that text ‘What is God saying to us through this portion of His Word and how do I communicate this so these people will get it?’ Your job is to take that same text and ask ‘what is God saying to us through this text and how do I help these people to respond to it?’ If you and your pastor can talk in advance about the first part – what God is saying – all the better.
From there, you might want to ask yourself some questions to explore the implications.
Graham also lists three benefits of letting the text being preached dictate the planning of the service. Good stuff. Check it out here.