A few weeks ago I gave you a behind the scenes look at what happens when a worship gathering doesn’t work and what we do between our two services to remedy that. I thought it might be interesting to hear about when things go good. However, after writing it out I realized that it’s actually kinda boring.
Not the service, but the actual meeting that we have after the service. We kinda looked at each other and went – you know, that was good. And when we say ‘good’ we specifically are looking at three things.
Did we make much of Jesus?
Did we provide multiple opportunities for people to ENGAGE and participate in worship?
Did we remove as many distractions as we could? (sound issues, flow of service, clarity of message, ect.)
What’s probably a bit more interesting is that we don’t always know how a service is going to turn out. Most of the time – we have a pretty good handle. But even writing that last sentence put a little bit of a twinge in me.
About a year and a half ago, we started praying a very dangerous prayer as a team – ‘we’ve planned the best we know how, You can bless it or wreck it. We’ll follow You either way.’
That is where I want us to be as a worship team. I’ve been a part of two extremes of worship teams. There is the ‘down to the second’ plan. Every word, transition, song, pause is planned and timed. Like a live TV show, there are hard ‘in’ and ‘out’ times. It does have a produced show kind of feel.
Before you start throwing rocks at this, understand that the heart behind it makes all the difference. I’ve seen this done because they are broadcasting to multiple sites and they want to respect the host sites by being on time with the message. They believe the Spirit can speak in planning and they spend a lot of time praying and planning. I’ve also seen it used with little to no prayer and the Spirit is completely planned right out of the whole thing.
These same things could be said for the other extreme – the ‘let’s just get up there and see what happens.’ Sure, the Spirit moves in the moment and we have to be free to follow Him but it’s possible to be so disorganized and unplanned that you miss the Spirit. ‘Unplanned’ can be just an excuse for laziness.
We land a couple steps behind the ‘every second’ plan. We have our teaching calendar anywhere from 9 to 12 months out. We plan moment to moment in the service – not second to second. We plan our transitions from song to video to message to whatever we are doing on that particular Sunday.
But we hold it loosely. Rick knows he has the freedom to add a chorus or take one away. I know I can adjust on the fly as well. And then we always evaluate between services. We meet every week to dream and think through our series as well as plan the weekly service.
This past Sunday, we had a rough practice and some details that fell thru the cracks but we got it all resolved and had a great service. Between services, we
See – pretty boring.