What up Worship Leaders? I need some help. My current service flow is this:
The current format does not create a very fluid service for worship cause it feels like it is very choppy cause we are going in and out of music. It seems that the biggest area for change to make the service is the break time. Our church is a small church still (about 200/Sunday) and community is very vital to it. The break time is a time when we all get up, meet new peeps, go get coffee, go get donuts, etc….but it is very difficult to get people back into worship to prep for the message. Does anybody have any suggestions for changes for me to make more fluidity.
Some of my questions.
Is there another spot that is appropriate for the offering/announcements?
Has anybody else had a break time, and removed it?
Can you suggest any other flows that might meet my churches need?
Thanks for all your help, and may God continue to move through you!
My church has a nice flow, and I would say we are always sensitive and leave room if the Holy Spirit lingers and the worship keeps on going... *grin* ... A couple of weeks ago one of the other worship leaders on stage just laid down with his guitar at his side, and rested in the presence of the King, along with a full altar of people in the congregation. Jesus' presence was really strong that morning. It was an amazing time of worship.
Our typical outline is something like this:
1. Worship with 4-5 songs, sometimes prophetic worship, sometimes the altar (in front of the platform) gets full and people just want to soak, so a few might linger even 10 or 15 minutes into the announcements.
2. Brief announcements, and/or video of any recent mission trips, intros of any new School of Ministry interns, and/or testimonies, etc...
3. Kingdom Success message, which is sometimes tied into tithes/offerings in it's topic
5. Altar Call + music in the background with either the worship leader or the whole team
6. Sometimes a Fire Tunnel (awesome!)
The kids ages 1 through grade 8 are released into their programs just before the message, as we all worship together. At the end of the service, there is always coffee and tea and cookies, and time for fellowship. We start at 10:30 AM and generally get out around 1-ish PM.
In my prior church, the worship and flow of the Holy Spirit would often be cut off with the announcements, so they tried to put more of the announcements in the bulletin and on the slide show before the service, but it never really fixed the problem.
In your case James, I think you even acknowledged the issue, in that the break was cutting into the flow. Sounds just like everything is too compartmentalized. If fellowship is vital, then why couldn't you change your break to be at the end of service instead?
I'm very curious. What is the length of your sermons/messages/Bible studies in each individual church? Some churches give a lot more time for worship than they do for the preaching of God's Word. Come on.....cough it up!
The Word is taught in our church throughout, sans the announcements. :-) ... But if you want a hard and fast breakdown, I'd guess the worship goes about 30-45 minutes, the Kingdom Success message is about 15 minutes, and the main message is anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour or so. If the Holy Spirit comes very heavily during worship and lingers, then worship will go for however long that is. Our Ignite Groups (similar to a Bible study) are different. There are numerous that meet throughout the week, all over our immediate region. They last anywhere from 1 hour until up to about 2.5 hours. It all depends upon the group and it's leader(s).
I think it's tough not to end up in a rut within the Sunday morning flow. My church tends to follow the same general pattern most Sundays, but then we'll have a series or single week where we're led to make a departure in order to keep things fresh. I'd say this is our usual pattern:
Welcome/Invitation to Worship 3 to 4 songs (praiseful songs early on dialing down to worshipful as the set progresses, transitions preplanned to help flow) Prayer (with an instrument or instruments vamping chords from final set song underneath prayer) Announcements (band sits) Offering (with CD track) Message Prayer (band come up) Closing Song
I'd say that's the way 75% of our services occur. I'm not on staff, so our Program Director decides this flow, and he does change it here and there. I like the idea of having a preservice song though, because I find people "hang out" until a song or two into the praise set...trouble is, new music works best as preservice because I detest putting a song the congregation knows in a place where only 1/3 or 1/2 the congregation gets the chance to sing.