Thursday, July 9, 2009

Planning a Worship Service

OK so this post will be a little out of the ordinary for me, but it is in response to those of you who have been asking how a worship service is planned at the creek. Well there are as many answers to that question as there are songs that are sung. There is not a magical method that I use to deduce what songs or what will happen in a worship service, but there is alot of prayer. I usually begin planning a typical music line up a couple weeks out. I will try to find out what the sermon will be or if we are in a series like we are currently, I will find the theme and find songs that might fit. I use a list of about 85 active songs that we are singing, then compose a list of about 8 songs from that list and consider keys, transitions and tempo as I arrange them in an order. As I said, prayer is important, so I will usually spend a couple days praying about the eight before going further. Sometimes a song might come to my mind in my quiet time or something I am reading and if it keeps coming back around to me for a couple days I will add it to my list of 8 (which makes it 9 LOL). Other people like to give suggestions at times to what song they haven't heard in a while (24 hours or less), and if the songs fit the message or God just really impresses it in my spirit then I will add it. Once the 4 songs are picked then I add them to the worship planning online for the team to be practicing. Then on Thursday we have a creative team meeting where songs can and sometimes do change, depending on a change of direction or some thoughts or direction given by the pastor. One thing that all worship Pastors should keep in mind, is that God has given us a shepheard in the Senior Pastors office and we should be able to trust his heart to give us suggestions and input. On Thursday after the creative team meets, I will finalize the entire service order with, videos, testimonies, special music, drama or whatever we have felt led to add or use for that week. I will also put together the tentative list for the next weeks services and begin praying over that service and the elements we plan to use. Some might say that this is too much planning, but keep in mind that the Holy Spirit still has complete control and it is not uncommon to change everything on Sunday or even Saturday night! As one pastor put it, "I would rather plan ahead and allow God to change things when He shows up, rather than not plan at all hoping God shows up and he not be in our midst."
So there you go, a very short snap shot of planning in the worship department. May not seem like very much but God has blessed us with over 50 people that go into the planning and execution of each weeks services so it can become very busy, complicated and hectic very fast. I am so thankful to be a part of a church that has a passion to worship and bring honor to the King through music and arts!

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