My wife does most of the legwork of planning the Sunday morning worship service orders for our church. She and I talk through the theme and then she sets to the task of choosing songs and putting them in an order along with the other components of the worship service. When that task is completed, there is the need to communicate the details to each of the team members that lead on the platform, the sound and video crew, and the ushers. On any given Sunday the communication loop involves fifteen to twenty people. At the end of the service, one might measure success in terms of a smooth flow, everyone being where they needed to be when they needed to be there, no technical problems or missed cues in the audio or video, and each component of the service ending relatively close to the targeted times.
Have you ever thought of your checklist for a great worship service? This past Sunday I proposed two to the congregation, and I offer them up to you.
- I sat in “my pew” and it wasn’t too hard or too soft.
- The temperature was just perfect, not too hot or too cold.
- No one’s cell phone went off around me during the service.
- We sang my favorite songs.
- The sermon was “deep” and long; or the sermon was short, sweet, and to the point (your preference).
- We got out on time.
- I prepared my heart to worship before the service started.
- I sang with my mind engaged, my heart enthralled, and my voice united with those around me.
- I prayed.
- I listened attentively to God’s Word.
- I responded in humble obedience to God’s Word.
The point of a corporate worship service is to encounter God. The music, prayer, Scripture reading, sermon, and response are all aimed at that one thing. Which list do you think is most likely to get you there?