Churches everywhere are beginning to look at the worship experience in a new way. It is no longer a singular event (preaching) but now a corporate event (worshipping).

While the preaching of Gods word (sermon) is still the central piece of the worship experience, now worshippers are looking for an experience that draws it all together.

Thus, there is a move towards creating a creative worship team that draws all of the elements together for the purpose of experiencing God.

Today there is greater team planning for worship than there was 20 years ago! Churches are discovering that becoming more creative in worship honors our creative God.

The Principles:

  • Worship focuses on God and His character.
  • Worship results in man seeing his own sin and need of God’s cleansing.
  • Worship flows from the grateful hearts of God’s people.
  • Worship should be the results of our best efforts.
  • Worship should be contextual.
  • Worship should reflect what God is doing in the lives of the people.
  • Worship should flow out of the vision and values of the church.
  • When trying to reach today’s twenty-something generation, having creativity in your worship experiences is essential.
  • Creativity resonates with this post–post modern generation.
  • Developing a Creative Worship Team that interacts with the pastor and worship leader is an easy thing to do as long as your pastor is prepared ahead of time. If you or your pastor is not prepared until late Friday afternoon, a few hours away, stop reading! It will only frustrate you further.
  • But, if you or your pastor are prepared ahead, you can really be creative developing that week’s worship experience.
  • I see any size church using this process if they plan well enough ahead.

Here are steps any church can take to develop a worship planning team in your church:

Step 1: Begin By Recruiting Your Worship Planning Team

  • Began worship planning by asking creative laypersons and staff members to join the team. Remember this is not the place to argue the music style, but the place to add flavor to your worship. Also, invite women to the planning team. I have discovered that it is great to get a women’s perspective on a topic before you go out to preach.

Step 2: Prepare to Meet with Your Team

  • I would spend Mondays doing my message background preparatory work. By Tuesday morning at 11:00, I have a pretty good idea of where God wants the message to take us and I share that information with our worship planning team. Since I meet with the team before the message is finalized, God regularly uses their input to deepen my thinking. This is where we get ideas for songs, videos, movie clips, funny skits, etc.

Step 3: Check Your Ego at the Door, Pastor

  • Something that you absolutely must do as the pastor is check your ego at the door. Remember, you are not the only one who can have a great creative idea. The individuals on the team must do the same. Even though some ideas are great, they don’t always work for the week being planned. Remind your team members that not every idea will be used.

Step 4: Summarize the Message for the Team and Keep Brainstorming

  • I summarize the message and open the floor for discussion of creative ideas that will make the message pop. Jesus taught in several different ways, and we must not limit ways we can deliver a message.

Step 5: Putting the Plan into Action

  • Once we’ve hit on an idea that we want to use, we begin to assign responsibilities to the appropriate people.  Sometimes we use props that need to be gathered. At other times we do a video shoot or incorporate a power-point presentation, etc.  All such tasks need to be assigned.  We also try to test out anything that we’re going to do before the Saturday evening service to make sure things work the way we hoped they would.

Step 6: Sweat the Small Stuff (Not You But Someone, Please!)

  • Nothing hurts the creative planning process more than when there is a technology crash after all of your work has been done.
  • My biggest challenge is getting the creative team and the technology team to practice. It is a foreign word to many of them, but it helps eliminate awkward moments.