Yesterday we began a new season in the life of our church. We began an entirely new Order Of Service on our Morning Services. In the past, we would do something like this:
10:28 Pre-Service Music (w/Orchestra)
10:30 Welcome from Pastor/Announcements/Missions Report/Opening Prayer
10:40 Time of Fellowship
10:42 Congregational Singing (3 songs)
10:53 Offertory Prayer/Receive Tithes and Offering
10:55 Congregational Singing (1 song)
11:45 Closing Song
Yesterday we changed the Pre-Service life music to almost 15 min. of Music Videos. We changed the welcome and announcements to a 5-minute video (called GLC-TV). We only sang 2 songs before the sermon instead of 4. We sang more after the sermon. It looked like this:
10:15 Music Videos
10:30 GLC TV
10:35 Congregational Singing (1 song)
10:39 Offertory Prayer/Receive Tithes and Offering
10:41 Congregational Singing (1 song)
11:30 Congregational Singing (2 songs)
11:40 Receive New Members (Just this Sun)
Why make these changes?
It gives a better segue from Small Groups to Main Service. While we didn’t want to interrupt the interaction with folks mingling before the service after they dismiss from Small Groups, we did want to give our people a better way to engage while waiting for the service. Playing music videos is a way to do that. We will also, on a rotation basis, have live music (praise team, band, or solos), or scripture readings (live or scrolling on the screen) with music bed as other options.
It streamlines the service. GLC TV will do in 5 minutes what live speaking would take 10-15 minutes to accomplish. Plus the announcements are more attractive and draw the congregation’s attention a bit better. It also eliminates the possibility of any mistakes in information that might occur (or at least lowers the chances). It also gives each minister a personal touch with the congregation. It also frees up Bro. Jeff’s (our preaching pastor) attention to focus only on the sermon and not have to worry with giving announcements.
It moves the sermon earlier in the service. This might help with those who struggle with attention spans or have to leave early due to other commitments (family appointment, work schedule, etc.)
It gives our congregation an opportunity to sing in response to the sermon. I’ve often wondered if we have the order of singing and preaching backwards. Historically, churches have done 80% of their singing before the sermon. We even think of the song service as a way to prepare a congregation for the sermon (and rightly so). However, I’ve all to often observed that it’s after the sermon that our congregation is really ready to engage in singing. Their hearts are full to overflowing as the gospel has been thundered from the pulpit.
Sometimes it’s just good to change things up. All of us are prone to get into a rut. Where we have freedom from God’s word, it’s sometimes a healthy thing to shake up the pattern to freshen things up and give your congregation a different perspective and help their attention spans.
This new Order of Service is very much in a fluid state. We’ve still got to bring the Choir and Orchestra back this Sunday. To be honest, this OOS presents some problems for the Choir. I’m praying that we’ll be able to figure out a good, effective, and proper way to keep the Choir central to the singing at GLC. Stay tuned!