A time to step aside from the everyday rush and connect with God.
An unhurried, uninterrupted night of worship.
Believe it or not, it can be rare for a church to have times of extended worship. It makes sense, particularly for a larger, growing church. Multiple services and full programming make it difficult to linger for too long.
But that doesn’t mean we don’t need it.
Our hurried hearts are starving for peace. Our scattered minds are longing for rest. Our weary souls are desperate…for Jesus.
That’s why it’s essential that you work worship nights into your church’s rhythm. But knowing how to plan them can be daunting, to say the least.
An hour of music? For some people in your congregation, that’s enough to make them shudder. For others, it’s a breath of fresh air.
How do you plan an evening of worship that is engaging? We’ve all been to worship services and prayer meetings we wish we could beam out of.
8 Tips for Planning Your Next Worship Night
I recently planned a night of worship for our church’s live recording. Here are some lessons I learned that you can apply to your next worship night:
1. Hold a Creative Brainstorming Meeting (three months ahead)
Your church’s worship night should look different than mine. You have a unique team of people with unique giftings and ideas. Gather those people together a few months before your worship night.
Brainstorm what could be possible. Write down any and all ideas. Pray together. Dream together. Plan a life-changing night for your people.
2. Develop & Execute a Promo Plan (two months ahead)
Begin to promote your worship night two months before the event. Make sure you have a detailed plan.
Create videos for social media. Set up a Facebook group. Email a “save the date” announcement. Have a specific plan for each week leading up to the event. Get intentional.
3. Pick a Balanced Setlist
When choosing songs, don’t just pick your favorites. Balance familiar and new, hymns and choruses, simple chants and theological declarations.
Meet your congregation where they are and ensure they will be engaged with your songs. The last thing you want is a room full of people watching you perform worship. Make it easy for people to enter in.
4. Plan Engaging Prayer
Prayer should be huge priority in your worship night. There’s nothing like the unified prayer of a local church. The problem most of the time? We don’t plan our prayer moments.
Make sure people get engaged with prayer. Give them prayer points on the screen. Have them break into groups. Challenge them to lift their voice loud for 60 seconds. Whatever it takes, plan engaging prayer.
5. Centralize the Word of God
If you want people to leave transformed, you need to centralize the Word of God. Human insight will only take you so far. We want to leave people immersed in God’s Word.
For our live recording, we produced a Scripture video of Philippians 3:7-14. It’s amazing to see people connect with Scripture. Don’t allow your service to pass without centering on God’s Word.
6. Be Sensitive to the Holy Spirit in the Moment
I can’t stress how crucial this is. Every worship service is different. No setlist can just be cut and pasted from meeting to meeting. God wants to do a new thing every time. Stand in the moment and listen. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit.
Then be bold and speak out what he says. Most of the time, this will be terrifying. But God will show up in a powerful way.
7. Do Something Different
What can you do that will mark this worship night as being different? Give it its own stamp of uniqueness.
Last year we did a young adult worship night where we passed out journals to everyone in the room. We played an acoustic set and encouraged people to find a quiet place, listen to the Holy Spirit, and write what they heard. It was amazing.
8. Recruit Help
The best way to spread buzz for your cause is to get others engaged. You want people to own it. Recruit help. Give people responsibility. Take this beyond what your own hands can accomplish.
Working with a team can oftentimes be more difficult. But there’s nothing more rewarding than to climb a mountain with friends. You look back and see what God accomplished through you. Amazing.
Question: How often does your church have extended worship nights? What creative ideas have you used?
This article originally appeared here.