There is no perfect service order. But I do believe that the perfect order does exist—it’s just a case-by-case basis. Sure there are similarities in the order in which our ministry does things, but we like to see every program like it is its own monster. We first write out every element that we want to include in the service, and then we put it together. Our average service contains these elements: a message, a funny video, an announcement video, an opening song, one-minute meet and greet, worship songs, a game and a welcome/announcements.
This is the order that we would most likely put it in:
• Opening Song (cover of a popular song or song that relates to the message)
• Funny Video (either one we made or one we ripped from YouTube)
• Welcome/Announcements (two to three announcements max/sometimes done through video)
• Announcement Video
• One-Minute Meet and Greet
• Two Worship Songs (usually these are fast and fun)
• Two Worship Songs (slower and more reflective/pray and dismiss)
That is our basic order of service. When putting our order together, we always keep a few things in mind:
You always want to try to avoid any awkwardness during your services. Some of the most uncomfortable moments are when you are getting to the next element, like switching from band to announcements or announcements to game. We use program elements to serve as natural transitions. For example, we use the videos as time to switch people and sets on and off stage, same for the Meet and Greet. Bad transitions also happen when you make a sudden change in energy. Try to avoid going from a high energy moment right into a serious one. Ease in.
Is it too long? Too short? Always plan out roughly how long your service will be. We are usually generous with our estimations because things usually take up more time than we originally thought. But stay somewhat true to your timetable. You never want your service to drag, so remind the people involved to keep it interesting but tight.
Every innovative idea started with a risk. If we aren’t taking programming risks, then we we’ve settled. If you do the same order every time, your students will get bored and you will too. If you aren’t inspired by your program, they won’t be either.
Mix it up, have fun, keep it tight!
JG & Colton