One thing that most student ministries have in common is their mid-week worship service. Although these experiences look different all across the country, there are some universal checkpoints that can help improve any student worship service. Here are 5 things to consider when looking to raise the bar in your services.
This may seem simple. Plan my weekly service? Done and done! But you wouldn’t believe how many student pastors are simply stumbling through everything they do! It is important that you take a systematic approach to the planning of your worship environment to ensure the quality of what you are offering. Who will be standing at the doors when the students come in? What music will be playing as they enter? What is the first element of the service that will grab their attention and center their focus? Are you playing a game? What are the rules? How are you choosing contestants? What music will be playing in the background during the game? Who is leading worship? Who is in charge of lyrics on the screen? What are the songs? Do you have a bumper video to transition from worship to the sermon? What are you preaching? How are you weaving everything into the invitation at the end? Where will your volunteers take students to be counseled if they make a decision?
These are only a few of the questions that you should be asking when you are seeking to plan your worship service. Now, just to speak into one objection that I anticipate from some of our readers, many of you would say, “I only have 20 kids coming to my mid-week programming, what does all of this really matter?” My answer: Wouldn’t you like to see that 20 grow to 40, and then 80? If so, you must set yourself and your ministry up for the growth and excellence that you are asking God to provide!
If you have been diligent enough to think through and implement some of these planning ideas, then you know it takes many hands to pull it off! Whether you are utilizing students, parents, staff, or other volunteers, you can’t neglect the aspect of training your weekly leaders! The people in and around your ministry want to serve, but they need to know your expectations and how they can meet them!
All too often, Student Pastors have this grand idea in their head for great Kingdom impact through their mid-week service but find themselves feeling absolutely frustrated because they can’t seem to make it happen. This is often because they haven’t communicated their ministry dreams to anyone around them or enlisted help to make it happen! Communicate the dreams you have for the future of your worship service to your staff/volunteers, and enlist them to move the plan forward.
4. Production Meeting
Before your service starts, one of the best things you can do to keep everyone on the same page is to write out the service plan and review it in a production meeting. Make sure that everyone is on the same page by literally creating a written worship service plan/flow. As you move forward, a good detailed worship flow plan can eliminate many of the simple mistakes that cause the biggest distractions from week to week.
Finally, although this tip seems so obvious, I just learned to do this within the last two years. After your production meeting, make sure to run through the whole service! Go through all of your ques, check mics, go through all of the transitions between worship songs, and just make sure that each piece of the service is ready to go. This is where you will discover elements that need more attention, and it is here that you can put the final touches on your service.
6. BONUS – Pray!!
I know I said that I would give you 5 ways to make your service better, but lets just call this one a bonus! We have to be people of prayer! If we want to take our services to the next level, the first thing we have to do is ask God to show us how, and then empower us to carry it out.
Hopefully these tips will serve as a springboard in your quest for excellent ministry!
This post was written by John Paul Basham, Student Ministry Specialist