Back in the mid 1990's, I was a "remunerated volunteer" at a large church in Charlotte leading the instrumental music...a role I thoroughly enjoyed. During that tenure, which was about 12 years, the Minister of Music position was in transition on 2 occasions. During those times, the Senior Pastor called on me to lead the choir, lead congregational singing and prepare the seasonal concerts and events. BTW...this was all PRE-TRIPLETS!
Fulfilling this role as Interim Ministry of Music was a great experience for me. I had the opportunity to work side-by-side with senior staff and volunteers. The pastor and I would meet each week to plan the "order of service" including sitting at a restaurant with our hymnals out to select songs. I would then plan a month or more of choir anthems and call to worship as well as instrumental specials.
While I really enjoyed that time, looking back I have to confess that I did not do a really good job on being intentional with planning the worship service. Sure, we randomly picked 2-3 hymns, a special music component and the like. But...was it really intentional? I don't think so. We checked a box and then moved on.
Today I see the need for far more intentionality and planning. Here are just a few examples:
- Which instrumentals are needed and who can participate?
- What if one of them cancels, who is next in line?
- What is the order of service?
- Has the timing been considered for each component?
- What are the transitions between components?
- Do we have key changes?
- When do the musicians, singers or choir leave the platform?
- When do the come back up?
- Who from the tech team is available?
- Do the slides flow well and match the order of service?
- Do we have ushers assigned?
I am sure you are asking why a "facility guy" is making a big deal out of this. Actually it is pretty simple. I am a huge proponent of "FACILITY STEWARDSHIP" and one of the key aspects of being an intentional facility steward is in the proper utilization of the facilities God has entrusted to us. That includes, among many other things, the planning of our worship services.
"But we are a small church, why do we need to plan?"
Here is a great quote from one of our Technology Specialist, Tom Metz, regarding that question:
Being intentional is important for every church and ministry size. Planning is the real world manifestation of being intentional. When you're going on a long trip, do you say "I don't need to plan my route because I drive small car"?
Get the point?
I have one final word: P-L-A-N.