Improve the Vibe: Take Advantage of All Senses in Preparing for Worship

It’s Sunday morning.

What happens in those few minutes after your visitors take their seat in the auditorium/sanctuary/worship center and before service begins? I speak of visitors because, let’s be honest, they’re the ones who come early. Your regulars meander in because they know what to expect. It’s easy to forget about those few minutes, yet they matter when lost people find themselves in a seat at your house.

Your church’s approach to this time needs to fit your values. Whatever your worship environment, here are some things to think about that will help you become more intentional about what is being experienced in this time:

Listen.

  • What do you want people hear? Maybe it’s music fitting your worship style, silence for a reverent room or the buzz from people sharing their life stories with each other.
  • What potential distractions can be heard: A guitar tuning on stage, your pastor checking his microphone, kids running around the sanctuary?

See.

  • Where are people looking: Up at giant screens with well-presented announcements, down at their carefully laid out bulletin or handouts, out at their physical surroundings?
  • What could negatively impact some one’s visual experience: A stage cluttered with cables and random personal items, lack of personal space in the seats, a banner that is frayed or about to fall off?

Feel.

  • Emotive and, at times, frustratingly subjective. So throw some adjectives out there! Joyful. Welcoming. Peaceful. Rockin’. What are you doing to express these things?
  • What could be felt in your room that takes away from this: Fear of the unknown, anxiety over what’s expected, deep-seated guilt?

Improve the Vibe

Vibe. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the never seen, but always felt energy. It’s the groove you want everyone to feel. After all, you’re about to ask them to engage for next hour or more and you need a solid starting point. Vibe communicates a lot about your church. Vibe is found in the environment.

Listen, see and feel the vibe that visitors experience in those forgotten few minutes before your church service starts. Once you’re paying attention to that experience, you can start to improve it.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kim Fukai

Kim Fukai is the director of programming & production at Grace Point Church in San Antonio, Texas.

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Recent Comments
Your experience has given me hope. Thank you
 
— Lynn
 
Misguided member to be sure. Best course of action for pastors is to preach God's pure word, plant the seed, and God will bring the increase.
 
— Rick
 
This article reminds me of an experience I had. In my third year at the parish I pastor I needed to make some staff changes. During that process I was constantly praying for insight and enlightenment. Some old time parishioners did like that I was making these changes. They did not like the growth that was happening and did not want any change. This group parisioners decided to protest by only putting a dollar a week in the collection. The most incredible thing happened, during the weeks they were protesting the parish collection went up by over 5%. Now as any pastor can tell you all collections fluctuate, but while people are deliberately trying to hurt the parish or more to the point hurt me, this was a blessing. This reminded me that if I pray and I try to do what I believe God is telling me to do, God will take care or me and my people. Pastors that are trying to do God's will, put God's will first and don't be bullied by people trying to lead you away from God's will.
 
— Fr. James Wozniak
 

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