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
I'm lost, to say the least! As a new pastor, taking over a newly started church I have read just about everything there is to learn what I can do to grow the church. I truly beleive that those attending our church are friendly and sincere. So that can't be the issue. I have read all the comments to this article and I feel that most churches will never have a fair chance! We are a VERY small church, so we don't have a children's church (yet). So if a family comes and gets upset that we don't have a children's church for them to put their children into, we lose! We do provide things for their kids to do during the service and even have an option for their kids to be in a different room, if they don't want their kids to sit with them. We are also such a small church that we don't have a worship team/band/etc. Our worship music comes from music videos. The congregation we do have likes it this way, but of course we would love to have a worhsip team. So, if someone comes to our church and is upset that we don't have live music, we lose! The point I am trying to make is that when people come in with preconceived ideas of what a church should be like, they will never find a church home, unless they find a church who's goal is to entertain! Every Sunday our message comes from the Bible, so that can't be a complaint for someone, so instead, people leave the church and never come back because they want more from a church: they don't want friendly people who are following the Word of God; they want a church that give them something (a babysitter for their kid, entertainment, free gifts, etc.) I'm sorry if sound cynical, I truly want everyone to hear the Good News and learn about Christ's love, but if they come in looking for something else, then the church will always lose!
 
— JAG
 
Reminds me Tony Morgan's classic post entitle “What If Target Operated Like A Church?” I wrote about this in a blog post "Is Your Church Like Target…or More Like A Mall?" https://goo.gl/2qQIy3
 
— bruceherwig
 
Challenging and very good
 
— John Gilbank
 

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