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:


  • 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?


  • 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?


  • 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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Kim Fukai

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

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Recent Comments
Gospel according to Luke that the harvest is ripe but laborers are few. I think we tend to be Peter. Some (hopefully most) of us "get it" in time. (Ref. Baptism of Cornelius).
— John
I think you have misunderstood what the author is trying to communicate...
— Grant
I feel "unqualified" as a lay minister, no seminary, but 50 years teaching Sunday School, and now at 84, I teach in 3 nursing homes each week. Thank you, thank you for your VERY helpful articles. You give me lots of help I need, but don't know where to find it. I "translate" church to mean our fellowship, or "circle of friends"...we have about 60 each week. They cannot go to we take church to them. God bless you, friend.
— Rod Thorpe

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