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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I'm having a hard time making the distinction in my head. Shouldn't a part of disciple making be teaching them that they need to make disciples? Isn't successful discipleship that relationship that leads to more disciples, thus fulfilling the mission? I understand the distinction if you're using the wrong assumption of discipleship being inward focused, but it isn't... it shouldn't be. The core of discipleship should be urgency in the mission to make more disciples. Ok... I understand what you're saying now about "what's more important." Thanks for letting me think in circles for a minute.
 
— Mike Hill
 
I love Ed's writings and heart. I am frustrated by these articles, however. Much of the missiological basis of the Church Growth Movement are not mentioned, and the origination of the formulas are not substantiated. Also, the Movement via Wagner, started mentioning the importance of health over 3o years ago. I wish these articles were better researched and less sweeping in their generalizations. Things like E1, E2, E3 evangelism, group multiplication, relational networks, faith, health, and the care to measure the right things are largely missing here. Perhaps Ed has earned the right to generalize, but I still was disappointed. But keep researching Ed! Ed and Thom have continued on in the spirit of the movement by doing quality research, and for that I am deeply grateful.
 
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