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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A few years back I was leading a DC4K (DivorceCare for Kids) group at a church in NC. We were meeting in the spring and over Easter. The kids in our group had so much fun as they healed and connected with each other and when Easter came along I didn't hesitate to tell them the story of Easter. One little kindergartner was in our group. I didn't think he had listened to what was said but the next year when Easter rolled around he proceeded to tell his mother the entire Easter story. This was a family that didn't attend church. When his mom asked how he knew so much about the real Easter he said, "Miss Linda told us about it last year." Kids want to know the truth and they can handle hearing the gospel, especially hurting children of divorce. Thank you for validating what I believe. Linda Ranson Jacobs Blog.dc4k.org
 
— lindaransonjacobs
 
I M Very much blessed and helped.
 
— Adamson
 
Doesn't the church exist to comfort the souls and consciences of believers? New or old design the focus should be Christ. A good test for this is to invite a group of non-believers [unchurched] as a focus group....show them the designs of churches and have them give their thoughts opinions to questions like this: + What type of business/organization do you think belongs in this place? + What is the first thing you think of when seeing this place? + This facility is designed to be a Christian church....What other uses would you imagine taking place here? Their answers should be enough to tell you how best to design a building that will be purposeful in delivering the central message of Christ-Crucified.
 
— Mac
 

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