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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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
If you are afraid of people , how do you come out of the house? Church is a place where friendliness and kindness starts. When you attend any place only once, you don't get the full benefit Church hopping , attending a different church every Sunday ? You don't get to know people. I think that commitment is the problem.
 
— Phylissis Ransom
 
We drive 20 miles and pass by numerous churches on the way to our church. It isn't perfect, but at least it is very intentional about making guests feel safe, comfortable, and welcome. We do have a brief 'greeting time' that quickly leads into a worship music set. Rather than just saying "Stand and greet the people around you" the host puts people at ease by making it a bit more fun. (and less intimidating) They may reference a personal memory or non-controversial topic and say something like; "Tell your neighbor who your favorite cartoon character is." or "Tell someone what was your best-ever bowling score." The music begins before anyone has time to be uncomfortable or tell their life story. Works well for us.
 
— Sara Tonin
 
My neighbor was a pastor, and now his son is. When they see me passing by, they either stare or look the other way. The ex pastors wife only speaks to me when I come into where she works. She takes care of the dining room, so it is her job to speak to others about drink refills, etc. She also asks me questions about things that are none of her business, since she ignores me the rest of the time. I bet if I did show up at their Church, I would not to welcome. I wouldn't go for that reason. This Church is walking distance from my house, but I would go 10 miles away to Church, before I would go to theirs.
 
— Karen
 

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