In planning for worship, remember, the higher the predictability, the lower the impact.

You want to think about the people who sit in the sanctuary week after week. How can you inspire them to receive the message a little differently? What can you do to help them experience worship in a fresh way? What elements in the service can you take a look at to see about a fresh approach?

Breaking the script is one of the keys to helping people stay engaged. If you have always had a certain flow, but then shift gears, you’re going to have a different response and outcome! If what happens in your worship service stays the same on a weekly basis, the minds of each person in the congregation will begin to become numb to the flow in some ways. But when something new happens, our minds race to figure out how that fits in – that’s why engagement increases. It’s something different because the worship planning team has broken the script.

In some sense, predictability is good. We want people to be confident that worship times will be consistent, that there will be a level of overall excellence, and that we will remain true to the word of God and the mission of the church. But other than that, there may be some great opportunities in your planning to do something different in the flow and style to increase your impact!

Making changes requires building a culture of change. You must be willing to try things and risk failure! If it doesn’t work, then you just try again next time. The best way to get into this groove is to start. Momentum for risking something new grows as you do it. If you only try something new once a year, there’s a lot of weight riding on that creative component or change. BUT if you try something every month, each one carries a little less weight if it doesn’t work. However, if it does work well, you’ve increased your effective connections with the church!


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Here are some worship planning component ideas to get us thinking:


Invite someone else to come up and pray. Have a time of silent prayer. Invite people forward to pray. Invite someone to pray in another language.


New songs help engage people when introduced well. Invite someone to sing a song. Include a different instrument. Change the number of songs for the day. Have more music after the message.


Two people read a passage. Read it as a small drama or monologue. Use a video of a Scripture passage.


Invite people to walk to the front to give. Celebrate giving. Create a time of talking about a specific ministry project and why giving toward it is crucial. Have kids collect tithes and offerings.


Serve each other. Sit around tables. Change how it’s presented. Sing a special song during it.

Video/ Drama

Invite someone to share a monologue for the scripture reading. Include students in drama ministry. Share a video of a drama from another ministry or group.

Invitations To Non-Professionals

Invite people from the church to lead a portion of the service. Have someone pray or read scripture for the day. Set up in advance for someone from the congregation to come close in prayer after the message. Set up in advance for someone to share a testimony.

Space, Stage, Seating

Change the space or stage if possible. Adjust the seating from time to time if possible. Decorate the worship area in a different way.

The First Thing And Last Thing

Be very careful with the first thing you say / do in worship and the last thing you say or do. Plan these out and make them different. Sometimes begin with music. Sometimes begin with speaking and invitation to worship. Write out your welcome, prayer or benedictions so they are different from time to time.

Preparation and Invitation

Some of the expectation in worship comes from setting the stage way before. Share the scripture or message/theme or teaser the week before. Invite people to be thinking about a particular question on social media before the weekend.

Remember, the higher the predictability, the lower the impact. What will you do differently next week?

Join us on the Worship Leader Toolbox FB Community Group to talk about this!