night of worship

The Worship Leader’s Guide to Planning A Night of Worship

David Santistevan offers ideas for a special evening at your church:

Most of us spend our time organizing weekend worship services.

Typically that involves a time frame of 15-20 minutes. This is great for a weekend, but I also believe it’s great in the life a church to schedule a night of worship every so often.

This is great on a number of levels:

Refreshing – There’s nothing God’s people need more than His presence. And to spend uninterrupted time with Him can bring much needed refreshment.

Challenging – Worship Nights can be a great way to challenge your volunteers on the technical side. Push your musicians to another level. Challenge your tech team to try new things with videos, lighting, and stage design.

But what I’m about to share with you transcends even just long worship nights. It’s more about how you view a worship service – it’s purpose and goal. In addition, I’ll give you some ideas and resources for planning your next worship service.

The Goal of a Service

The goal of a gathering isn’t simply to have church. It’s not simply to sing songs or have an emotional evening. The goal of any gathering is the glory of God. When you start with that premise, it informs all your decisions.

It’s not about singing new songs.

It’s not about singing old songs.

It’s whatever serves God’s people giving glory to God.

It’s whatever facilitates a steady gaze upon His greatness.

It’s my personal philosophy that not only should the worship team be exhausted at the end of a worship night, but everyone in the room. The unified act of everyone giving their all – physically and emotionally – to the praise of God should exhaust you in the best possible way.

Methods are simply vehicles to the main event. Songs are vehicles. They help lead us to the main focus, namely God’s glory.

Singing a certain song, hitting a certain key change, or rocking a certain arrangement is never the goal. We as leaders must relentlessly ask, “What will most help people focus on the glory of God right now?”

Worship Night Ideas

What I’m about to share with you are some ideas you can apply to your weekend worship services, as well as special worship nights. The goal in sharing these is to help you craft a powerful and engaging corporate worship experience for your church.

It’s not enough to just plan a bunch of songs. It’s time to get strategic on what you do. Here are 11 ideas (and then I’d love to hear yours in the comments.)

1. Silence – Oftentimes our worship services can be such a busy conglomeration of sound and our own “talking to” God that we don’t stop and actually listen to the voice of the Spirit. For an evening of worship, try planning a moment of silence where you simply rest in who God is.

2. Journaling – Plan a moment in your worship set where you place some cheap journals (25 cent notebooks are fine) up at the front. Have people leave their seats, grab a notebook (or a sheet of paper is fine), find a place of prayer, and write what God is speaking to them.

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