John Nicol offers a short list of “rules” to help you plan worship services with great transitions.
1. Always Have A Plan
Every single time you need to connect two elements in worship, whether it’s songs, scripture, the announcements, an offering, or even the message, plan it out. Plan. It. Out.
It’s easy to think it’ll “just happen” or “I’ll just wing something.” Transitions do happen, but if they aren’t intentional, they probably don’t flow as well as we’d like.
And as for the practice of winging it (improvising—for my non-American friends), that doesn’t always deliver. Or it over-delivers and the segue goes on (and on) longer than it should.
Know how you’re getting from point A to point B. Look at how one element ends and how the next one will start. Then plan out what it takes to intentionally and meaningfully move between the two.
Oh, and write it down. Why? Because you’ll need it for the next rule:
2. Inform All Involved
You can have a great plan for a seamless segue into the offering, but if you don’t tell the ushers, they might still be sitting in their seats when you begin to pray for the offering.
And you can have a great non-talking transition planned between your opening song and the beginning of the announcement video. But if you haven’t gotten your video tech on board, there’s going to be an awkward moment. (You know, the kind where you try to Jedi-mind-trick him to start the video, while everyone’s staring at you wondering why you won’t say something.)
So when it comes to transitions and segues, make sure EVERYONE involved knows what’s happening, when it’s happening, how it’s happening and even WHY it’s happening.
If people catch the vision for the kind of moment you’re trying to create, they’ll be more apt to follow-through on the instructions you give them.