If someone snuck into your church and replaced Sunday’s bulletins with last year’s bulletins, would anyone notice? Need a few fresh ideas to keep your Sunday service from predictable sameness?
1. Fill prime seating.
Challenge your church’s most vibrant age group to help lead worship by filling the front and center seats weekly.
2. Set the mood.
Set a relaxed, worshipful pre-service tone with live or recorded music, along with pre-service audiovisuals of announcements and Scriptures.
3. Light matters.
Use quality lighting during the pastor’s sermon. To add variety, dim light for the Lord’s Supper, backlight a musician, uplight a theme banner, shine colored lights on a focal wall, or spotlight a dramatic scene in the center aisle.
4. Theme enthusiasm.
Plan ahead to visually reinforce a sermon series. Make banners for the worship center or exterior. Plan a serial skit or unique handout. Create a distinctive display for the foyer or stage.
5. Ushers can rope rear seating to help seat worshippers toward the front.
They should graciously seat latecomers at an appropriate time and take care of interruptions and needs during worship.
6. Quality music with variety.
Try adding a different instrument such as bagpipe, zither, violin, or a person whistling. Try an echo duet from the balcony or worshipful solo from the audience.
7. Smooth transition.
Intentional silence can be worshipful; “dead spots” are not. Does it take ninety seconds to arrange the children’s choir or wait for someone to stroll to the mike? Plan carefully to use every scheduled moment wisely.
8. Intentional interaction.
Invite worshippers to reverently stand for Scripture reading. Offer a fill-in-the-blank sermon outline listening sheet (ideas at The Sermon Handout: Uses, Abuses, Ideas, and Samples). Quote 1 Chronicles 29:13–14 in unison before offertory.
9. See with fresh eyes.
Ask an interior designer or interior decorator to assess your church platform area. Inexpensive changes may make a huge impact—plants, rugs, paint colors, polished pulpit, rearranged seating, reupholstered furniture.
10. Small adjustments create interest.
Rearrange choir seating or praise team placement. Vary the Scripture reader. Add seasonal flowers or banners. Slightly tweak the order of worship—baptism at the beginning, offertory last, or sing after the sermon.
As you plan worship for our great God, create anticipation with a fresh, updated plan every Sunday. Oh, and there might be an additional benefit: less snoring in church.