From time to time, I’m asked how I go about planning for a worship gathering – or service, as it is often called. Below are some simple steps and elements to consider. It is based on the 5 Necessary Elements for an Effective Worship Gathering. These are explained and studied in detail in my worship study, Praise More Powerful: Insights to Transform Our Worship.
Please remember that in most cases it is best to involve a team of trusted staff and volunteers, rather than just one person planning everything.

Worship Gathering Planning Steps

>>>Necessary Element #1: Prayer 
First of all, surrender your own will and agenda. (“Lord, this is your service. Plan it as You will.”)          
Pray for wisdom & Help (James 1:5); Pray for needs (specific for people, church, music ministry); Pray according to specific verses/scriptural principles and promises
As you pray together with your planning team, joy down any songs and other worship tools the Lord brings to your minds.
>>>Element #2: Planned Spontenaity
Brain-storm for creative ideas. Ask yourself and your planning team: What can we do that would be unique yet effective in lifting up praise and communicating the Gospel to the lost that will be in our worship gathering?
At this point go ahead and do your first rough draft of the OOE (Order of Events) for the service. Be sure to consider things like theme, flow, dynamics, keys of songs, and other varying service ingredients.
>>>Element #3: Pliableness (or Flexibility)
Determine now to have this attitude as you go through the actual service: “Lord, this is Your service. Lead it and control it as You will.”
Ask yourself and your planning team: What do we need to do to prepare to be flexible within the service time? How much time are we allowing to be flexible “on the fly”? What song or other planned event can we leave out in order to include something else spontaneously? What musicians and production team members need to know of our potential changes?
>>>Element #4: Power of the Spirit
Prepare your own heart by confessing any known sins. Claim His filling & flowing in and through you during the service.
Challenge/expect your musicians, praise team and production team to be personally empowered by the Spirit before they come to the service.
>>>Element #5: Pastoral Direction
What are the pastor’s thoughts, input and vision for the service? What will be the pastor’s part in the service? Has he approved the Order of Events?
NOTE: Once you have prepared within all 5 of the necessary service elements, then you are ready to type out the final planned order. Be sure to do it with as much detail as possible. Remember, both the worship leader and lead pastor should be in complete agreement about the OOE for the service.

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