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Worship Planning Process

Some questions to guide you through the worship planning process.


Begin by asking the Holy Spirit to give wisdom and guidance in the planning.


Consider asking questions like these:

  • What does the text say?
  • What will the sermon say about the text?
  • What action will the sermon inspire?
  • What act of confession is appropriate to the scripture passage?
  • How might prayers be different in light of this scripture passage?
  • What songs use words, phrases, or themes from this scripture passage?
  • What themes are in the scripture passage?
  • Are there other factors to consider such as natural disasters, a time of war, special prayer requests, that will impact the service?


Brainstorm and Gather Resources

Consider asking questions like these:

  • How does the service fit into the season?
  • How could other scripture passages that complement, inform, or challenge the text be included in the service?
  • How might motifs, colors, or other visual elements enhance the service?
  • What occasions for prayer are there?
  • Who could participate?
  • What songs could work with the scripture passage and/or theme?
  • How would other musical contributions or dramas work with the scripture passage and/or theme?
  • What could the order, template, or pattern for the service be?
    • What changes service-to-service?
    • What stays the same service-to-service?

General Resource Ideas:

Music Related Resource Ideas:

Put It All Together

Consider asking questions like these:

  • What is the balance of familiar and unfamiliar to the worshipers?
    • How can worshipers be stretched?
    • Does the song repertoire contain both new and familiar songs that shape and challenge worshipers?
  • What is the tone of the service?
  • How will one part of worship transition to the next?
    • Should the transitions be scripted?
    • How would those transitions carry the focus of the service?
    • Will transitions be verbal, visual, or musical?
    • Is the amount of instructions appropriate for the context?
    • Are there significant lines in a song or scripture reading that could be emphasized through a transition?
  • How will worshipers pray?
    • How will each specific prayer function (i.e. thanksgiving, confession)?
    • How will the prayers engage the worshipers?
    • Who will lead the prayers?
    • Will the prayers be scripted, or will they be planned extemporaneous prayers?
    • What will each specific prayer do?
    • How will the prayers engage the worshipers?
  • How can worship leaders encourage participation?
    • Who will lead?
    • How do the readers prepare to proclaim the Word of God?
    • How do the musicians and other leaders prepare?
    • Can the participants gather for prayer before the service?
    • Over the period of a few weeks, is there a good balance of all age groups and abilities involved in leading worship?
    • What training could be helpful for our worship planners and leaders?
  • What images will support or guide the pattern of worship or the service scripture/theme?