Personal Worship Planning Method
I would like to give a little introduction to who I am as I explain my personal worship planning method. I am a worship leader at a small church (less than 100 people), I grew up with a musical background, and I really love leading people in worship because it makes me happy to feel like I am helping make an impact in the lives of the people.
With that being said, I have a particular method that I use when planning my worship services. I must point out that the image above is from a recent local event that involved practicing and playing with a band consisting of those mentioned above as well as a piano player, bass player, and drummer. A typical Sunday morning worship service consists of myself singing and also playing guitar as well as having a pianist that accompanies me. The planning portion takes place during the week (Monday-Friday) when I will have a time to sit down and study the theme and message that will be presented on that upcoming Sunday. From there, I choose my songs based on two categories:
- Does it fit the theme and tell the message?
- Does it fit the keys that I am mapping out?
The overarching message I attempt to encapsulate through each service, regardless of the theme, is that our all-powerful God loves us so much that He truly sent His son (John 3:16) to die for us so that we may live and have life abundantly John (10:10) so that we can serve Him. I accomplish this by beginning with praises and exclamation of God’s great power. I then move towards our problem of sin and how we can not make it on our own. And lastly, I come to a close by turning the focus on the grace of God and how He sent His son Jesus to not only die for us but to conquer death and extend that victory to us.
In terms of the key selection, I attempt to either stay in the same key for every song that is back to back or change to a key that is favorable such as going a step higher or having a similar structure (such as key of G going to key of D, a fifth higher). This is a great help when playing the worship set because it helps keep the set moving and flowing. Additionally, it helps me find the key when singing more effectively.
We currently have a weekly practice on Sunday mornings before people arrive in the sanctuary. This is not normally the case though, before the pandemic we would practice on Wednesday nights after our service. If it were not for my very experienced pianist, practicing on Sunday mornings would not work in any shape or form. But, because the world is on its head we had to adapt and change our tactics.
And lastly, there are a few resources we use that make each week much easier. The first thing is that I have all my music files within an app called ForScore. I this on Sundays with a foot pedal that can change the page for me while I play guitar. The second resource is a set of worship pads that I employ during the service that match the keys we play in. This helps fill in the gaps from the lack of instruments and complements our playing. We also use the great resource of ProPresenter 7 and its compatibility with SongSelect is extremely convenient. Using a theme after importing a song makes preparing the slides for Sunday morning fun and not just a chore. The last resource we use is LifeWay Worship and this is where we purchase our sheet music from.