October 27, 2011 Tony Morgan

The Entire Service is One Message

Because of what I do, I get to sit in many different services in many different churches. I’m surprised at how very little connection I typically see between the various elements of the services in many churches. It’s as if there was no planning — I’m guessing everyone prepared their portion of the service separately. The message stands alone. The worship stands alone. The announcements stand alone. The videos stand alone. The special music stands alone.

On the other hand, there are churches that understand the value of communicating one message throughout the entire service. Every element is connected. It flows from beginning to end. In fact, if you were to pull out a particular element on its own, you may ask why would a church include that in a service? But, in the context of the entire service, it helps communicate a powerful message. This video is a good illustration of this.

Last week at the East Paulding location of West Ridge Church, the band played “Black Dress” by The Normals. It’s a song about adultery. It’s accompanied by a video that visually captures a man wrestling with sexual temptation. On their own, either one of these elements would be completely inappropriate for a worship service. In combination with everything else including the Bible teaching that follows, though, it provided the foundation for the one message that was communicated in the service. Check out the video:

Among other things, let me highlight…

  • Chris Fenner did an amazing job with the video. He’s incredibly talented. We’re grateful to have him on our team.
  • The video shares an unfortunate trend we’re seeing: People are putting their marriages at risk by engaging past relationships through Facebook. It’s a real life issue that needs to be addressed.
  • Paul Richardson immediately comes out to connect the message of the song and video with the message he’s teaching — it’s the same message.

I love the intentionality of creative arts programming like this. We’re fortunate to have many of these resources in-house at West Ridge to accomplish this. However, there are many resources available so that churches of any size can integrate every element with the one message in a service.

Are you being intentional about communicating one message through your entire service? This article on 10 Ways to Improve Series Planning may help you think about how you can improve your planning to improve this aspect of your services.

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Tony Morgan

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group, theunstuckgroup.com. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com.
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