Service Planning: Avoiding the Chaos of Last-Minute Service Changes

As a technical leader, you need to be able to say “no” on a Sunday morning. While it is never a comfortable position, changes to service should not be done last minute (with a couple of exceptions).

Service Planning: Avoiding the Chaos of Last-Minute Service Changes
One such exception is if you’re having a guest speaker come in, for instance, obtaining information and media from them may happen just an hour before service. Always request the information ahead of time, but realize that with some speakers, this just may not happen.
Service Planning: Avoiding the Chaos of Last-Minute Service Changes
One such exception is if you’re having a guest speaker come in, for instance, obtaining information and media from them may happen just an hour before service. Always request the information ahead of time, but realize that with some speakers, this just may not happen.

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The last exception is when a major event outside of your church occurs the day before or early morning before a service. Natural disasters or other major newsworthy items may alter the course of your service. Simply handle these the best that you can and have grace on the requests you may get with that. In these cases, there may be many people that would love the freedom to walk in to church and worship on that day.

Once you’ve gotten all the details of your service worked out, get it fully outlined in writing. This can be an automated report created by software or simply a Word document. Regardless of what you use, be sure that everyone who looks at it knows what everything means and how everything goes together. Train your volunteers to know what to look for if something is out of the ordinary.

You may find you need to tweak the format of your service planning document over time, to suit what your church specifically needs. There is no right or wrong format, so long as the schedule is clear to everyone. Send this document out, ideally on Thursday or Friday, to those that are working the service, including both paid staff and volunteers.

Everyone should walk in on Sunday with a clear idea of what’s happening. A clear plan, reasonable boundaries and good communication will help your Sunday mornings flow better and help the congregation focus on God rather than your production.




More About Todd Heft
Todd Heft is the director of media arts at Hillside Community Church in Bristol, Connecticut. He also serves as the Social Media Coordinator for Racing with Jesus Ministries. He holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Eastern Connecticut State University and a Master's degree in Computer Information Management from Central Connecticut State University. Todd also has a full-time position at ESPN as a Senior Systems Administrator, and enjoys spending time camping with his wife and their four children.
Get in Touch: todd.heft@hillsidebristol.org    More by Todd Heft

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