We’re continuing the section on worship elements. Last one covered the Welcome and Announcements. Today, we’ll cover the Theme Introduction.
Why would you want to introduce your service theme? It’s a great opportunity to let people know the direction you’re going. As each of the service elements unfold, and if your elements are well chosen and thematically selected, they reinforce the central theme. This creates the possibility of maximum impact for your congregation. Here are a few ways to introduce your theme:
Now: a word of warning. If you can’t pull off great live theatre (drama, skits, vignettes, whatever you want to call this), then please don’t subject your people to mediocrity. We spend years learning a musical instrument to lead our congregation in worship with excellence. Yet, many churches grab anyone who can fog a mirror and place them on the platform as an actor. This is neither fair to the actor or to the congregation. Also remember that well done live drama is a lot of work to execute it well. You often have issues of multiple rehearsals, set design, memorization and more.
Stay tuned, because I will be inviting a guest writer with years of experience in church drama to dig in deep on this subject in a later blog. This writer will be covering training, execution and drama sources.
In the meantime, you may be looking for resources. Where do you find great drama and vignette scripts? Here are a few places to go:
There are two primary formats of video. One is simply purchasing a well done video short. You can find these at some of the links I gave in an earlier blog. Check these out here: http://worshipcoach.blogspot.com/2010/09/worship-service-elements-intro-and-call.html
Yet, another way to present dramatic theme introductions in your church is a combination of your church actors, a well-chosen script and video. Every church, no matter how small has multiple people who have the capability of videotaping a dramatic piece with your local actors, editing it and burning it to DVD or a video file to be played in your church service. The many advantages include:
· Sets: The ability to place the piece in an appropriate set (without design). If your vignette is about high school, record it in a local school. If it’s a drama taking place in a home, head to someone’s house.
· Availability of actors: You can flex the recording schedule around people’s schedules. Even if actors need to be gone during the worship service, you can pull this off.
· Butterflies: People who might be otherwise nervous to stand on a platform can often comfortably appear on video.
· Script Memorization: If you’re trying to pull off a vignette that is several minutes long, it can be difficult to memorize all the material. When you video tape, you don’t need to worry so much about memorizing the entire script. You can cut one piece at a time.
· Lighting: If your church doesn’t have good stage lighting, you can easily set this up on the video set. No Budget – borrow some work lights as a temporary measure.
· Editing: Are you nervous about drama length. The editor has the power to control the time.
A special music number in most cases will not incorporate well into a worship set. Yet, this can be a great place to feature a special song. Songs options are vast. There are millions and there is no reason why you can’t find the perfect song to launch the service in keeping with the theme. For that reason, if you’re reading this blog you certainly have the ability to find the perfect song. I’ll leave that to you.
Our next blog will move into the basics of Worship Song Sets, Children’s Messages and more. Stay tuned . . .