How To Plan A Grand Slam Worship Night For Your Church

David Santistevan —  June 7, 2012 — 26 Comments

There’s a worship experience that is necessary for your church.

A time to step aside from the everyday rush and connect with God.

An unhurried, uninterrupted night of worship.

Photo Credit: Ignacio Palomo Duarte (Flickr)

Believe it or not, it can be rare for a church to have times of extended worship. It makes sense, particularly for a larger, growing church. Multiple services and full programming make it difficult to linger for too long.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t need it.

Our hurried hearts are starving for peace. Our scattered minds are longing for rest. Our weary souls are desperate…for Jesus.

That’s why it’s essential that you work worship nights into your church’s rhythm. But knowing how to plan them can be daunting, to say the least.

An hour of music? For some people in your congregation, that’s enough to make them shudder. For others, it’s a breath of fresh air.

How do you plan an evening of worship that is engaging? We’ve all been to worship services and prayer meetings we wish we could beam out of.

8 Tips For Planning Your Next Worship Night

I recently planned a night of worship for our church’s live recording. Here are some lessons I learned that you can apply to your next worship night:

1. Hold a Creative Brainstorming Meeting (3 months ahead)

Your church’s worship night should look different than mine. You have a unique team of people with unique giftings and ideas. Gather those people together a few months before your worship night.

Brainstorm what could be possible. Write down any and all ideas. Pray together. Dream together. Plan a life-changing night for your people.

2. Develop & Execute a Promo Plan (2 months ahead)

Begin to promote your worship night two months before the event. Make sure you have a detailed plan.

Create videos for social media. Set up a facebook group. Email a “save the date” announcement. Have a specific plan for each week leading up to the event. Get intentional.

3. Pick a balanced setlist

When choosing songs, don’t just pick your favorites. Balance familiar and new, hymns and choruses, simple chants and theological declarations.

Meet your congregation where they are and ensure they will be engaged with your songs. The last thing you want is a room full of people watching you perform worship. Make it easy for people to enter in.

4. Plan Engaging Prayer

Prayer should be huge priority in your worship night. There’s nothing like the unified prayer of a local church. The problem most of the time? We don’t plan our prayer moments.

Make sure people get engaged with prayer. Give them prayer points on the screen. Have them break into groups. Challenge them to lift their voice loud for 60 seconds. Whatever it takes, plan engaging prayer.

5. Centralize the Word of God

If you want people to leave transformed, you need to centralize the Word of God. Human insight will only take you so far. We want to leave people immersed in God’s Word.

For our live recording, we produced a Scripture video of Philippians 3:7-14. It’s amazing to see people connect with Scripture. Don’t allow your service to pass without centering on God’s Word.

6. Be Sensitive to the Holy Spirit in the moment

I can’t stress how crucial this is. Every worship service is different. No setlist can just be cut and pasted from meeting to meeting. God wants to do a new thing every time. Stand in the moment and listen. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit.

Then be bold and speak out what he says. Most of the time, this will be terrifying. But God will show up in a powerful way.

7. Do Something Different

What can you do that will mark this worship night as being different? Give it its own stamp of uniqueness.

Last year we did a young adult worship night where we passed out journals to everyone in the room. We played an acoustic set and encouraged people to find a quiet place, listen to the Holy Spirit, and write what they heard. It was amazing.

Think outside the box.

8. Recruit Help

The best way to spread buzz for your cause is to get others engaged. You want people to own it. Recruit help. Give people responsibility. Take this beyond what your own hands can accomplish.

Working with a team can oftentimes be more difficult. But there’s nothing more rewarding than to climb a mountain with friends. You look back and see what God accomplished through you. Amazing.

Question: How often does your church have extended worship nights? What creative ideas have you used? Share you thoughts in the comments.

26 responses to How To Plan A Grand Slam Worship Night For Your Church

  1. We are doing this next weekend! As part of our SHINE Music Conference, the day will finish with a Worship Night, a celebration of the event. It is intended to be an opportunity to to magnify the greatness of God and to allow people to respond and participate authentically.
    We have planned 90 minutes, with a combination of creative elements. Praying ALL will engage and leave with a greater sense of who they are as a chosen child of God.

  2. Hey there! We have started a monthly worship night only a few months ago. It is amazing, and have seen the Lord move in ways that are so awesome. We started out very simple with a “skeleton” team of musicians and now are starting to incorporate larger / more full teams. What is working really well for us… Is we incorporate corporate prayer in this. We also explain to people they might not know all the songs, but to simply agree (“soak”) in what is being sung and played… To bring their bibles and study, read, or pray during the worship. We are really excited for what God is doing!! We have a lot to learn, but are confident that the more we press in, the more He will reveal himself to us!

  3. We have done several of these over the years. Over that time, I tweaked the format after seeing what worked and what didn’t. The first one was pretty much a full-on rock show, and it was received very well, although I would not recommend that format being used on a regular basis. The next one was a bit more toned down, but I think that we had too much music, and not enough waiting on the Lord. The last one we did was pretty much like your recommendation, and one I felt the most satisfied with. People engaged in worship, and took to heart the prayer time. We combined classic worship songs with new standards along with hymn arrangements.

  4. i love this so much! it is exactly what i have needed. im working with my school to plan a night of worship to kick off the school year in the fall. thanks so much!

  5. Thank you so much for this post. It has been on my heart for several months to do a worship night at our church, but I wasn’t sure how to go about it logistically and all the planning. These are some great steps to get me going on it. I’m so excited to see what God is going to do!

  6. I love that you pointed to the importance of a night of worship! My church so DESPERATELY needs this. But, they won’t come. We’ve had them before and they don’t COME! Also, other than planning that there will be prayer, music, exhortation and scripture, I’d rather not “plan” a night of worship…you know what I mean?

  7. # 8 is one of the most important points… We did an all Night of worship 2100= %am the next day with a 4 piece band and a groups of about 12 Worship Leaders

    Truth is, when you allow other to help an carry the Load it lessens the work and things you have to do, especially when everything you are using you are hiring unlike being using church premises where all is available

    @ Glenda, in these nights of worship God will blow you away, why not start without the church but you and the worship team alone without the church and see the change that will come to your worship team

  8. My friend is the new Worship Coordinator for our church and we just ‘released’ a new vision for Worship. Part of that includes a monthly Friday night Worship focused service. We have a large Y-gen population in the church and area. We plan on doing a rock concert style format with prayer and media. Your blog is awesome. We are getting a lot of info here. Thanks.

  9. We organized a two and half hours worship in my church and it was awesome, people had their breakthroughs, others had their healing whiles others had a touch from the spirit of God. I really thank God for this manifestation. Its coming on this January

  10. Thanks for the information, we’re having the first worship night this Friday. Am believing God for the best.

  11. Thanks David, it was powerful we experienced the move of God. It was a time of worship and prayer and the Holy Spirit ministered unto us in mighty way. And this October, as the youth pastor am praying for a very powerful Youth worship night! I missed scriptures, and so come October am planning to have a Worship leader every hour taking us through Scriptures, songs and prayer. Am still seeking information. Thanks.

  12. Did they write in their journals during the songs or after? How exactly did that go? Thanks for the post. I love reading your stuff!

  13. Hi All
    Thanks for this information. I was going to “sell” this idea to my leader but realize it would be better to pray about it until he talks about it. Please pray with me that our church will arise and lead the community to God through worship nights.

  14. We have a NOW on every fifth Sunday. This one was by far the best and most life changing. We opened with 3 songs: Lord, You Are Good by Israel Houghton, Great I Am by Phillips, Craig, and Dean, and More Than Amazing by Lincoln Brewster. A drama/sign language team performed. Then a special song was sung by a lady in the church, Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave. Then cam the video clip devotional, “A Call to Anguish” by David Wilkerson (on youtube). This was our theme for the night. The pastor gave an altar call and had prayer leaders ready to pray at the altars with those who came. We had a second worship set: Lord, I Need You by Matt Maher, I Give Myself Away by William McDowell, and I Surrender All Chorus. We ended with a celebratory song, Freedom (Eddie James Version). It was an awesome night!

  15. Oh, I meant to mention that we have teamed up with other small churches so that we have a full band and we all get a night of worship together in one building. Normally, we each have a few people who sing or play, but not a full band. We love getting together and worshipping the Lord.

  16. Hi, I am Natalee from S.A.

    I am currently preparing to have my first official night of worship. This is something that the Father has laid upon my heart a long time ago and He has tought me so much in the past 2 years about worship..I am the lead worshiper at our church…and I prayed one day and said Lord there’s got to be more to worship than just leading on a Sunday…

    Because this is my first night of worship I thought maybe you guys could guide me a bit. Just wish that I came across this site earlier because my event is next week.

    Everything seems to be in place…we are just rehearsing like crazy, but my desire for this night is that people would be saved, healed, delivered, set free, minds changed, etc all because of God’s presence through worship.

    Any advice please?
    Bless you!
    NB: Just wana say that I don’t think it will stop here, at the night of worship, I have a funny feeling that there’ll be more of this coming up.

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