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Service Transitions

Service Transitions

Posted February 5, 2013 by Jerod Clark

Weekly church services require plenty of planning. We spend time picking music, writing sermons and lining up all the different elements that go into building a meaningful service.  But there’s one thing most churches don’t spend nearly enough time planning: transitions; the moments that happen between all the individual elements. 

Nothing kills the flow of a service like a bad transition.  If you disrupt the flow, you’re jarring your congregation out of a worshipful state.  You see, poor transitions give people time to think about something other than worship.  Whether it’s a major letdown after a powerful song or lag time as someone walks up to the platform, poorly planned transitions get peoples’ minds wandering.  They’ll start to wonder, “Why aren’t we still singing,” or  “What’s going on?”

While most worship services are made up of little pieces carried out by various people, they should always feel like one cohesive presentation.  Flow doesn’t just happen on its own. It takes planning and practice, and it also means knowing exactly what you’re going to say.  Even if the timing of a transition is smooth,  flow can get chopped by a bunch of ums, uhs or ramblings. 

Whether you’re a pastor, worship leader or volunteer, you’re in the business of communicating God’s story.  You miss opportunities to help people become more enriched in that story if you’re doing things to take them out of the moment.  Transitions are one of those things you can easily clean up with a little extra effort.  I heard Whitney George, the Arts Director at Church On The Move, explain it this way:  The difference between good and great is the last 5 percent, which means you have to sweat the small stuff.  

And for me, that means as church communicators, we should never disrupt the flow of worship.

Filed under: Communications, Creative Process, Signage, Worship Service

About the Author

Jerod Clark

Jerod joined ReFrame Media in 2007 and built Church Juice from scratch. He poured all his passion for branding, marketing, and messaging into the ministry, publishing e-books, blog posts, and speaking at conferences to help churches energize their communications. He also served as ReFrame’s in-house graphic designer. Before beginning his work at Church Juice, Jerod was a local TV news reporter. In 2016, Jerod stepped away from the ministry to pursue interests in marketing and communications on new horizons.

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Comments (2)

  • Adam Legg
    12:33 PM
    Wed, Feb 6, 2013

    Jerod -

    This is a great post and addresses an issue we currently are trying to deal with. We have strong teaching, our music is solid and incredibly worshipful, yet often time the transitions in the service can feel clunky. We will keep addressing this and working on the “small stuff”

    Thanks again!

  • Shannon
    10:24 AM
    Tue, Aug 1, 2017

    The topic of this article was great and relevant, but I would have liked to see more solutions to how to ensure good transitions! Thanks for sharing!

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