28 Ways to Create Great Segues: #17 - 20
By Jon Nicol
Segues #17 - 20: The Pre-Service, Part 1
I look at the pre-service time as one big segue: it's a sequence of elements used to transition people into corporate worship. The issue with most churches in American culture is this: the majority of people don't actually come into the service until right at the start time, or likely a few minutes later. We can use a few segue elements to help move them into the flow of worship. Honestly, none of these techniques will change the culture of lateness in your church, or mine. But these transition elements can help. And while each can be stand-alone tools, they'll likely work better when creatively combined with other elements.
#17 - The Countdown Video. This won't really help if only 15% of that week's attendees are in the worship center when the last 30-seconds tick off. Consider running a feed to a monitor in the foyer or the kid ministry drop-off area. If running video feeds isn't in the budget right now, just run a countdown off of an independent monitor in the high traffic areas outside the sanctuary.
#18 - Lighting. You know what will get people's attention? Flipping the foyer lights on and off like they do at the end of intermission at the theater. OK, that's a little crass for our setting. Save the flicking to cue the prayer for the potluck or to start the next congregational meeting.
But subtle lighting changes can be an effective way to move people from pre-service chit-chat to worship. Most often, house lights (the lights above the seating area of the worship center) are bright during the pre-service time and then are dimmed noticeably as the service begins. Inversely, the stage lights brighten and bring attention to the beginning of the service. Even if all you have for lighting controls are the switches on the back wall, you've got someone in your church who'd love to serve as lighting tech.
#19 - Pre-service Music. Play a CD or iPod during the pre-service time. Make sure you create a CD mix or playlist that fits the mood you're trying to create. And don't be afraid to push up the volume. Just keep it comfortable to talk over. Most people won't even be thinking about the music, until you fade it down quickly. That will grab people's ears and help move their attention to the front.
Couple the music fade-down with a lighting change and you've got a strong transitional element to draw people's attention. Some will still ignore it and keep talking. They need to be shunned like a poker-playing Amish woman.
#20 - Video Element. Dropping the lights and starting a video will move people in. Most don't want to miss a good video. It could be a funny sketch from the Skit Guys, a thought provoking vignette that will tie in with the theme of the opening worship song, or a fun promotional video for a ministry or event.
In the next two installments we'll look at two more pre-service segues.
July 14, 2011Tweet