Consider the following suggestions, designed to add life and vigor to worship services. They are not described in great detail, giving ample opportunity for each congregation to tailor them to local needs. Keep in mind that some ideas are great once or twice a year, but would wear thin quickly if overdone. Also, remember that even the most innovative approach to worship becomes a rut if done all the time.


1. Always have some optional elements in the worship plan that can be quickly deleted if time is getting away. That allows the services to maintain both a prompt beginning and ending time.

2. Let a family comprise the platform party. They can be responsible for the prayer, welcome, hymns, Scripture reading, etc.

3. Change the sequence of events. Don't fall into a rut.

4. Schedule a Communion service for Friday night. Use larger pieces of bread and larger glasses of wine. Candles and sitting around a large table or tables can add to the effect.

5. Have a sermon in the morning lead up to an unhurried Communion service in the afternoon. Announce it well in advance.

6. Capitalize on the public interest in Easter (as many Latin American Adventist congregations do so effectively). Schedule an Easter weekend of religious activity. Thursday night, a Communion service. Friday night, focus on the Crucifixion. Sabbath, an outline of "the day of rest." Sunday, a celebration of the Resurrection. The services could just feature good preaching and well-organized music, Scripture reading, testimonies, etc.

7. Most nations have a national day. Capitalize on it to prepare programs about what the country means to immigrants, brotherhood, or multiculturalism. This can be a good lead-in to a Communion service.

8. Don't forget poetry. Good poetry is magic. Let the congregations poet(s) share an original piece from time to time.

9. Carefully plan periods for meditation. Silence has its place.

10. Appoint a worship committee so that each Sabbath worship experience will be a treat.


1. Read the visitors' names from the visitors book as part of the welcome. Be sure someone gets every visitor to sign.

2. Make a special feature of the welcome, inviting members to introduce any visitors they have brought.

3. Allow time for people to greet those next to them.

4. Encourage the greeters at the doors to invite one or two guests to come onto the platform during the service and tell about the most exciting thing being done in the church they regularly attend.


1. Don't tell a children's story at the beginning of the sermon, but introduce a "suspense box." Pause to check its contents periodically during the sermon, as a curiosity builder. As a climax, bring out the object(s) in the box to use as an object lesson/visual aid.

2. Make a feature of letting the juniors or earliteens choose the sermon topic for the next week. Then have them participate on the platform, provide special music, collect the offering, or greet people at the door. Involve them in as many ways as possible.

3. Invite a youth or a number of youth to present the sermon.

4. Invite a lay person to preach on a topic dear to him or her such as a mother, on the home; or a teacher, on education.

5. Prepare handouts on the sermon topic for the children to fill in or color in. The handouts could include a quiz based on the texts to be used during the sermon.

6. Don't try it often, and be careful that it does not detract from the reverence of the worship service, but a staged interjection/interruption can be a good attention-getter.

7. By all means, prepare a year worth of sermons to guarantee the proper balance in sermon topics and style of presentation.

8. We live in a visual age. Use graphics and visuals. Give the congregation a chance to look at more than just the speaker.

9. Follow Christ's example. Use plenty of simple object lessons. The simpler and the more visual, the better.

10. Do a little research into the different sensory types audio, visual, kinesthetic. It will aid in ministering more effectively to each member of the congregation.

11. Give the historical/cultural background to a chapter of the Bible. Sing a hymn or have a musical item. Then show how the passage speaks to today's situation, giving it a pastoral application.

12. How about two short sermons presenting opposite viewpoints on a topic that remains unresolved? Have a fellowship meal and allow the congregation to react during an afternoon meeting.

Note from the Editor: These suggestions were collected from many pastors and elders in small and large congregations in several parts of the world.