For a service programmer, I think one of the best things anyone can say after a service is, “That was a smooth service.” This means that the service went on without a hitch, no mess-ups, no awkward dead air and or silence. The service went smooth from beginning to end. My goal is to run smooth services, where all pieces of a service are to come together as if I actually planned it to happen that way (what a concept!).
One thing that I have noticed that will absolutely kill the momentum of a service is an awkward transition. It is that time after the first set up worship when someone is supposed to come up and do announcements and there is that dead, dry, weird silence because the worship leader didn’t welcome up the announcement person. Its that time where the video was supposed to play and you stand there pointing at the screen but instead you are pointing to dead air. Its that time where you go and speak into the mic and its not on and no one can hear you so you are standing helpless on stage.
When your goal is running a “smooth service” this is something that needs to be addressed. This will kill the atmosphere. You might be thinking, “There is no need to focus on this, there is no real difference.” But oh there is. No one notices a smooth transition. No one after a service goes up to someone saying, “Oh man, the way you directed us to the screen for the video was so good!” That’s my point.
No one notices a smooth transition, but they WILL notice an awkward one.
Some steps we have taken to prevent bad transitions:
- Pushed everyone to be done 30 minutes earlier than earlier.
- All tech, band, and people on stage attend the run through.
- We go a halfway mock run through of the services.
- Basically just running through all the transitions with the person doing the welcome, the band, the announcer, the speaker, into videos, and out of prayers.
- It takes about 20-25 minutes to walk it out so the band knows when to come up, who to welcome up to speak, the tech knows who’s mic needs to be on, how the lights need to be for a certain section of the service, etc.
I can almost promise 100%, if you take just the little extra time to work on transitions in the service, your services will run so much smoother. If you notice the little things before the service, then the congregation wont notice them during the actual service… because there wont be anything to notice because you already took care of it in the pre-service run through.