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Wednesday Night Church Service Ideas

In many communities, there is no designated place for the community to gather. People are scattered throughout their cities and towns with little to no connection to their local churches. This can make meeting up, especially with the holidays approaching, very challenging.

Churchgists will provide you with all the relevant information you are looking for on creative church service ideas, interactive church service ideas, Wednesday night childrens church ideas, and so much more.

Wednesday night is the perfect time to get together with your family, friends, and community. Here are some ideas for Wednesday night church services that will help you connect with others in your community:

  1. Have a potluck dinner at your church and invite everyone in the neighborhood over to share their favorite dish.
  2. Go on a group walk around your neighborhood or town and stop at businesses and houses along the way to talk about what’s going on in your life and how you can help each other out.
  3. Set up a lemonade stand in front of the church building—you can donate all proceeds to charity!
  4. Have a drive-in movie night! Bring blankets, pillows, and snacks so that people can relax while they watch the film (and discuss it afterward).

Wednesday Night Church Service Ideas

The church today looks different than it did when many of us grew up. And for the sake of reaching a lost world, this can be a great thing. While we must still cling to the foundation of our faith and some of the sacred traditions of the generations that have gone before us, we also get the exciting privilege of exploring how to use new elements like worship media and different activities in worship to communicate the gospel in a clear and relevant way.

Let’s take a quick dive into a few ideas for creative elements for worship services and even a few types of worship services themselves that your creative church can use to engage your congregation and reach your community.

Church Activities And Programs

1) Mini Movies & Service Openers

Mini movies are short films created for worship services, small groups, or other teaching times. They could be as short as a minute or longer, like fifteen minutes. They’re often set to a worship song and have a scripture message, or sometimes have dialogue to illustrate a theme they are made to embody. These short videos are created by church media producers who are gifted at conveying the hope of Jesus through visual media and are an excellent example of creative elements for church services. You can use them as service openers to draw people in on a given Sunday, before the message as an illustration, or even in the middle of a message to reinforce a specific point that the pastor is teaching on.

2) Testimonies

One valuable worship service element for any church community is hearing from members of the congregation. A time of testimony helps church attendees know they’re not alone in what they’re going through and allows them to get to know more people in the local body. As church leaders, it’s a good idea to be sure those who share for the whole church are trusted voices. Or, if the mic is opened up to anyone who may have a testimony, the pastor or another designated leader can make sure that the platform and the time in the service is stewarded well. It is a worthwhile effort! There’s nothing sweeter or more impactful than hearing first-hand how God has worked in other people’s lives. Testimony time, or “share time,” as it may sometimes be called, allows us to hear different voices and personal stories of God’s faithfulness as a part of the worship time.

3) Response Time

This one may be more traditionally known as the “invitation” in the service. Many churches are different on whether they have time at the end of the service to respond to the pastor’s message. But even if it’s not done every week, it can be great to give people an opportunity to act on how God is moving their hearts. It is powerful to do something tangible or engage physically in response to hearing God’s Word during the service. The response time doesn’t have to look the same way every time, or even the same way for everyone participating in the service. For instance, one creative church is known to have “response stations” where worshippers can write a note and pin a struggle to the cross, light a candle and pray for loved ones, take communion, or receive prayer from a caring prayer team.

4) Sermon Slides

If your church hasn’t already incorporated graphics to support the sermon, this is a great and easy way to take creativity up a notch in your worship services. Graphics made specifically for a theme that complements the pastor’s message can help impact listeners with the points that are being presented in the teaching. Visual aids accompanying the topic can also help some listeners retain the content of the message better than just hearing the spoken word alone.

5) Themed Worship Media

Even if you don’t have perfectly matched graphics for specific messages, try theming your worship background media and slides with seasonal church graphics. This will welcome new attendees (and regulars) and make them feel like your church is in tune with what’s going on outside the church walls. It’s okay to keep it simple, but whatever you do, make sure you are thinking intentionally about the look of your backgrounds, from worship backgrounds and sermon notes to announcement slides and welcome graphics. After all, people are used to things looking aesthetically pleasing in today’s media-driven world, so having excellent worship media is an easy and subtle way the church can lead in creativity that honors God.

6) Switch Things Up

One of the worst creativity killers is getting stuck in a routine. It’s not that consistency is bad, but when we do the same thing every week because of a lack of new ideas, things can get mundane. To break out of this, think of how you can switch things up periodically. It’s okay to try singing one song at the beginning of the service and then three or four more songs at the end after the message. Or if your church has a full worship team, try an “unplugged” set with just a couple musicians with acoustic guitars. You can even move the stage around so it is visually different than the weeks, months, or YEARS things have been in the same place. When planning for a special testimony or a person sharing their story, bring some comfortable furniture onto the stage in an interview style to make it feel like attendees are sitting in the living room with the pastor and the person sharing. There is no limit on the little (or large) things you can do to keep things interesting!

We’ve looked at some ideas for some creative elements within your worship services, so now how about some actual different types of services and gatherings you can do to mix things up and engage your community?

7) Student-Led Worship Service

Nothing will shake things up and inspire your church more than letting the next generation lead the charge on a Sunday morning. Have a special service at least a few times a year where your youth and students are encouraged to lead some or all the worship time. Let your church’s youth pastor bring the message and your student worship team lead the music portion of worship (even if they need a little assistance from the adult team). It’s a great chance for the congregation to experience and participate in what your student ministry is doing behind the scenes of your normal Sunday morning worship services. Take it to the next level by even using worship media for youth that may be more energetic or vibrant than your typical choices for adult services.

8) Community Movie Night

People love movies! But some people in many communities never get to go to the theater. With the excellent video and sound systems many churches are blessed to have, it’s an easy thing to do to host a community movie night. It’s a blessing for the congregation and also an excellent outreach for those in the surrounding community who may want to come experience a movie. As a blessing to parents, church members can even volunteer to open up childcare for the little ones too young to enjoy the movie. (Just be sure to rotate the volunteers every time so everyone gets a break!) Obviously, you’d want to choose a clean movie that’s consistent with the values of your church. Or even better, a faith-based or inspirational movie where the pastor can come up to give a brief encouragement at the end and invite guests to come to a worship service.

9) Worship & Prayer Nights

No matter how small or large your worship team is, they have the highly important job of growing the congregation in their expression of worship. So let them lead an entire special service every once in a while. A worship and prayer night can be an environment where the church goes deeper and spends more time in worship than the time constraints of a typical Sunday morning allow. This type of service shouldn’t be a performance, but rather a participatory experience for the entire church. Think of a “normal” worship set (with more songs), but leaving more space for reflection, response, and prayer. Prayer topics and different short exhortations can be weaved into the time, and prayer can be encouraged for needs in the room, the community, and even the world.

Unique Church Service Ideas

The continual danger confronting the church is irrelevancy. We live in a world filled with innovation and ever-changing technology. In the midst of this fast-paced modernization, the local church is often left behind, as it’s seen as stuck in the past and irrelevant to 21st-century life. I believe many of the unchurched don’t necessarily have a problem with Christianity. Rather, they simply cannot fathom how the church could possibly fit into their modern-day lives.

It’s with this idea that a passion began to grow inside me for meeting 21st-century people on their digital turf. Asking people to be a part of your church shouldn’t mean that they have to step back in time on Sundays. Technology is available for us to step up our game in every department of our ministries and it’s more affordable than ever.

Here are seven forward-thinking ideas that create an atmosphere of progress and communicate that your ministry is willing to meet people where they’re at in 2014:

  1. E-Bulletins
    Screenshot 2014-03-18 at 12.09.42 AM The bulletin is no stranger to today’s church. While ministries have been using them for decades, I still see pretty much the same format in churches big and small. It’s time for an upgrade. While most paper bulletins never make it out of your building, you can deliver digital bulletins with all of your church’s announcements straight to your attendees’ inboxes. I’ve seen this done really well through services like Bulletin Plus and Mail Chimp.
  2. Text To Give
    Giving is a integral part of every church, but passing the plate isn’t always the best method anymore. Only a small percentage of your congregation still carries cash and checks because they’ve shifted to a digital lifestyle. Many ministries have added online giving to their website and some have added giving kiosks in their lobby. But my favorite new method for digital giving is with services like Kindrid, where donors can give right from their cell phones.
  3. Mobile Connection Cards
    This is another area where paper may not be the most effective route. I’ve recently started to see churches add their connection cards to their mobile websites. This allows attendees to quickly submit their data right from their cell phone. I love this idea because data is automatically emailed to ministry leaders and it saves money on printing and pens. Here’s a sample from a church I recently visited.
  4. Retweetable Sermon Points
    retweet-button The retweet is the digital “amen” of this day and age. When a point in a pastor’s sermon really resonates with someone, their instinct is to share it with their social networks. I like to make this really easy by having a social media coordinator live-tweet the pastor’s big sermon points to the church’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. This allows attendees to simply tap one button to share, rather than having to type the entire quote.
  5. Walk-Through Videos
    It’s very nerve-racking to visit a church for the first time. One of the best ways to take the edge off for your guests is to provide a walk-through video on your website. This gives visitors an inside look at what your Sunday morning experience is like.
  6. Sharing Worship Set-lists Through Spotify
    A great way to encourage continual worship outside of services is to provide Spotify playlists of your worship songs from Sunday morning. This is really easy and free for both your church and congregation. Simply create a Spotify account for your church, make a playlist that includes your songs from service, and share the playlist url to your social media sites. Your congregation will be able to sing along to the Tomlin, Israel, and Hillsong versions of your worship anthems in their car, at the gym, and at home.
  7. Instagram Announcement Videos
    Instagram is one of the most popular social networks for photos and videos, but did you know you can use it to share announcements? Instagram allows for videos up to 15 seconds, so with a little creativity, you can easily promote your church’s events right on your congregation’s newsfeed.

Interactive Church Service Ideas

If you’re trying to boost engagement, interactive church services are the perfect way to start.

For many, they think the typical church service means sitting and listening to a pastor for over an hour with a few songs added in. For many people, it’s just too boring, even if they really want to engage.

Even pastors get bored sometimes, so it’s no surprise that more interactions are needed. All it takes is a few simple things to go from people falling asleep to eager to stay awake and interact.

  1. Add Visuals
    When a great book comes out, how often have you heard people say they’ll wait for the movie? Everyone learns and takes in information differently. The pastor’s voice and movements are perfect for some people, but not nearly engaging enough for others.

While it may seem overly simple, visuals make services feel more interactive. Add visuals behind the pastor with key points and relevant graphics. Having something to look at and engage with helps sermons stick better in the minds of everyone.

For best results, use multiple visuals throughout your service. One or two visuals tend to bore people. You can also show short videos and images your members and online followers have sent in.

We’ve created a guide to help you find the best church visuals, including both free and premium options.

  1. Encourage App Use
    Apps in church aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Yes, phones out during services can be distracting. Or, they can be a great way to create more interactive church services.

For example, if your sermon is about being grateful for the small things instead of giving into envy, ask members to open Twitter, your church’s own app or another social app (choose the app in advance). Ask them to then submit what small thing they’re most grateful for at the moment.

If you’re using social media to gather responses (which works well for online viewers if you’re livestreaming), consider setting up a live social wall. These display posts in near real-time on your church’s website and on a TV or projection screen. Social wall tools usually require a fee for faster updating, but it’s worth considering if your budget allows for it.

  1. Let Members Submit Questions
    No matter how hard you try to answer questions naturally in your sermons, your members probably still have questions. Let them ask those questions. Have members and online followers submit questions via social media, your church’s website or your app.

Obviously, you can’t answer them all during service hours, but pick out 5-10 questions to answer at the end of your sermon. Then, create a blog post highlighting some of the most frequently asked questions.

People listen and stay more engaged so they can see if they might have questions. Knowing someone is happy to answer them makes the service feel more interactive.

  1. Hold Live Polls
    Live polls are always interactive. People love to share their opinions or even details about their lives. For instance, you might ask people to vote on your next sermon topic or ask people to anonymous submit how many white lies they tell in a given week.

Get creative with your polls. Try to have at least one per service. Add the poll to your church’s website so everyone, including online followers and viewers, can participate.

Show sneak peaks at the numbers at regular intervals. Then, show the final results at the end and have a brief discussion.

  1. Ask For Simple Interactions
    Your church family doesn’t always need big interactions. They just want to feel more involved somehow. So, ask for some of the simplest interactions. For instance, ask them to stand and clap along to the music.

When you greet them, let them say “good morning” or “good evening” back. Ask questions and let people raise their hands. While that doesn’t necessarily work for online followers, it will make your in-church members feel more connected and engaged throughout.

The idea is to get people moving. Suddenly, the service isn’t just about the pastor speaking and hearing some weekly announcements. It’s about getting more excited about what’s going on and sharing in the passion and joy of worship.

  1. Bring In Your Online Worshipers
    If you have online worshipers, get them involved too. Interactive church services should involve everyone, online and off. If you’ve already tried or are still using virtual church services, you already know how important this is.

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For those who want to, create a group video chat and show their faces on a screen so those who are physically in your church can see them and vice versa.

Then, ask them questions. Let them submit answers online. If you plan to offer more online interactivity during your services, add a section to your website. This ensures no one has to download or join anything. Instead, they simply interact with your site while viewing services.

  1. Have Post-Sermon Online Chats
    Interactive doesn’t have to mean just the service itself. In fact, sometimes people feel more comfortable interacting after the service is over. Pick a time that works for most of your members and online followers. Then, have post-sermon online chats.

If it’s hard to nail down a time, set up several hour-long sessions throughout the week. People pay much more attention because they want to participate in the discussion later.

This gives you a chance to stay connected with people after services are over. Think of it like a book club, expect the book is the Bible and each discussion is a sermon based off that book.

It’s also a great way to keep your members interacting with each other. Online followers also get to meet each other and your members. This creates both interactivity and community.

  1. Turn The Sermon Into A Conversation
    Weekly services are a way to teach and lead. However, the best way to teach is through conversation. In schools, teachers call on students to ensure they’re listening and to make them a part of the lesson plan. While students pay more attention to ensure they get the answer right, this verbal exchange helps the information stick better.

Churches can take the same approach. Let members raise their hands and answer questions or even ask them. Come up with various scenarios that are relevant to your sermon and call on various members to say how they’d react in the situation.

This gets everyone listening, talking and engaging. It also makes things more interactive by going from a sermon to a conversation about faith.

  1. Ask People To Share Their Stories
    Church sermons aren’t just about teaching people to live more faith-filled lives and build a stronger relationship with God. It’s also a chance for them to see that struggles happen and how to push through. By having something to relate to, it’s easier for them to feel closer to God.

Hearing Biblical stories and references are inspiring, to a point. Add in relevant stories from others and your bring your church family closer together while helping those who need the inspiration most.

Ask your members and online followers to submit short stories about an experience or time in their life that’s relevant to the current sermon. Ask them to sum it up in a single paragraph with the problem, how they felt and how it was resolved.

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Take a short break while the collection plate is passed around for everyone to submit their stories. Those viewing the sermon later can add stories later on your church website or social media pages.

Have a volunteer ready to quickly pick out some of the stories to read at the end of the service. You can add them all to your church website. All stories can be anonymous to protect everyone’s identity for more sensitive topics.

  1. Encourage Instagram Posting
    You’ve probably heard that if it’s not posted on social media, it didn’t really happen. Turn your services into the perfect Instagram post. Ask people to post a selfie, picture of your church or a group photo along with their favorite quote from your sermon.

Instagram has over one billion monthly active users with 34% of those aged 25 to 34. Another 31% are between 18 and 24. If you’re trying to create more interactive church services for younger members, this is a great way to start.

Plus, there’s a little bonus. This helps spread the word about your church, showing it’s social savvy and a great home for younger members and families.

  1. Provide Your Sermon Notes On Your Website/App
    Sometimes, people zone or even fall asleep because the pastor’s voice is so relaxing. This makes it hard to focus on what’s going on. For others, they lose track because they’re trying to take notes.

Either way, consider posting your sermon notes on your church website or in your church app. People can then follow along easily. If possible, let your members download the notes to keep and highlight.

Being able to follow along with the notes in front of them helps them to better understand what you’re saying. They can also make a note to ask a question. It also encourages them to post snippets that really moved them.

  1. Hold Post Sermon Trivia Games
    While this isn’t right for all churches, if your church has a lighter, more fun side, consider holding post sermon trivia games. People of all ages love trivia.

Make up the questions before the service starts. Then, when it’s over, have everyone who wants to participate divide into teams. As you might notice, this is probably best for smaller churches.

Give each team a buzzer and let them buzz in with their answers. Each team could also write down answers, with the team getting the most correct winning.

While you can offer prizes, make sure they’re relevant to your church. This might be t-shirts or hats with your church name and logo. You could also just have a weekly winner board where you place the winners’ picture.

Another option is to post questions throughout the sermon. Create a leaderboard for online and offline participants. People will pay close attention and get excited to answer the next question.

  1. Ask Members To Submit Their Takeaways
    Much like stories, ask your members and online followers to submit their takeaways. Ask them what they learned and how it applies to their life. This makes them reflect during the service. Plus, they’re eager to submit what they’ve learned and share it with everyone else.

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The great thing is people interpret things differently. This makes the entire exercise a learning opportunity and encourages further Bible study.

  1. Have Service Scavenger Hunts
    When done right, scavenger hunts help create much more interactive church services. The key is to ensure they’re not disrupting services. When people come in or sign in online, give them a list of things to find or hear. This could be something in a window or a specific phrase.

Ensure every item relates to your service in some way. As people find or hear the items, they check in. This can be a fun feature on a church app or a free membership area of your church website.

Once everything’s found, participants then have to continue listening to see how everything ties together. Once they have an answer, they submit it.

In this case, it’s not necessarily about winning. It’s just a fun puzzle that keeps people active during the service. Since it ties back to the service, it keeps people paying attention as well. Even if they don’t realize it, they’re listening and interacting more than ever.

  1. Offer Kids’ Activities
    Don’t forget about the youngest people in your church – kids. They want to do things too. So, create interactive church services that include them. Offer small puzzles, coloring pages, riddles, jokes and more. Make everything relate to your sermon.

You can even provide a kid-friendly version that breaks down your sermon into smaller, easier to understand pieces for kids to follow along with.

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