Have you been to Disney World recently?
Disney is so good at so many things, but one thing they do especially well is preparing people to expect an incredible experience when they make their trip to Florida.
When you book your trip, they don’t just email you some tickets to print out and you’re good to go. Nope. They send you a box with magic bracelets that will serve as your key to the kingdom – and they are even personalized with your family member’s names on them.
Then, once you start to drive on to the property, you see magic everywhere (whoever made parking your car a magical experience deserves a medal). Once you get out of your car, you start hearing the music, almost drawing you in like a siren song.
Everything that leads up to your entry to the park is crafted to help prepare you for the experience of Disney. Every detail matters to them. I believe, in this comparison, there is a thing or two the church can learn about preparing people to worship before a gathering.
It seems a little silly, but just like Disney, we can help to prepare people to worship way before they ever take their seat at a gathering. Not only that, but I think that we’d be irresponsible not to take advantage of all the tools (most of them free) to help prepare our people to worship when we gather together.
Here are 3 ways that we can help prepare our church family to worship way before our services.
1. Create a Spotify Playlist
Helping people to know the songs that you’re singing is a great way to get them be prepared to worship on Sunday. The better they know the songs, the more likely they’ll be able to really engage in worship. But how do we help them know the songs for the weekend without letting them in on our Planning Center account?
Enter the Spotify Playlist. All you need to do is create a free Spotify account, create a playlist, add the songs (with the correct version/artists), then share that link on your social media. You can create a master list of all the music you do as a church (like my church does here), or you can create a new playlist for each Sunday. Both are great tools.
2. Coordinate Your Social Media
Another way you can help to prepare people is by coordinating your social media efforts. A great way to do this is to base it around your current series and provide helpful and inspirational content. This could be quotes from the previous sermon that ties last weekend and this weekend together, or it could be Bible verses that will be used this coming weekend.
The basic principle is to have all your social media accounts work together to bring context to what you’re doing on the weekends. Social media can be a great place to continue the conversation from Sunday. Pose questions to help promote conversations on Facebook that will help them be prepared mentally for where you’re going on Sunday.
3. Start a Weekend Preview Post
One of the most practical ways to help prepare people for Sunday is by writing a Weekend Preview post. Essentially, this is a post, maybe on a blog or even on Facebook, where you’re giving people a preview or a peek at where you’re wanting to go this weekend. I suggest that you have this post tie very closely with where the message is going the following Sunday.
Practically speaking, this is a great place for your pastor to help in this process. Maybe they have an extra 5 minutes in their talk that they need to cut but hate not being able to use it? The Weekend Preview is an excellent place for them to include that content. This way, you’re helping people be prepared for where you’re going that weekend and even giving them some additional teaching at the same time.
Whatever your approach, you don’t have to wait for people to arrive to get them ready to experience the worship service. Look for ways to get them started earlier. When you build a strong foundation early, you can get that much further in worship and in the message.