In this post, I'll share some of what Andy Stanley talked about in Session 2 of the 2010 Drive Conference about their worship service planning process, which they refer to as Rules of Engagement. Here were my takeaways from the session, which was extremely helpful and practical:

  • Churches must define “the win” for their Sunday services. For North Point it is when an unchurched person experiences helpful content, engaging presentation and appealing context and then comes back next week with a friend. Their long term win is for people to think and act differently in light of God's truth.
  • Andy showed a chart they use to plan their service. You can see that chart by downloading the Rules of Engagement PDF.
    • It's like a funnel because the service hopefully captures everyone in the beginning and leads them somewhere on purpose.
    • The common ground is emotion, not information. They start by finding a common emotion among everyone who might be in the audience (unchurched, churched, men, women, high schooler, senior citizen, etc).
    • Andy essentially starts at the beginning of the funnel again when preaching, trying to re-involve everyone emotionally before leading them somewhere with the message.
  • I think my favorite part was how Andy used Luke 15:1-6 to illustrate how Jesus started with a common emotion (feeling of losing something important), and tapped into emotion throughout, on the way to teaching a new idea about how God thinks.
  • In planning and evaluating, they ask:
    • How will this make people feel?
    • What do we want them to feel?
    • When is it appropriate (in the service) to make people uncomfortable?

I've heard Vince Antonucci talk about how he would try to plan a service that would begin by making people laugh about something that they would eventually be emotionally drawn into and challenged about by the end of the service.

I've thought about how this can apply to our children's ministry environments at CCC as well as our services.

What's the win for your Sunday services? What process do you use to help people get there?