Service Planning: Look to the Ancient Church for Inspiration, Direction

By looking at the rest of the church calendar, we have an opportunity to extend that creativity to other weeks beyond Easter and Christmas.

Service Planning: Look to the Ancient Church for Inspiration, Direction
By looking at the rest of the church calendar, we have an opportunity to extend that creativity to other weeks as well. Lent is a great time to focus on the confession of sins, for example, and Pentecost is all about the Holy Spirit and the beginning of the church. Many of these calendar “days” last multiple Sundays as well, so you can potentially have pieces of the theme each week.
Service Planning: Look to the Ancient Church for Inspiration, Direction
By looking at the rest of the church calendar, we have an opportunity to extend that creativity to other weeks as well. Lent is a great time to focus on the confession of sins, for example, and Pentecost is all about the Holy Spirit and the beginning of the church. Many of these calendar “days” last multiple Sundays as well, so you can potentially have pieces of the theme each week.

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The January-February 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about the many steps a church had to take in the aftermath of a fire, and another involving a church making the jump to 4K.
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Just because something is old, does not mean it should be ignored or forgotten.

Staring at a blank page can be one of the most frustrating moments for a creative person, but a little restraint on the design can lead to amazing creativity.

There was a movement in the contemporary church at the end of the 20th century, to turn away from things of the past, from “tradition,” with the thinking (perhaps rightfully) that many of those things were seen as tired, ritualistic, and unappealing to outsiders.

While this may have been true to some extent, I think we may have thrown out the baby with the bath water.

Looking at recent trends in church worship planning, I think many others would agree with me. In fact, while we are not turning away from the trends in design, music, and art that have filled many modern churches, we are beginning to look to the ancient church for inspiration and direction.

Bear with me for a few minutes, as we look into how the traditional church calendar can help our service planning and execution.

Most churched people are probably aware that there is a church calendar, after all, we celebrate Christmas, Easter, perhaps even Advent, Lent, and Good Friday. These “holidays” were created as a part of a yearly calendar to teach the members of the church.

At the time when the church calendar was created, many people did not know how to read or write, so the church calendar was a way to teach people the story of Jesus, by literally living it out year after year.

Incidentally, the weekly liturgy served a similar purpose by repeating the story of Jesus, teaching theology, along with the confessing of sins each week, to where people who could not read the Bible, could be immersed in the story.

We now have centuries of people using these patterns in weekly worship services to draw ideas from. In a world of “new, new, new” it might seem like one would be moving in the wrong direction to take ideas from the old, but the church calendar can help us create a framework for creative ideas and expressions in our service.

You probably already have major services for Easter and Christmas, and you probably don’t feel restrained by the themes of Resurrection or Birth, in fact, you work to make those the most creative celebrations throughout the year.


More About David Erlandson
David is the Pastor of Worship at Trinity Church in Mentor, Ohio. In addition to worship leader, he’s also tech director, IT, lighting designer, video producer, and stage designer. He and his amazing wife Sarah, have two little boys that keep them quite busy. When he’s not spending time with his family, he’s fixing the house, reading tech blogs, watching Star Wars, or cheering on the World Series champion Chicago Cubs. Connect with David on Twitter @daviderlandson.
Get in Touch: davide@trinitymentor.com    More by David Erlandson

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, January-February 2018
The January-February 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about the many steps a church had to take in the aftermath of a fire, and another involving a church making the jump to 4K.


Article Topics

Team Management · Leadership · Spiritual Health · Team Development · Calendar · Celebrations · Churches · Contemporary · Creativity · Inspiration · All Topics

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