At Hillsong Church, our Sunday services are one of our most valuable gatherings. As a church, we are intentional about what we do and how we do things in a service. It’s important that we are purposeful and prepared, so that we can create room for the Holy Spirit to move. There are four pillars involved in a Sunday service, which we are deliberate about for each and every one of our services across the weekend, held at any of our ‘rooms’ around the world.
Praise and worship typically goes for approximately 20 minutes. We usually sing four songs, which are also purposefully chosen. We kick off with a passionate and upbeat praise song, in order to capture people’s attention, and we finish off with a big, faith-building worship song.
The songs you choose shouldn’t just be four cool songs – it’s about taking people on a journey from the moment they walk through the doors of the auditorium, after possibly a very challenging week, to be able to fix their full attention on Jesus.
Create a culture of excellence when it comes to worship. It’s not about perfection, but about constant progress and making sure you and your team get a little bit better every week. Step onto the platform with purpose – you’re there to serve, not to perform or to look cool.
We do a couple of things in this part of the service.
We transition out of worship with our prayer requests and celebrating praise reports from our congregation. This is so important because we have the opportunity to pray for people’s real needs, and while equally glorify God for what He has been doing in our lives.
As everyone sits down we give space in the service for the congregation to meet those next to them, friends nearby and new people visiting for the first time.
We then continue our worship by receiving our weekly tithes and offerings. One of our team will share a Bible verse and an encouragement around the offering. This is an opportunity to to speak God’s promise and God’s word about a life of sowing and generosity – it’s not about begging or trying to manipulate people to give.
Keep this segment of the service fun! It’s ultimately an opportunity to talk to the congregation in a light-hearted manner, to let them know about what’s coming up, welcome people and help them to feel at home.
Before the sharing of the Word, we might do a worship song, before we stand to honour the person who will be bringing the message in that service.
When the emcee is introducing the preacher, be sure to set the preacher up for a win – create a sense of expectation as you are welcoming them onto the stage.
The sermon preached should always be helpful and applicable. Pastor Brian talks about speaking to peoples Mondays and not just their Sundays, and that’s what our sermons should be – applicable to people’s lives throughout the week.
Make sure that the preaching is Biblically based. It’s not so much about having funny jokes or good analogies – it’s ultimately about sharing a word from God.
This is the final part of the service that everything has been building towards. We are very intentional about keeping this segment open to what God wants to do, and creating room for the Holy Spirit to move in these closing moments of a service.
Sometimes it might be a song of worship to confirm and reinforce the message, while other times we might pray for different situations (for example: healing, breakthrough) and speak over people’s lives.
As a church, we always offer an invitation for anyone present in the service to make a decision to give their life to Jesus. This invitation may be given by the preacher, or by the emcee, and together as the whole congregation we’ll repeat a prayer outloud.
As we conclude the service, the emcee will pray a blessing over people and we love to always end the service with a praise song (or two!) if there’s time.
A lot of planning intentionally goes into every Sunday service, with team diligently preparing across the week and weekend to ensure that each service creates an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to move, for God to be glorified, and for individuals to encounter Jesus.
This thought was originally shared in conversation about Sunday Services by our Hillsong Stockholm team during ‘Online Open Week’ in February 2016. Online Open Week is your opportunity to receive impartation and training direct from the Hillsong team through live webinars.
If you would like to watch the full recording or find out more about future events from the Hillsong Leadership Network, click below.