We’ll open with an old joke. A minister opens a brand-new church, delivers a lovely sermon with perfect musical selections, and draws an impressive first crowd. The next Sunday, he does so again, but one congregant approaches him after the service, shakes the minister’s hand, and says “It was nice, but I don’t know—I just don’t think you’re as good as you used to be.”
For as long as we’ve been gathering to worship, shepherds have feared the loss of their flocks. But now more than ever, churches have a real fear of declining membership. They fear that their services have become relics of a bygone era, unable to reach people where they are and inform, entertain, and inspire. Don’t get left behind—consider these tips for how to modernize your church service and keep people coming back.
Install a Sound System
Believe it or not, some churches still bristle at the idea of introducing electronics into the building. It’s as if relying on anything but natural acoustics is somehow inauthentic. However, there’s nothing inauthentic about making sure that your audience can clearly hear speakers, vocalists, and musical instruments during your service. You need not compromise the beauty of your church with amps hanging from the ceiling—experienced sound designers can make sure that the aesthetics and acoustics of your church can coexist.
Perfect the System
Perhaps you already have a sound system installed in your church, but you aren’t quite making the most of it. While your congregants aren’t having trouble hearing the spoken word, your church’s musical accompaniment is still a little muddy. Take some time to master your mixing board and make some tweaks to your audio to get the best sound. This can entail some fiddling with the frequencies on the equalizer to better balance your bass, midrange, and treble, or fine-tuning your microphone positioning to capture instruments at their clearest.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Modern Music
We have centuries’ worth of classic religious music to draw upon, but to grab younger believers and keep them coming back, you should embrace contemporary music as well. One key part of how to modernize your church service is to modernize the musical selections. What may appear to be a secular rock band with electric guitars, keyboards, and laptops is just as capable of providing music with a message. Remember: all musicians through the years have made use of the instruments at their disposal. That music was of its time then, but we can fondly revisit the past now without living in it.