3 Steps For Improving Spoken Transitions


photo courtesy of Unsplash - Lee Miller

It was the early 90’s. I had big hair, a mustache, and huge shoulder pads in my sports jacket. In our musical worship set, I was verbally transitioning to the old praise song Behold the Lamb. I had planned to share about how John the Baptist pointed to Jesus and proclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”

However, in the moment, the transition was going well, so I took it further than I had planned. Big mistake.

Here’s what I said:

“Jesus is the Lamb of God. He’s the only person who has ever lived who has lived a totally sinful life.”

And then, without realizing my mistake, I said it once again.

Spoken transitions, no matter where they fall, are extremely important for the flow of a worship service. If one goes badly, the worship leader or preaching pastor may never fully re-engage the people.

Here are 3 steps I believe can help us all improve our spoken transitions:

Think. Take time to think about what you are really trying to accomplish. Think about the words you are going to say. Think about the people who will be hearing your words. Think about what is coming after the transition.

Script. Take time to write out what you are going to say. Then, tighten it up by shortening it as much as possible. Remove unnecessary or repeated words and phrases.

Practice. Take time to rehearse what you’ve scripted out. Start by reading your what you’ve written aloud. Chances are, you’ll make a small adjustment or two. Then, stand in front of a mirror and practice until what you are saying feels more natural to you.

These 3 steps all have two words in common.

Take Time.

If something is worth being said, it’s worth taking the necessary time to make it as good as possible. Hopefully, by doing so, you can avoid telling your congregation that Jesus lived a sinful life.

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(Photos courtesy of Unsplash.com)

Why I Continue This Blog

photo- courtesy of Unsplash - photo by Greg Rakozy

In the movie Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, 9 nine year old Oscar says that people often treat other people like numbers, but that people aren’t like numbers at all. Instead, they are like letters because letters can tell stories.  I quite agree.

I love stories.

I’ve been in church ministry for almost 30 years, serving in churches ranging in size from 5 to 5,000. During that time, I’ve made my share of mistakes, I’ve worked with some great teams, I’ve met my share of jerks, and I’ve experienced some tremendous victories while enduring some gut wrenching losses.

Through it all, I’ve discovered that the stories are what I remember most. Stories are what help me strive to do better in what I do.

And everyone is either the subject of a story, has their own story to tell, or both.

In my blog, I’ve told lots of stories, hopefully helping others in church ministry, particularly worship ministry, in practical ways. Hopefully, these stories will better enable us all to better serve our Lord Jesus, the greatest storyteller of them all.

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One Word We Need To Stop Using During Communion

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Recently, one of our pastors spoke with a guest who had attended one of our worship services. The man said he enjoyed the music and the preaching, but he was confused about something he heard from the stage.

“What was confusing to you?” asked the pastor.

The man replied, “Well, this man said we were going to remember what Jesus did for us and then he asked everyone to come forward and receive the elements. I wasn’t about to do that because I’ve only heard that word used when someone was speaking about drugs.”

It may sound silly, but since then, I’ve tried to not use the word elements when speaking of the bread and juice that we serve when we celebrate communion (another term I want to find another name for). I thought about calling it the body and the blood but I figured that might really freak people out. I haven’t successfully found appropriate terminology for the term yet, so for now, I will refer to the elements as the bread and the juice.

If you can think of better terminology, please reply.