Does your church ever change its order of worship?

I’ve been to churches where the order of service hadn’t changed in decades. There’s an unspoken rhythm to worship in such a church that’s calming in its predictability. Having a worship structure set in stone means worshipers don’t expend mental energy following a new order of worship; they can just focus on the service. But that same predictability can also make the service rote or boring.

I’ve also attended a church whose service never seemed to be the same from week to week. The service would start a few minutes late as people filtered in; the worship band would sing three songs or five and the pastor took as much or as little time as he wanted to deliver his sermon. Sometimes the service would make you miss lunch appointments; other times, you found yourself with an extra 20 minutes after the service.

What about your church? Does your church follow a strict order of worship or does it change things weekly?

26 Responses to “Does your church ever change its order of worship?”

  • Well, we try not to be rigid in our order of worship. Ours is a liturgical service but we place great emphasis on public participation by sharing personal testimonies and prayer requests. Our reasoning is that we can read, study and talk about God and what He has done historically that lays out a plan for His followers. We have come to believe that with public testimony, we get a good look at the miracles and work of an eternal God who is the same today as yesterday and it gives us great faith that He will be the same tomorrow.

    Our prayers are not read or “quoted” from any source, we pray from the heart and try and be more specific than generic. We are always open for the Holy Spirit to completely change anything that we plan to do, after all, it’s His church and His service.

  • Carlos R. Flores says:

    ya it does! It all depends on the pastor. If he wanted a 30min prayer, then some gospel I wouldn’t think anyone would mind. where I go to church we praise at the end and in the beginning so i really doesn’t matter to me.

  • Lee Menningen says:

    To say “predictability can also make the service rote or boring” seems to be a red herring argument, assuming by “predictability” you are referring to the order of the service, and not the content. To have a song, followed by a prayer, followed by Scripture reading, then another song and a sermon…etc. might be “predictable”, but aren’t the songs usually different in each case? Isn’t different scripture used? Isn’t the sermon entirely unique?

    Sort of like going to English from 7-8, history from 8-9, calculus from 9-10…right?

    So how can mere “predictability” be “boring”? (Unless one pays no attention at all to the lyrics, prayers, scripture, or sermon!)

    • Chris says:

      Lee, yep, you got it: “assuming by “predictability” you are referring to the order of the service, and not the content.”

      The content in each of those sections is good; however, for me (and perhaps I’m wholly alone in this, although I have my doubts) if the order of each of those things rigidly stays the same, I’ve found my mind wandering from time to time.


      I agree completely with you. Thanks


      Completely I agree with Lee menningen ! Thanks !

  • Jonathan Hall says:

    “Sometimes the service would make you miss lunch appointments”? I cant believe I am reading this on a website called If you’re more worried about your stomach than the word of God and the things of God then there is a problem. Also, why is there so much need of change? If it is boring to you then that sounds like a personal issue between you and God. God is NEVER changing and always the same. Church isn’t supposed to be entertaining. It was established by God to help and teach fellow Christians of the ways and truths of God’s word. What is your main reason behind going to church if I may ask? Maybe you should look into that a little deeper.

    • Chris says:

      Jonathan, I never made a value judgment on whether or not it was good or bad that the service went long or short. Frankly, I loved each and every service at that church for the exact reasons you stated: “help[ed] and [taught] fellow Christians of the ways and truths of God’s word.”

      I merely pointed it out to show a contrast between different approaches to worship services.



      –Sometimes the service would make you miss lunch appointments”? I cant believe I am reading this on a website called If you’re more worried about your stomach than the word of God and the things of God then there is a problem.
      No! — THE PROBLEM is YOU! your argument is not kind , and even me, I am astonished you could reply like that! Are you a real Christian?

      —What is your main reason behind going to church if I may ask? Maybe you should look into that a little deeper.–
      As for me, If a Church cannot make a timing for the worship service THERE IS A PROBLEM!!!

  • Andy says:

    I grew up in a church that never changed its order of worship, and currently attend a church that does (slightly) alter its order of worship each week. I have found value in both approaches.

    To those of you who are upset at the perceived criticism of unchanging orders of worship: the issue isn’t one of needing to be “entertained” by church (I know Chris well enough to know that’s absolutely not something he wants out of a worship service). I think what Chris is getting at, and I will testify to this being the case at times, is that when every worship service is exactly the same each week (always recite the same prayer, always sing at the exact same time, sermon is always exactly the same length, etc.) there is a risk that the service starts to feel like mindless repetition. It’s not, of course; but it’s easy to fall into that trap. I loved the church I attended, but there were times when I would catch myself “zoning out” during services for this reason.

    My current church changes up the order of worship from week to week, but not because they want to “entertain” anyone. There are many people in our church who are gifted at finding creative ways to use music, scripture, and prayer to worship God, and having them adjust each week’s order of worship makes for interesting and worshipful services.

    Sorry for rambling, but I just wanted to say that there is a big difference between “altering the worship service each week” and “demanding to be entertained by church,” and I think it behooves Christians to give each other the benefit of the doubt in discussions like this.

  • Betty says:

    We have an awesome leadership in our church who are committed to following the leading of the Holy Spirit. They honor the Spirit’s presence and although they come prepared they are always open to a Divine interruption. And when that happens it is powerful!

  • sandy G says:

    kia ora betty
    yes we have a corp where we have an awesome leadership too and very creative and Im a person who is so blessed when the Holy Spirit does fall down and does a spiritually divine intervention
    I love it and yes it is very powerful halleluia

  • askduane says:

    The Bible is complete and explains the function of the church or congregation or assembly of ourselves together. Then you have non-biblical traditions that some may even be called pagan and not really christian but in christian churches. I’m always reminded of this one thing, God says “I change not”, “I’m the same today, yesterday and forever”. If someones church has a new swagger so they say to appeal to the young people that might be one of those churches that have the “other gospel” and the “other jesus” the one that changes depending on the season and time. The gospel of entertainment and prosperiety in jesus name seems to be the new gospel today in many places in America. That is clearly the “Other Gospel” that the Apostle Paul said stay away from, he went on to say “Come out from among them and be separate says the Lord”. Are you following that other gospel? Or, are you staying with the original, the one from the beginning, the one in the Bible? Remember God’s Word says I Change Not, there is nothing new under the sun my friends.

  • Luke says:

    At my church, we have 10+ pastors that rotate in and out. Some preach firey sermons, some cool and collected, some prepare a game in place of Bible study for kids and adults to interact with an object lesson. Jesus never intended for just one preacher, worshiper, or anything. We are all replaceable like Solomon’s Israel. The important matter is are we keeping in step with Truth and Spirit? At my church we aim for Christ, observe the apostles, and live 24/7 for God and lost sheep.

  • Kristy says:

    In my small church, we only have one pastor. The service has been the same for years, but the directory for how worship is to be conducted is possibly changing next week, which may change some components or their order.

  • David says:

    I can read the same passages of the same bible over and over and I will never be bored. The Bible requires Christians to engage with God and so does church. Going to church is about worshiping and growing in faith and nothing else. Everyone should concentrate on pleasing God, and not themselves or others whilst worshiping. Be a participant in worship and not a receiver. You only get bored if you are not participating/engaging with God. Is not God’s mere presence glorious and more then anyone deserves?

  • Dutch Hofstetter says:

    Worship and prayer is supposed to be from the heart. Worshipping the Lord of Lords Jesus Christ is the best thing ever. Were supposed to adore the Lord. Were supposed to pour out our hearts to Him. Try even different ways of worship, not just music. Remember, worshipping the Lord is worshipping the Lord, not just music. Jonathan, you’re right. Church is all about teaching God’s Word the Bible, and encouraging other Christians to keep up the good fight. Remember, Church is not the answer, the Lord Jesus Christ is the answer.

  • Dutch Hofstetter says:

    People teach the gospel of prosperity too much now. Not many people teach the gospel of repentance, and forgiveness. You cannot just look at riches. God is hear to save us. God is not hear to give us a life of comfort. We’ll have hardships, trials, and troubles, but were in Christ, so when we die, were going to heaven. Remember, all forms of worship are great to the Lord. From classical piano worship, to rap and rock worship. Remember, God’s Word the Bible says even the rocks will sing of the Lord’s praise. We just stand in awe of the Lord. We worship from our heart. Were not supposed to be entertained by Church, but were supposed to have a joyful time praising the Lord.

  • I atend church of God In Christ and we always worship and praise GOD in the same way no matter how you change the service. God still created us to praise and worship him.praising and worship God should not be bored. no matter how the services stay the same i still love God he lives in me.

  • Disillusioned Charismatic says:

    I have been disappointed for some time with some of the so-called “fresh” expressions of church that they are so rigid in their format. It almost seems to be a formula that someone dreamt up in the eighties and now no-one dares mess with it. Half hour worship at the start (I call it “coming in from the car park and singing as loud as possible for half an hour” because for me there is virtually no “worship” facilitated).
    And then about 10 minutes of meaningless waffle from a few people who like to tell everyone about their week, followed by 40 minutes of “milk” (dumbed-down spoon-fed soft-focus heart-led “sharing”, rather than Bible-led, God-listening, person-challenging, character-building preaching).
    Totally agree with Dutch Hofstetter about the purpose of church: “Church is all about teaching God’s Word the Bible, and encouraging other Christians to keep up the good fight. Remember, Church is not the answer, the Lord Jesus Christ is the answer.”
    I have always found more meaningful worship takes place after a meaty sermon when I have been challenged to draw near to God and given some stimulus about my walk and current progress in Christian living. When my mind is engaged, then I’m ready for worship. Otherwise I am struggling to focus on what the songs are about, struggling to see their relevance to my post-carpark state of mind, and then later on desperate to worship while all I am offered is coffee.

    Anyone else feel like this?

  • David Lim says:

    “For I did not determine to know anything among you except Christ and Him crucified.” The content of our meetings should always be about this One, all that He has done, and all that He is to us. Christ is unchanging, yet He is always fresh to us everyday, for new mercies we see, yet from the same Lord. It is not a matter of whether we should or should not have changes in the way we worship and praise God, but whether we are simply doing that according to the leading of the Spirit. For God desires mercy and did not delight in the offerings and sacrifices apart from Him. If we find that we are falling into a fixed routine in our gatherings together, or if we find that we are thinking about how we should make each gathering different, then perhaps we should go before the Lord and seek His face, for His countenance is all that matters to us. For the Lord says, “Who will go for us?” May we be the ones who will just say, “I will go.” For the Lord has cleansed us with His precious blood, having called us out of darkness into His marvelous light, that we may tell forth His virtues. May we simply commit ourselves to the Lord in everything we do or say, that all glory may be to Him. For Christ declares God among His many brothers, and will sing praise to Him in our midst. Amen!

  • Claudine says:

    Our service takes on a new way as the Holy Spirit leads us , if it means we leave later than other Sundays,then so be it, we’re guided by the Spirit , and it makes a big difference to our lives….

  • Amata says:

    Well, I go to a youth program, and I’ve been with it since sixth grade. It changed majorly I believe one time, when we have a quick worshiping at the beginning, small groups, more worshiping, then our lesson. It used to be worshiping, lesson,then small groups.

  • Helena says:

    I go to church my havesn’t change we still have to same time of worshiping, but sometimes we do start late and finish early or late, because of the rules and regulations but now we are raising funds for the new church so we can have more time. At the moment we have to cancel some lesson bacause of time and space. Please Help Us achive this gol.

  • mary earley says:

    I am in complete agreement with Lee (June 10th}! My church has a board of associate pastors who preach when the Senior Pastor is away. Each of these for the most part differ in style, but all present substance, clarity and life application instruction from God’s Word. We have 2 services “traditional” and “Contemporary.” Because of my age, (past 60) and my preferences rather than imposed principles on others, I prefer the first hour traditional worship. I love the full orchestra, and familiar hymns where standard English was the norm in content, and more emphasis in the songs was on reverence, exhortation and true praise for Who God is and His Works. I feel that so much of today’s worship music reflects volume, redundant phrases and more about the singer – his trials, feelings and experiences rather than true and accurate worship of a Holy, perfect and eternal God. Hope I did not offend anyone.