Going “unplugged” isn’t a new thing. Lots of churches – for lots of reasons – regularly plan services that are scaled back in some way.
Last time, we talked about the benefits of unplugged worship. But what about those who’ve never tried it? Every church is unique, but I believe there some time-tested ways of implementing a service like this. While they may a few instrument-specific tips, the true hard work comes in simply find a way for a service like this to fit within your context.
SELL IT WELL
Your biggest challenge with an unplugged set will be the band.
It makes sense because you’re asking your musicians to play differently or perhaps even play a different instrument. (In some cases, you might even be asking musicians to step down and NOT play…) It can be hard for players, but you can pastor them through the process. If you’ve got good reasons for doing an unplugged set (and you should), tell the band that – rest for musicians, thematic ties to sermon, response to volume issues – whatever it is, let your musician in on that. It’s not just a fad you’re trying, right? RIGHT?
PICK NORMAL SONGS
In my opinion, the worst thing to do in an acoustic set is to pick all new songs. Sure, it’s fun to go full-bluegrass in a set like this, but we want people to sing along, right?
Go to your song catalog and use songs that your church is already singing. The new musical template will provide a fun challenge for your musicians and your congregants will be able to join in to something that’s special and enjoyable.
WATCH & LEARN
If the service is a success (and it probably will be) go ahead and look to the next time you’re going to do it. Of course, you’re going to be busy while you’re leading, but try to be observant and have some “takeaways” when you’re done. Make sets like this a priority and each time you’ll get better and better and discovering what works and what doesn’t.
Let’s end with a poll – how many of you have never done an unplugged set? And if you already do sets like this, how often do you do them?