- Multi Sensory Worship

/home/lifedevelopment/ - Multi-Sensory Worship - by Gary Wynne

The Post-Modern Age.

Post-modern people ...

  • are “image driven”

  • want to “feel” and “experience” God

  • want to “feel” and “experience” worship

  • want interaction & participation


The Worship Experience

The Statistics (from regular church goers) ...

  • 32% never experienced God’s presence

  • 40% haven’t in the last year

  • Youth even less likely to


The Human Experience

People ...

  • Think in images

  • Relate to metaphors

  • Experience the world through senses

  • Want it to “feel right”

  • Want to belong & feel a part of something


Interaction with World

Human senses ...

  • 150 million light sensors to see

  • 25,000 sound sensors to hear

  • 10,000 chemical sensors to taste

  • over 100 touch sensors per finger

  • distinguish over 8000 smells

  • feel the presence of God and Spirit


Appealing Worship

Immerse people in worship experience

  • Broad participation

  • Sensory appeal

  • Variety & experimentation

  • Community & Social interaction


Worship Components

worshipcomponents1.jpg (181654 bytes)

(click for a larger view)


"Traditional" Worship Format

  • 2 or 3 people “on the platform”

  • Someone to welcome everyone and introduce the speaker

  • someone to announce the hymns, scriptures and offerings

  • someone who prays

  • someone who gives the sermon

  • only the hymns involve congregational participation (although they’ll probably have little influence on the ones chosen)

  • could argue congregation participate in the offering but only at personal and superficial level

  • Worship Model involves a lot of listening, and some singing

  • might be possible for someone sitting near the front to smell the flower arrangement by the pulpit.


Traditional Worship Participation


Multi-Sensory Worship Formula

Experiencing the Joy is about …

  • our interaction with a personal God and Saviour

  • preparing for, planning and participating in a worship experience from which we gain joyful blessings both personally and corporately as we spend time with God

  • using what God has given us; using our time, talents and money but also our senses to create a special worship programme that is pleasing to God and beneficial to us

  • gaining from our worship the blessings God has promised through the Sabbath and to increase our awareness of His presence and His will for our lives.


Multi-Sensory Worship …

  • allows God and his people to interact with each other

  • a variety of different and complimentary media

  • enhances and expand both the corporate and personal relationship experience


more participation

+ more senses

+ more social & community

  + more variety

= multi-sensory worship


Multi-Sensory Worship Format

  • Ask a few people to choose praise songs which have special meaning or match worship theme

  • Use a number of musicians and singers to increase participation, variety and sensory involvement during hymns or singing time

  • Supplement sermons with audio-visual presentations to add different sounds, movement and colour to the spoken word and increase retention and comprehension

  • Add more flower displays and arrangements in different places around the church to adds more colour, smells and variety and bring God’s creation into the worship environment

  • Ask people to submit prayer requests and meet personal needs through corporate prayer to bring worshippers closer together and allow them to feel God is talking to them

  • Involve people in parables and stories using ad-hoc drama to enact simple biblical scenes

  • Use kids to collect offering and explain an aspect of how church uses the money

  • Invite people to enjoy refreshments after service and give opportunity for them to ask questions about worship experience


Multi-Sensory Worship Participation


LIFEdevelopment Worship Plans

  • Designed to give both worship planners and participants ideas and materials which will enhance and enrich the worship experience

  • Each worship “plan” uses a sermon as its central theme but adds a variety of multi-sensory components:

    • Praise songs (with music and words)

    • Prayers (suggested content & style)

    • Musical items (digital audio)

    • Dramatic skits (parts with scripts)

    • Video presentations (VHS tape or DVD)

    • Animated presentations (e.g. PowerPoint)

    • Sermons & talks (with appropriate notes)

    • Scripture texts (with appropriate references)

    • Stories (with appropriate props)



For Jesus, truth was not a matter of distant observations or scientifically tested theories. Rather, truth was revealed through participation and interaction with Him, others and the world He created. (Leonard Sweet, Experience God in Worship, page 189)



Note: If you would like to use this presentation in your own church or small group please feel free to download it in PowerPoint format. You will need to right-click on this link and select "Save Target As ..." if you want to save it to your hard-disk rather than opening it in your browser.


Gary Wynne, Multi-Sensory Worship Director



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