Verses is the Night of Worship we do at Bethel Bible South campus, Last year, we did one every single month, but had a hard time staying consistent as a band and getting people out to the service every four weeks. This year, we decided to Verses quarterly and our first one was this past Saturday night. Even a year into this thing, I'm still figuring it out. Posts like this help me process what worked and what didn't and (hopefully) improve the quality of the service the next time we do it.
At the end of the service, the overwhelming feedback was that this Verses service was the "best one yet." I've been thinking about exactly helped this service to have that little extra something.
Pro Band - Our normal weekly band is very good, but we're light in a few spots. For this service, I wanted to have the best players I could find AND a lot of them. Of course, I could have reached out for actual "pros" in our community, but with 10 songs, I needed folks were familiar enough with Bethel to easily integrate with our songs. There wasn't really time to teach 10 new songs to all new players. I relied heavily on our Whitehouse campus and invited a guitar pro friend of mine to do lead electric. I also beefed up the mix with aux percussion and rhythm electric.
Two Rehearsals - Since the event is quarterly, I had time to plan two separate rehearsals where we worked 5 songs at a time. This worked perfectly because it allowed the players to come into each rehearsal prepared - not worrying about the songs they couldn't "get to" prior to practice. The second rehearsal was especially fun because we ran the first five songs as a warmup (little tweaking, arranging, etc.) By the time we hit Saturday night, the band felt completely comfortable with the songs.
Promotion - A quarterly worship night allowed me to have a logo professionally designed, posters printed and lots of social media promotion. It's hard to know if all that stuff led to more people show up (see the "what didn't" section) but it was nice to have more time to build interest.
Turnout - Last year, we hovered around 50 people for each service. Last Saturday? 55 people. I feel confident in the quality we're putting out there, but we just can't break that 50-person record. If we could have one big turnout for one of these, I think that would give us momentum because I'm guessing people would want to come back. But I'm not sure the wisest move is just "get-more-people-to-the-next-one." The fact remains that we're not reaching many folks in the community. Right now, it's a noticeably Bethel crowd.