The urgency of planning and producing a worship experience on a weekly basis can be overwhelming and stress filled. If we are honest, many times we are scrambling to just pull of what we have planned as Sunday rushes at us full speed. It’s a reality and especially true for those who are operating in places that have limited staff and tight resources. But there is hope. This hope lies in leaning into the Last 10%. This is where many churches could immediately up the impact of their services.
The last 10% is a simple tweak, enhancement or addition that elevates a moment from possibly ordinary and just “ok” to potentially outstanding. If you are the leader of the creative process, this should be a regular part of your weekend review preferably early in the process of final preparation. If you are executing elements, discovering the last 10% should be on your weekly checklist.
A recent example in our context surrounded the new Gungor tune “Us For Them”. We choose this song in the midst of our normal planning process weeks prior to the actual weekend it would be used. As the song resurfaced on our planning radar in the weeks leading up, our Music Asst. Matt suggested a tweak that took it from ok to ‘Ah hah.’ As he re-listened to the song, he heard toms and a midi pad accenting the experience and enhancing the song.. He suggested we eliminate our normal drum kit accompaniment and go this direction instead. Enough said.
Our musical team reworked the song to include these two elements. As the song was executed in our services, we pulled the two percussion players forward alongside the song lead and added a lyric video playing overhead to highlight the environment. The combination of this and appropriate lighting added that “last 10%” that immediately increased its impact and staying power.
(Note: this song and weekend incidentally fell the week of the Paris shooting tragedy. It’s message was on point. This was a God thing (who knew) and shows that even in the midst of our planning, God has a greater plan.
Could we have done the song without those tweaks?
Would it have been fine?
However, the attention to these little opportunities transformed the ordinary into something that resonated.
What does the last 10% look like? Often it is simple adjustments.
A lighting look.
A staging of a song with musicians.
The addition of environmental projection elements either on screen or in the room.
Where can you discover the last 10% that can take your experience to the next level of impact?
As this weekend approaches, where is that last 10% still lurking out there you can capitalize on?