A one hour worship service from scratch

Worship leaders from time to time may be called upon to plan a worship service start to finish, as I was this time last year. Here’s how I chose to give shape to an hour of worship with a group of student ministry leaders. This is one of many possible ways to go, but I did find that the sense of structure and movement helped us to feel like we had gotten somewhere by the end. Here is a version of the run sheet I used for myself.

Intro: Explanation of A.C.T.S. acronym

  • What it stands for: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication
  • Why it’s important: keeps us focused on God….keeps us balanced in prayer life (not just “Me, me, me”)
  • It will frame our worship time together
  • We’ll weave between Scripture and Song and Prayer, standing and sitting, together and alone



  • Prayer: (seated) Confession of Sin
    • Moment of Silence for individual confession
    • Confession from Book of Common Prayer
    • Assurance of Pardon from 1 John (read in unison)
  • Song: (standing or seated) (optional) I Love the Lord


  • Song: How Great Thou Art
  • Scripture: (seated) Lectio Divinia with Colossians 3:15-17
    • Explain Lectio Divina (Powerpoint slide with all four steps, one after the other)
    • NOTE: Four volunteer readers needed


  • Prayer: (remain seated) How can we be praying for each other?  For our community?
  • (standing) Teach song: Today
  • Scripture: Joshua 24:14-15 with intro (give its context)
  • Song: Today

Conclusion: close in prayer

In the very near future I’m leading this same group in an hour of worship. I’m thinking through selecting songs, Scriptures, and prayers that follow the basic outline of salvation history: Creation, Fall, Redemption, Consummation. I’ll post the outline of that service on a future Worship Leading Wednesday.

What do you think?

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