In no particular order of importance:
- if its hard work to find the right beginning to a sermon (so we do that work) it is also hard work to get the right ending (so let's do that work too) ... some sermons are like aeroplanes buzzing round an airfield, seemingly not knowing how to land!
- honour sermons with a standing up action by the congregation immediately following the conclusion, whether by singing a song or saying the creed; and do not follow the sermon directly with intercessions - too much passivity for the congregation!
- there should be some minimum liturgy-based-in-Scripture content to every "informal service": (my minimum) confession-using-an-actual-prayer (not 'silence while we remember what kind of week we have had'), the Lord's Prayer ... and (as commanded in 1 Timothy 2) there should be intercessions at every service
- 'the Peace' or 'the Greeting' should not become, should be changed from a conversation to a brief 'exchange of peace' or 'exchange of greeting' ... the liturgical purpose is to gather us together in one communion ... conversation has ample opportunity in the cup of tea after the service
- ensure sound, light, projection work to the highest possible standard: its tragic when an otherwise superbly prepared service or sermon is disrupted or diminished through 'technical mistake'
- aim for uniform excellence and achieve it: speaking quite personally, I am getting tired of being in services which have both superb aspects and glaring errors which cannot be brushed aside. The superb aspects imply uniform excellence through the whole service is achievable: we can do it; yes, we can!
2 days ago