One of the things I have been chatting with the Sandals Youth team is how important the atmosphere feels from the moment students step foot on campus, to what they feel in the service and after service. The atmosphere is (in my definition) would be” the way your space looks and feels for students to feel like this is the place to be during the week”.

Without being intentional about it, your space can drift into a boring feeling, non-exciting atmosphere that could be working against you. Something I have been doing with each campus is walking through a “street to seat” assessment. What do students experience from the moment they get out of the car for the pre-service to what they experience while sitting in the service? Is it exciting? High energy? Low energy?

The question is… how you thought about this?

I believe how you set up your pre-service and in-service atmosphere will determine how well your students experience your service that night. Can God still move even when you don’t think about it? Of course. My thought is I want our midweek services THE PLACE to be during the week. I want it to feel exciting and “lit” as the kids say these days and how we set up the pre-service is a huge part of that.

One of the biggest parts of setting up that type of atmosphere is music. Music is so powerful is any experience. Think about worship. It can set a tone and atmosphere for God to move. I believe thinking about our music choices based on the atmosphere we want to set for our students is that important as well.

I want to help.

Here is a play for pre/post service that you can use or use to build your own. The pre/post service on the patio, foyer, in the youth room atmosphere can set your service up for success and give it the high energy feeling you are trying to shoot for.


Here is a playlist for inside the service when someone is on stage. One of the most important parts of programming during service is the background music. I find it interesting how many people don’t have any sort of music behind them while someone is on stage. It could suck out the energy in the room really quick. And usually, if they do have music, it has lyrics. That’s not all that bad, but being intentional with high energy music with no lyrics will create a kind of movie soundtrack that will enhance your announcements, game time and welcome like a film score does in a movie. It adds to the atmosphere, and you don’t focus on lyrics.


Adding something like this will enhance your services and give it the electrifying atmosphere you are looking for. Hopefully. And have fun, make your own playlists (pro-tip: always look up lyrics, I have had some surprises in the past). Explore and make your pre/post services better.


Justin Knowles