Responding to Service Interruptions

There are 3 kinds of preachers in the world.

  1. Those who have been interrupted in the middle of a message.
  2. Those who will be interrupted someday soon.
  3. Those who are being interrupted right now.

Murphy’s law tells us that service interruptions happen to all of us. No one can avoid them totally, but with a little planning, we can mitigate their effect on the flow of the service.
Most service interruptions fall into 1 of 4 categories.

  • Child—a crying baby is probably the most common service interruption, but they’re usually not serious. If you can’t ignore it, a quick joke about how the baby either likes or dislikes your preaching and you’re back in the flow.
  • Technical—broken microphone, dead battery, feedback, or power outage—it happens to all of us sooner or later. Technical interruptions are more likely with your oldest and youngest pieces of gear.
  • Medical—the whole spectrum, from the life-threatening to the comical, can disrupt the flow of the service.
  • Hostile—rare and dreaded, the purposeful disruption of a service can be one of the most difficult challenges a preacher can face, and it seldom comes with any warning.

If interruptions are coming, how do we plan for them? How do we minimize their impact on our services? Talk.
Talk before—Just one “what if” conversation with the team can go a very long way to prevent an interruption from spiraling into your worst case scenario.

What if the mic goes out, who delivers the spare?
What if there’s a medical emergency in the auditorium, who can respond?
What if someone decides to stage a protest right before the offering, what do we do?

You probably won’t have to talk about it more than once, and you may never have to use more than one tiny piece of that plan. But when the interruption comes—and it inevitably will—you’ll be glad you were ready for anything.
Talk after—after an interruption, debrief with your team. Talk about what happened, how everyone felt, what was done, and how it could go better next time. This is the kind of lightning that strikes twice.
By the way, Proclaim empowers your technical staff with a remarkable amount of flexibility to respond to interruptions. Features like quick screens, live editing, pager & crawl text make your presentations more agile than you ever thought possible.

Try Proclaim for Free

Proclaim Church Presentation Software allows you to collaborate with your team from wherever they work best. No more emailing large files or fumbling with flash drives. Best of all, it connects with many of the tools you already use, like Planning Center Online, CCLI SongSelect, and Graceway Media. Try it for free at

Written by
Ray Deck III

Born in WV, Ray escaped to North Carolina at a young age. He came to Logos after an 8 year stint at a faith-based nonprofit in New York. When he is not assembling sequences of words, he’s probably running, surfing or shooting skeet, but you should probably go look for him. He has a terrible sense of direction and is probably lost.

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Written by Ray Deck III