It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. There’s been lots going on. We’re currently in a series called “Grow Up!” and we are focusing on the first section of 2 Peter 1 where Peter talks about the different qualities we are to add to our life as we grow in Christ.
The concept of growing up has a lot of connotations in today’s world. Becoming more independent, self-sufficient, and the like. But the picture that God paints of growing up is one of becoming more like Jesus and becoming more dependent on Him. The end product is way different that what we’ve been trained to think, but way better.
This week was different from our normal Sunday morning picture. Instead of doing two services and Sunday School, we did what we call Time to Serve Sunday. This is something we started doing last year. Every spring and fall (twice a year), we change what we do in order to help our church serve the community together. For the fall piece, we totally restructure our Sunday morning schedule to allow people the opportunity to serve together as an expression of worship, and many of them for the first time. Every gathers at 8:45am, and we do a brief opening service together. Then we break into teams and go out to serve, and then come back to sing, share stories, and baptize people. It’s a long morning, but well worth it.Service Flow: (Song links go to AmazonMp3.com)
Call to Worship
O Worship the King (Grant/Gardiner/Tomlin)
Messagette (Hebrews 10:24-5)
I’m Putting on the Love of the Lord (Ode 3/Schreiner)
Instructions for projects
Not to Us (Tomlin/Reeves)
All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name (Perronet/Holden arr. Baloche)
Mighty to Save (Morgan/Fielding)
As It Is in Heaven (Maher/Cash)
As It Is in Heaven reprise
Dismiss (2 Peter 1:3 & 3:18)
While the morning was super awesome, it was a bumpy road getting there. The first challenge was fielding a full worship team. Because of what the morning was about and the feeling of celebration we wanted to have after the projects, I didn’t want to do a stripped down team. But I was having a hard time pulling enough people together to do practice. At one point I considered doing practice during the project time, but didn’t want to take the worship team members away from serving. It ended up working out, though. People’s schedules changed, and we were able to practice at our regular time. We ended up doing just piano and vocals for the first two songs, but did a full team for the songs after the service projects. It was the right thing to do, and the congregation really participated.
The second challenge was the actual project part of it. We had projects set before hand, and asked people to sign up for what they wanted to do prior to this Sunday. We had over 100 people sign up ahead of time. Of course, there were projects that were very popular and some that were less popular. So the first challenge was getting the people evenly divided up. We didn’t want to send a whole lot of people to a project that didn’t need a lot of people. It would defeat the purpose to have people just standing around. Of course, part of that was realizing there would be people who came on Sunday who either had not signed up or who didn’t know what was going on. But we had some back up plans to care for that.
Along with the people challenge was the weather challenge. In our area, once you hit the middle of September, the weather could get yucky quickly. And it did. Leading up to the weekend, we had some great days. But then the temperature started dropping, and snow was in the forecast. And yes, it did start snowing while people were serving. Our church is awesome, though. They kept serving and doing it with joy. We had a number of outside projects that people pushed through. They were cold, but I don’t think anyone wished they hadn’t come.
And then there is the technology challenge. It showed up in a big way this weekend. On Friday, our media computer died and would not come on. Fortunately, I had recently ordered a replacement anyway, and it arrived on Friday. So I spent the weekend getting it into a usable state (which included a multi-hour phone call with technical support). I expected to have some hiccups with putting into production so quickly, but there wasn’t a choice. And we did have some hiccups. Some media elements didn’t work because I hadn’t gotten all the stuff configured correctly. We also had some mic issues and what not. Fun.
All that to say, in spite of the challenges, it was a great morning. We got to worship, celebrate, remember, and proclaim the name of Jesus. We had less people, but those that come really connected through singing, serving, and being together. It was great to hear some of the stories people shared about serving. We had four people get baptized and each had a great story of what God was doing in their life and teaching them. I wouldn’t have traded any of these challenges if it meant that the morning was less special for the life of our church than it was.
Thanks for stopping by and reading this. If you were there, I would love to hear how the morning impacted you. If you would like to know what projects we did or how we set this up, let me know and I will send you some information.
You can read more about what other churches did this morning at Fred’s Sunday Setlists.
Have a great week!