Away from my home base this weekend I got the opportunity to visit and worship with the people of Community Bible Church, San Antonio TX through the gracious invitation of the communications director Betsy Buhler.
Here is what I observed about their worship.
Countdown: there was a countdown clock beginning 5 minutes before the service that ran in the corner of the rotating announcements slides.
Walk-in song: immediately at the end of the countdown the curtains opened (this is a big room, seating 3500) to the orchestra playing a medley of worship songs.
Worship Set: lead by 125 voice choir, 12 out front singers and 4 featured worship leaders. The out front singers spread out across the large stage and did a great job of trying to engage the congregation. (Here is a link to the CBC recordings.)
You Amaze Me
You Are Worthy of My Praise
Very casual led by the senior pastor
Choir Feature (out front vocals still stayed on mic)
O Glorious Day
Prayer: The worship leader took time to introduce this portion of the service, which included explaining that prayer is an important part of worship and also that it is appropriate to voice your concerns to God where you are seated or at the front near the stage. This was an effective way to include prayer in a service. As the prayer time began and folks came to the altar the worship leaders continued to the next song.
You Are God Alone
Fellowship of Christian Athletes production of Drew Brees testimony
Sermon: “Prayer without Ceasing”
Service Close: a quick dismissal at the end of the sermon. This casual response to the end continued to fuel my ongoing evaluation of how we at ClearView do the ‘invitation.’ The questions that I continue to ask: What is the goal at the close of the sermon? Should time be given for people to respond immediately to what they have heard? Is offering a prayer/counseling room enough?
It is refreshing to worship with other congregations and that is exactly why I participate in “Sunday Setlists.” Doing so is like visiting other congregations each week.