The three questions I continue to ask as I plan services are: What? (what story am I telling with the outline of the service?) Why? (why should I use a particular service element?) How? (How does it fit into the story?) This week we were very intentional about the ‘what.’ The story was the gospel which included remembering who God is, singing of His gift of grace through His Son and through each element a time for the congregation to respond to these thoughts. Here is how we did this:
Everlasting God (Brenton Brown, Ken Riley) It is a struggle for us to get the congregation in the worship center on-time for service, so we often begin early with a ‘pre-service’ congregation song. Today the song was a part of the story: who is God.
This was a time of personal prayer followed by a prayer led by one of the worship team. Two things we tried to accomplish here: 1) we invited the congregation to spend time in prayer and invited those who wanted to come and kneel at the front of the church. We were trying to help the congregation understand that worship is personal and also break down the barrier that seems to be present about coming to the altar. 2) The person praying the spoken prayer was given specific guidelines about what the content of the prayer should be. We are trying to teach that prayers in service need to be specific.
In This Place (Michael Neale) This was a response to the spoken prayer. The music of this song was used as underscore for the opening prayer.
Today Is the Day (Lincoln Brewster, Paul Baloche) Here we were moving from reflection and personal worship to corporate celebration.
Here I am To Worship (Tim Hughes, Darlene Zschech) More of the story…speaking the fact that Christ, God’s Son came to earth.
Blessed Assurance (Fanny Crosby) a personal response to the story. We used only the first verse and refrain and we used a quarter note accompaniment feel against the 9/8 melody with very simple instrumentation.
it is exciting to say that the majority of weeks we are able to witness a baptism
Scripture Reading: Psalm 62
Psalm 62 (Aaron Keys, Stuart Townend) this is becoming one of our new favorite songs and I believe the reason is two-fold: 1) the melody is very singable (even in a mixed meter) and 2) the text is very strong, theologically strong.