Friday, November 09, 2007


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Lot of work on Grow (our new Sunday evening service) this week (For some history, see here). Here are two learnings:

1. This type of service has become a lot more modular than previous services I have been part of designing. Here are the modules, with bit of explanation in brackets (our first theme is Grow through gardening):

: welcome (this includes us generating 4 expectations we have of people who come)

: watch (movie clip)

: gather together (we will have a hanging basket as a centring symbol, into which everyone will place a symbol of themselves as an expression of their willingness to be present)

: ask (God that we will grow)

: learn from history (a short visual history of the topic)

: hear an interview (of a person in our congregation, or of interest)

: listen to Biblical wisdom (Why does the Bible start and end with a garden? Why hang a garden in Babylon?)

: enjoy top 10 (a bit of humour and a way of building participation. So this week we have taken photos of gardens of people in church and we will invite people to guess who’s garden is who’s)

: talk each other (this bit will be crucial. We are committed to different learning styles and hence have used visual, history, interviews, so we want people to work in table groups bringing the threads together. So we have table mats printed, with questions like )

: notices

: offer (we are going to raise the ante on this by giving everyone paper and inviting them to name their offering for the week ahead-whether financial, time or talent-and to place it in the hanging basket)

: respond (worship in song and a personal active response)

: go

Will it be too cluttered? Or could it perhaps allow a lot more ways for people to participate?

So at the end of the first Grow series, we will offer a survey form and invite people to do any slot they want. It will be interesting to see if moving away from – can you sing – and – can you speak – will in fact increase participation.

2. We are arranging Grow in 3 weekly blocks and the topics that have got bounced around this week have seemed really energising. Imagine Grow through cooking with Jesus eating habits, live cooking with the naked pastor (as a take on naked chef), menus from local cafes and slow eating spirituality.

Imagine Grow through grandparenting, 3 weeks exploring how grandparents can help us grow. Now surely something like that would be profoundly useful to young and old, church goers and non-churchgoers alike? And surely the Bible will have lots of wisdom to share, along with top 10 best wrinkles, live interviews with grandparents and grandkids and video clips from something like Last of the Summer Wine!

Posted by steve at 10:09 PM

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