Thursday, April 26, 2007

so why can’t those notices be worship huh?

I wrote the following email to some our ministry team on Tuesday. The background is that Sunday morning’s service was needing to include a baby dedication, a report back on a short term mission trip, a (ideally monthly) local mission focus, and a (ideally monthly) prayer for workers in their workplace – alongside the notices and offering. So we were trying to integrate all these together. I went home, thinking about worship, and wrote the following:

hi team,

Still thinking about all the negotiations today about bits in the services. Here are some reflections
1 – It’s a recurring theme over the last month.
2- It’s a sign of health that we have babies to dedicate, mission trips to report, ministries to promote.
3 – A church service should never be one long infomercial, a but “wait, there’s more …..”
4 – At the same time, it should be a time for the community of God to hear the stories and celebrate God among us during the week. This is worship not through song, but through the events of our everyday lives as an affirmation of God in all of our life.

So ….
what about if we worked at making more obvious that all the bits are in fact worship. They are not bits to be fitted in around songs, but are a healthy, vital part of our life that should get us going “praise God” (thanks) and “please God” (intercession).

So ….
what about we coin a regular part of Sunday. we call it say “community life.” we expect it to take say 15 minutes each service. what about we create a clear opening (set prayer?, set visuals) and a clear closing (pastoral prayer? and Lords Prayer) and in between, each week, we put the bits — the notices/offering/storytelling/red seat/etc etc.

what about if had an overall “leader” each week who were responsible to open and close and arrange the bits. they sit on the couch and interview people and pray. they ensure a mix of interview/video/ etc, so that it is not all talking heads. they are not the worship leader, and thus allow more participation and a different gift mix to be at work. the clear opening and closing allow the song worship leader to more smoothly integrate and link.

obviously it won’t happen this sunday, but could this make the “bits” more themed, more creative, more integrated into our worship.

any thoughts?

Posted by steve at 12:06 PM


  1. sounds like a plan!

    Comment by lynne — April 26, 2007 @ 6:18 pm

  2. Genius idea, I am going to put that to our community and see if we can do that…


    Comment by Jason Clark — April 26, 2007 @ 7:52 pm

  3. very interesting concept…so how was the church feedback on it?

    Comment by jason77 — April 27, 2007 @ 1:46 am

  4. On a trip to New York last summer we worshiped at Riverside and they spend much of the first part of their worship together telling the story of their work and their community. It was so good to hear a community celebrating the things that actually make it a community! They even called people forward to thank them for a job well done.

    The fact that it came at the beginning of the service meant that the rest of the worship was very much grounded in those thoughts of community and mission.

    I think your plan sounds great Steve and I’m sure it will be well received!

    Comment by stewart — April 27, 2007 @ 3:55 am

  5. at our church we have what we call “stories of wonder” which are anything from mission trip updates, specific praise for God’s work in someone’s life (a la ‘testimonials’), to anything else. It comes after the announcements (which are the very first thing we do) and ends with a prayer.

    Comment by geoff holsclaw — April 27, 2007 @ 10:25 am

  6. We sort of got half way – we have “Family News” that includes notices and testimony and spills into more general prayer and intercession – but I like your flow better.

    Comment by Jon Bartlett — April 28, 2007 @ 4:37 am

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