Worship Reflections 07.26.09

This was an unusual Sunday for us at First MB Church. Explanation to follow, but first…

Set list:
Love the Lord (Lincoln Brewster)
Your Name (Paul Baloche, Glenn Packiam)
You are the Light (Steve Fee)
Take My Life (Holiness) (Scott Underwood)
In Christ Alone w/ The Solid Rock (Getty/Townend, arr. by Travis Cottrell)

All the songs we used this week were very familiar for us except ‘You are the Light’, which we have only used once before.  I heard this arrangement of ‘In Christ Alone’ last week at the National Worship Leader Conference. The incorporation of ‘The Solid Rock’ in the middle of this song is perfect for our church….  kinda sad I didn’t think of it.  :)

The story: Last week, we finished an 8-week sermon series called ‘JesusSpeaks’ centered on Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 5-6-7, commonly referred to as the Sermon on the Mount.  As a summary and remix of the entire body of teaching, we decided to walk through the whole thing this week, adding as little as possible to Jesus’ words.  My dad’s church originated this idea a few months ago, but focused only on Matthew 5.  They were kind enough to share their work with us; we adapted what they did and added content from Matthew 6 & 7.  The intent was to walk through these teachings using actors, readers, music, video…. and for this to fill our entire time together.  

Here’s the overview:
Love the Lord
Your Name

greeting time / announcements
intro to the morning (our pastor)
Matt 5:13-16 – we are salt and light – presented by 2 actors using the Message translation
You are the Light
Matt 5:3-12 – the ‘blessed’s – presented by 2 readers with congregational participation
time of reflection (light piano in background, prompts on the screen)
Take My Life
Matt 5:21-48, 7:1-5 – the ‘you’ve heard it said’ sections – presented by 2 readers time of reflection (light piano in background, prompts on the screen)
Take My Life (reprise)
Matt 6:1-18 – acts of righteousness – presented by 2 actors
Matt 6:19-34 – trusting God to provide –
video: ‘Don’t Worry’
Matt 7:7-29 – build your house on the rock – presented by 4 readers
Conclusion – presented by our pastor
Offering – In Christ Alone/The Solid Rock

download the detailed script

I have about 47 disclaimers and ‘I wish…’ statements swirling in my head as I write this.  I think there’s much more that could be done creatively around something like this.  Both I and my partner in this ministry were out of town all of last week, which, of course,  had an effect on what we were able to do. That said, our intent was to give voice to Jesus’ words and I believe we did that. The incredibly unusual thing that happened is that the whole sequence of things ran short. Short. Nothing that’s planned for worship services ever runs short. :)  In our traditional service (which used exactly the same content but different songs), our pastor began his 6-minute conclusion with 30 minutes remaining in the service. !!!!!  Fortunately, he’s a guy who will cheerfully be flexible. He added a bit to his original plan and emerged with a great conclusion, essentially sharing his personal take-aways from these powerful words of Jesus.

Mad props & huge thanks to the staff of South Hutchinson Mennonite Church, who originated this idea, wrote the adaptations of Matthew 5:3-12 & Matt 5:13-16, and were willing to share with us.

This post is a part of Sunday Setlists at Fred McKinnon’s blog.  Check it out to read about lots of worship services AND to celebrate the one year anniversary of this connection point for worship leader folks.

11 thoughts on “Worship Reflections 07.26.09

  1. This sounds fantastic – almost like liturgy (which we don’t do, but I dream of one day doing). Weaving the songs into it really emphasizes the themes. What do you think you’d add to stretch it out a little longer? More artistic elements? More speaking? Love In Christ Alone w/Solid Rock – heard it on an album recently and had to hit re-play several times – didn’t get old!

  2. Thanks, Justin. It is a great song… a friend and I were just discussing this yesterday. It is one of the more powerful songs we use in our contemporary service, yet it is essentially a hymn. I suppose it’s a testament to what happens when lyric and tune and heart combine perfectly.

  3. i KNOW. :) If the crazy worship leader had had her head on while out of town she could have remedied this and packed the service full of more stuff. On the other hand…. how long would it take to actually deliver the sermon on the mount? hmmm…. Actually, I think the deal is that when you have people working off scripts, as we did, nobody stretches their stuff to fill more time. Anyway…. all was well. no complaints about getting out early. :)

  4. It ran short????Um. Wow. Now I truly know all things are possible!We don’t do a lot of drama, mainly because the people involved cross over into so many other areas. Maybe one day, or maybe not. Craig Groeschel gave a great message about knowing what we should and shouldn’t do in ministry at Hillsong this year. It’s made me sit back and have a look to check we’re not stretching ourselves too thinly in the minors…

  5. This sounds really unique Kim. We have an excellent drama team but I don’t think we utilize them to the best of our ability. This service must have been very creative and edifying! Always appreciate reading your worship recaps.

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