We are currently in a message series working through our church’s core values:
1. Pray regularly
2. Read the Bible
3. Engage in iron-sharpens-iron friendships
4. Live to tell others about Jesus.
5. Serve where God leads.
This week’s message was #4: Live to tell others about Jesus
Worship service ingredients:
Welcome & Announcements
Our God Saves (Baloche, Brown)
I Am Free (Egan)
[offering] Lord We Pray (Foote)
Reflection & Response:
Video “An Unspoken Plea” (Restoration Videos)
By Our Love (Nockels)
How it worked:
The idea behind the service was good, and the songs supported the message well. With a theme of telling others about Jesus, both as a church and as individuals, the time for reflection & response following the message was quite effective. The video ‘An Unspoken Plea’ is really well done… follow the link above and check it out! Christy Nockels’ song ‘By Our Love’ is a BEAUTIFUL call to action for the church.
We used the same video and the same song at the end of all services, including our 8:30 traditional service. We play our media through presentation software called Easy Worship. For some reason, despite the fact that we had previewed the video through Easy Worship with no problems, during the 8:30 service the video glitched and restarted itself about a minute in, then ran smoothly until the last 30 seconds when it glitched and tried to start over again. Our visual tech restarted everything before the 9:45 service, and then the video ran without problems for the remaining 2 services. What is up with that. :)
watch this brief video to get a feel for our morning.
The song that got us in trouble was “I Am Free”, which we’ve used lots and lots of times before. It was falling flat for some reason… could have been tempo, could have just been energy levels. Then, through just a slight mistake within the band, the song abruptly stopped before what was going to be an instrumental bridge. Pretty sure my face made it obvious that the abruptness wasn’t planned. There were even a few giggles from the congregation… an awkward silence… then our pastor got up and prayed, which was the next thing to happen anyway. Sigh. Not good not good.
We changed up our arrangement slightly, the band ran through it between services, and…..
The 11:00 service was very full, and really did include most of our high school and college students. The songs did not fall flat at all… in fact I saw greater responses during our music than I usually do. Why? Is it a combination of our preparedness… the congregations readiness… energy levels… expecting to be involved in worship… ? I don’t know for sure.
Let me say that I never know quite how to write about ‘things going wrong’. Because ‘wrong’ implies that there’s a ‘right’, and most of the time what goes wrong is not moral or ethical, but technical. Our pastor often says something like “Jesus isn’t going to fall off his throne…” when we’re grappling with decisions or issues that really aren’t absolutes. I know a smoothly running worship experience neither makes nor breaks God’s ability to work. But I also know that when there is a break in the flow of thought or reflection in a worship service, it can undo the work we’ve done to try to focus on God. Because we are fragile creatures and ‘focus on God’ isn’t usually our default position. What are your thoughts on this?
(unnecessary worship team video disclaimer: so I had already thought about having my fellow team members talk about our worship services on video today. They’re probably thinking that I only did this because we had a wee bit of a snafu in our music set. But it simply ain’t so. I will pull out the camera again soon and prove it.)