Tuesday, April 10, 2007

More Post Easter/Lent Thoughts

Preaching on Grace: Amazing Grace was the sermon series I preached during lent. The first four weeks I used a line from the first verse of the hymn as the springboard for the idea. Easter morning was the last of the Amazing Grace messages. I am confident that the folks at Evergreen know that we are not perfect—we are forgiven! I would highly recommend this type of series for Lent.

The Passover Seder meal: Our church has been truly blessed by having a relationship with a Messianic congregation. Our church will be celebrating the Passover Seder meal with Brent’s church next year! Twice they have had people from their church come out to lead our Seder. We are so looking forward to celebrating the Seder with them. I would highly recommend that every church develop a relationship with a Messianic congregation. My only complaint with our long time relationship is that they slaughtered us in softball! I digress… they have a wonderful perspective on the Passover that every Christian church needs to experience.

The “Right” Lay Leaders: We have lay folks lead our “Call to Worship,” “Admission of Failure” and “Assurance of God’s Constant Love.” Too often these are wonderful folks who are not very good in front of a crowd. Our Lay Leaders for Palm Sunday and Easter were high school students. They did a fantastic job! I would highly recommend having high school students assist with leading worship on these special Sundays.

Take a Day Off: Friday is my normal day off. I am ashamed to admit it but I end up working at least a couple of hours every Friday. Even with all that happened on last Friday I still went in early on Friday to get some work done. I did have good excuse for working—the special music the worship team was working on, Thursday we had our big Seder dinner and I had to lead three totally different worship experiences on Saturday night and Sunday morning (with three totally different messages). Next year I will be sure to take at least one full day off during Holy Week (maybe two). I was exhausted by the time I got home Sunday afternoon. I will try my best to not have the same thing happen next year.

Spring Cleaning at the Church: Does your church have a day for spring cleaning? Our “day” is the Saturday of Palm Sunday weekend. In days gone by, we could announce the spring cleaning day the week or two before and have good sized crowd show up to work. That game plan does not work so well in this current culture in our climate. The last three years it has rained quite heavily on cleaning day. Who wants to do yard work in the rain? On top of that, many of our folks are extremely busy with their many commitments and find it difficult to be at the church on a particular Saturday morning at 9 am for a work party. Next year we are going to try something new. We will have a two week period for the work to get done—with a work day the last day. We will have a list of all the tasks that need to be completed. People will be able o sign up for a particular task. They will have a two week period to accomplish that task. Some will choose to work in the evenings. Others may work on the “first” Saturday of the cleaning time because the weather is great. Some may come up on a weekday. I think that we will be able to get more people involved and more projects completed.

The Easter Worship Bulletin: We have a wonderful lady in our church who just happens to be an excellent artist. She was kind enough to draw the cover of our Christmas Eve worship bulletin and our Easter worship bulletin. Rosie painted the background for our manger and tomb scenes. She helped build/paint our Bethlehem stable. She could see what our Easter tomb looked like. She was able to make the bulletin covers correspond with what we had done to the front of our sanctuary. The bulletin covers were great! Consider using your artists for these special worship occasions.

Interpretive Dance: I am not the greatest fan of interpretive dance in worship. Too often it appears as though the dance has been thrown into the service without much thought. Laura (our fifth grader) dance every Saturday night when our worship team practices. She does an excellent job—she is very talented. I imagine that the angels were dancing that first Easter. It was a time of cosmic celebration—it still is a time of great celebration. It was very appropriate to have her dance during our special resurrection music. If your church has never experienced interpretive dance, an Easter service would be a good place to introduce it to the church.

That’s enough for today. I may have more thoughts tomorrow.


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