This is the last in a series of posts on changes in our approach to the weekend messages. Previous posts:
- From Application to Implication
- From Trying to Be Relevant to Demonstrating Relevance
- More Bible Teaching
- From Believer/Seeker to Gospel Saturation
This last change is the most obvious one of all--we've pretty much flipped the order of the service and added a variety of ways for people to respond to God and his Word in personal and corporate ways in the service.
Someone recently commented on it by saying, "We use to set up the message with the music, but now it's like we set up the music with the message." I prefer to say we give time for people to respond to the message right there in our service.
A few months ago Lois and I were visiting our youngest son's home church in Appleton, WI. Great church. Great service. But when Lois left, she said she wished we had had some time to respond to the message in the service. She wasn't saying that they do it incorrectly. She was just saying that she's grown to appreciate that time to respond in our services. And from the looks of it, so have a lot of other people.
How does this impact the messages themselves? Not so much except that I'm constantly thinking about how to tie the message to the response and offer some spiritual direction weekly.