I love my church. ?For a lot of reasons.
I love the church's vision, values and mission.
I love the way God is working in people's lives in our church.
I love the diversity within our church.
I love our pastor and her leadership.
I love being part of a church plant and a movement of God.
Having been a pastor for ten years — and a church planter for almost half of that time — I am both very sensitive to and critical of almost everything churches do. ?This is especially true sitting in the weekend service (the same is true when I eat out in a good restaurant!)
I have to say that the Sunday services at my church are consistently excellent. But today was extraordinary. ?So I was reflecting on what made it such a special experience this morning.
The preaching was great — though we are blessed with great preaching every week.
The music was excellent and seasonal — but that is consistently true.
Those two ingredients are essential for an excellent service — but not quite enough for extraordinary. ?But add in the use of creativity and the arts, and you have something very special. ?In addition to great preaching and worship music this morning, we also had some of the best special music I have ever heard in church — and it connected directly to the message. ?Also, great use of video, projected images, etc.
In other words, the entire 60 minute experience worked together to create a place and space for people to experience and encounter God — and it was awesome!
Now I don't believe that weekend services are all about my experience… but it is nice when it all comes together.
When I was lead pastor at my last church, much of the planning for our weekend services began as much as a month or two prior. ?Tons of prayer, planning, study, etc, went into planning those services. ?And when it all came together, it was a powerful and life-changing experience for people.
The truth is that while Sundays aren't everything, Sundays matter a lot. ?Great weekend services are like a greenhouse for spiritual growth. ?It is worth the time, energy and prayer that it takes to make them great. ?And I am thankful for this morning's service and for a church that takes weekend services so seriously. ?(and not only that, but you should see what they do for the Familytime/Children's service… but that is another post altogether…)