As a pastor at Living Word, my Sunday mornings are pretty busy. There are last minute details to take care of, mini problems to be solved, and lots and lots of people to say hi to. So, when I walk into the Main Auditorium or Life Center for the service to begin, there is a lot on my mind.
And that doesn’t include everything else that went on during the week!
We come to church with a lot on our minds, yet we want to meet with God. We want a word from God. We want a connection with God, but we are distracted. The staff know this because we are distracted, too. That is why we seek to create an environment that helps you settle in and get ready for the next hour, for the worship service and the message.
We are doing several new things to help this happen.
First, a few minutes before the service begins, we have a video. Many Sundays it is a short recap of the message from the previous Sunday. For people who may have missed the previous Sunday, it is a 2-minute summary of the essential ideas that prepares them for today’s message. We then have a countdown so you know when the service begins.
Next, many Sundays this fall we are going to do the Welcome to Living Word and video announcements at the beginning of the service. The lights will come down a bit as the welcome begins. This gives additional time for people to get into the sanctuary and find a seat. Plus, when everyone is sitting down, it is easier to find a seat.
Then, the worship begins and God is at work drawing us to himself, speaking to us, and loving us. We are enjoying being with God and with our friends as we worship. Worship includes the songs of worship, as well as words of encouragement and prayer from our worship leaders.
When worship is over, a pastor or director on staff will share some thoughts and build a connection between the worship and the message. There may be one special announcement we highlight. We give our gifts to God as an act of worship. We spend a little time in prayer.
All this flows right into the teaching pastor and the message. From time to time, we have a lead-in video that introduces the message.
We have final worship that follows the message. We have found that worship is an important way to respond to God in light of what we have heard, so we end with worship and a final word of encouragement and prayer. After that, we’re off to whatever God has for us in the week ahead.
All of this is how we weave together a spiritual experience of worship, word, prayer, and response on Sunday mornings. It is a great privilege to help you experience Christ and his purposes.
Thank you for being a part of the family of Living Word.
P.S. Of course, the wonderful time of connecting with friends before, during, and after the service is just as important. Be sure to do that, and enjoy a cup of coffee when you do.
Having the ability to empower and resource leaders to bear much fruit that lasts. Being a part of a team of friends and missional servants committed to changing the world.