Church is such a gift from God. We come each week to stand publicly as people who declare Jesus Christ as Lord. The Bible is read, we pray and sing together, for a moment in the week we get to share physically our unity in Christ.
One of the beautiful things of Church is that it looks different the world over. The cultural aspect to our church meetings is simply stunning. God is not corporately worshiped in 1 uniform way. There is freedom in how we meet and encourage one another under Christ. There are some central elements of Church we must affirm. The heart of Church is God. He gather us. He has something to say to us through his Word. We respond in him in prayer, song and community. it is always God’s church no matter what it ‘culturally’ looks like.
These posts are not intended to provide the ‘best’ segments of Church. They are new things I have seen and enjoyed. I understand they may not be new to you.
(1) Signs of Grace
Youth Ministry built around Christian community places a great emphasis on corporate sharing. For the last 9 years at Northmead we encouraged our Christian Youth, from NC families or not, to see Youth as a place they can share what God is doing in their lives. The body of believers then pray for them and follow them up. It has been a wonderful witness of their partnership with God.
In Adult Church sharing has been in my experience awkward. Small groups within the meeting can be beneficial but also intimidating to newcomers and shy members. Public sharing of prayer points is usually best left to home groups.
The Point run a segment called Signs of Grace. It is for adults to publicly share where God has been working in their life. Usually 5-10 40+ year olds stand and share how they have experienced God’s Grace recently. Today we witnessed the care of God for the sick, the generosity of God’s people for a neighbour church, the comforting reminder that God adores his child.
Key areas for success.
- It needs to be run well. This includes explanation and modeling. Max 15 seconds (normally 30). Big time of prayer following the sharing
- It must fit with the culture of the church. A community will not naturally see the signs of grace without being encouraged to look for them.
- It takes patience and courage to get the segment running. Adults do not naturally share in front of 200 people.
- It is risky. So when it fails (eg. someone uses the mic to preach a mini sermon or vent) the leadership must deal with this wisely to protect the community, the segment and help the person.
Signs of Grace was real, authentic and not awkward. It’s focused the community on praising our good and gracious God in a new and fresh way. In my mind all day I have been more thankful for what God has given me.