Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Creative People - Share some Ideas!!!

So we are planning a night of worship at our church. This is the first time we've ever done anything like it. It falls the week before Thanksgiving and so thankfulness would be a general theme.

We are having a meeting to start planning it out tomorrow. Here's what I need from you.

Share with me a meaningful time of worship. Maybe it was at a church, a small group, outdoors in the mountains...whatever. What is something that you walked away from and thought, "Wow...I was with God. I worshiped him." could be anything. OR share with me something you've thought about that you would like to participate in.

We have a blank slate...I'd love to hear your ideas.

I don't know who reads this. Maybe this post my cause someone to post a comment that doesn't normally. If you think about posting something - please do.


Rick said...

Kristi--When Jan and I were first married, we went to a Christmas service in San Francisco where Jan's aunt was the pastor. It was a small church and only about 30 people were there. It was the kind of service I normally make fun of--unskilled singing, and a lot of self-written poetry. But it was obvious that the people loved Jesus and loved their pastor, so I was deeply moved. It was even more memorable because it turned out to be her aunt's last Christmas service--she died suddenly about 3 weeks later. I love our church and the resources we have to provide a worship experience. But I'll never forget that service which proved to me that "where 2 or 3 are gathered together in My name..."

Sarah said...

The times that have been the most profound for me have been similar to what Rick described ... not all about the production, the fog machines, the right lighting and etc. More organic and natural, not very forced. Does that make sense? Where you don't really notice the worship leaders or the "show."
Think Dorm Devos, acoustic guitar, low-key leaders ...

nabz said...

Some of my deepest places of worship have been after i moved to Arizona. Since then, when I hear the song Blessed Be The Name of The Lord i get emotional. Because yes, i'm in that desert place & had to give up ministry, my dreams, being near my church family & immediate family. i was so sad, it was hard at first, but i still praised the God who is above it all! Worship was always easy when things were going my way, but my true worship came when everything was stripped away. It's those times I have really felt His presence and strength to get me through my darkest places & set my feet back on a rock so i can stand!

Sarah B. said...

I would have to agree with Sarah from above...more organic. I think when the music is toned down and I can here the people the whole church singing I feel a wow factor. Like we are his big choir singing his praises...awesome.

johnsonandjohnson said...

Hmm....I personally love all the lights and the pizazz because I like to see the liveliness in people when they are worshiping.....BUT....a few years ago at a CIY when Brian was working there....I remember this image as if it were yesterday. They had just finished a time of worship---lots of lights---lots of loud music---and then poof all lights were off except for one tiki light burning in the middle of the stage. The music died off and then you just heard hundreds of teenagers singing at the top of their lungs...very moving for me. So, I guess there is something to be said about both the lights and the quiet

The Unlikely Pastor's Wife said...

I personally love the organic as well. One thing I love from our taize service is a few repetive responses to scripture...rather than a whole song. I can give you a sample if you are interested.

I also like the candle mood, acoustic feel.....maybe banjo with piano.

But honestly...with thankfulness in mind and prayer as your head- you won't go wrong.

Angie said...

OK, broken record here...but yes, acoustic, organic, all that stuff everyone said is awesome! My 2 fave worship times in recent memory are 1. when our power went out in the middle of the set - no lights in a room w/out windows (except the emergency lights), and nothing but an acoustic guitar & voices of the whole group. I think people actually sang louder & with more heart when the instruments/effects were off. 2. on a special 9/11 service we had a few years was a very new experience for our contemporary service we sat on pillows in a circle around the cross and had different worship 'stations' where we could paint on the wall, take communion at our leisure, write messages to God...and the 'leader' was in the circle with us - no spotlights, etc on him, so there was nothing else to focus on but the cross. Very moving & very memorable.

Heidi said...

For me, the most potent (and I'm mean that in the most positive way)was last Christmas Eve. The lights were out, everyone was holding a candle, and we sang Silent Night a cappella. Never in my life have I felt so connected to a worship song. It was amazing...

I love lots of different worship styles - but what resonates the deepest with me is when I get to participate in corporate worship and still be "in the quiet" - I don't know how else to say that. It's like Sarah said - being able to hear everyone around you.

Powerful stuff....

Holly & Cory said...

I think on top of all those ideas, Have different outlet for worship. Although those people who have the vocal capacity tend to look more to that as their form of worship there are other ways to show worship. I was an intern at a church in Irvine that each week had a different outlet of worship along with singing. Some weeks it was painting and drawing. Sometimes it was one person and others when there was paper, paint, crayons, pens everything scattered around the room for everyone to use.

The other thing which I thought was very cool, was once a month they had food items on both sides of the room and during the singing, once again, and you would make sandwiches and then add different items to make a lunch. After church it was open to anyone to participate but people took the lunches down to a homeless shelter. Not typical but you asked for creative.

The Craftypigs said...

Get out of the building. Some of the best worship for me has been outside, away from the auditorium. Go down to the beach, be barefoot, be real.

Rick said...

I like all of the comments, but I don't want to devalue the worship experience we have in the auditorium. The lights and smoke may not be necessary for most of us, but it may be necessary to attract those whose original reason to come to church is not necessarily to worship. Eventually they may get to the special nature of "God and me" times that we all look forward to, but may not happen initially. There have been some very special worship times for me in the auditorium in the year we've been attending:
1) Any time we open with "How Marvelous, How Wonderful."
2) The interview with the Olsons
3) When Bruce told the story of the lady and the "Black Tacoma"
4) Any time we sing "He Knows my Name"
5) Any time Bruce is moved to tears.
To name a few

World of Wright said...

I love the lights, visual effects & pyrotechnics because it draws in the curious and our purpose is to draw in those who might not otherwise visit church bucause of their idea that it will be boring and out of touch with reality.
Now on the other hand, I love the quiet accustic moments too when you hear the voices around you praising God. This is a night of worship so you aren't limited to 4 songs. I think you could deffinitly mix it up with both types of worship and appeal to a brouder aduience.
One more thing, I love hearing the kids worship. Nothing makes me more happy than to see my kids praising God!

Diane Davis said...

I am only speaking for myself... but here goes:

I don't think cultural relevance for the "non-believer" is about louder and bigger programming. I think people are tired of noise and crave the contemplative. And that is what personally moves me.

Just last week I was in Mississippi, and I was at a social event in a bar. It was 9/11 and someone got on the microphone and asked for a moment of silence. I had a beer in hand but I closed my eyes and had a moment of mindfulness for the families thinking back to seven years ago. It felt VERY spiritual and I believe God was in that bar. I was so grateful for the opportunity to be silent for a moment.

So that is what I would say draws me to worship... mindfulness.

This is two-fold... mindfulness/awareness in "He knows my name" in being loved personally by God AND AND AND mindfulness/awareness in justice issues of caring for others.

I also personally also like old hymns that connect me to the past (such as Be Thou My Vision). History in the faith is moving to me.

One more thing... I can't stand a worship service that is all about gratefulness and doesn't recognize that there is suffering in the room. Worship that allows us to be who we are is important. When it all comes down to it, I just think it needs to be authentic.

I enjoyed reading what everyone had to write on this subject.

Anonymous said...

Hi - This post caught my eye. At our church we have a service where people are encouraged to stand before everyone and testify of Christ and what they believe.
Sometimes they share a spiritual moment in their life, sometimes how they have gotten through a hard time.
It is all voluntary. Anyone can get up and it is always a very moving and spiritual.
It is nice to hear what those you see every week at church really feel. It helps your own faith to grow and also the person sharing feels a spiritual growth.
Good luck with your Night of Worship.

Jon in HB said...

I like it to be dark. It helps block out distractions of others. I can focus better. I like to here testimony. It helps me to connect and see that others have shared my struggles. I like songs I know, familiar songs. At times, I like ritual and tradition. Baptisms, communion, old hymns that I had forgotten, but know by heart, they all make me cry. I like to feel more like a participant than an observer. The more "real" the moment is, the more I'm hooked.

christie walker said...

All the bells and whistle are great sometimes but to me that is not the most intimate.

simply, dark lighting, mellow.

I like what Sarah said.

SingingShrink said...

THREE: 1-once in New York at the small Missionary Alliance church I attended for a couple years, a couple had just lost a VERY young baby, and we sang (preplanned of course) Blessed be your name, complete with "you give and take away" bridge. It was a very emotional service seeing the couple worshiping as best they could through the tears. I had a similar experience trying to worship through the emotion of watching people hurt and trying to be grateful through it all for God's love. I'll never forget it. It's still a very meaningful and moving song for me.

2-amazing grace/my chains are gone in the middle of the Easter service (maybe last year?), I think all of us have felt chains in our lives at one time or another, and to meditate on God taking those away, to feel free, there's nothing like it.

3-Any time that I sing a solo in church, the last time I sing it, the time when I know I get to be done for the day, when I get to let go and sing it out without having to worry about saving enough to get through it again, it's always the best emotionally and from a worship perspective I feel more connected. Each time as I finish the song for the final service, I feel a big surge of emotions, usually gratitude for my gifts, appreciation for such an amazing way to express myself through it, and feeling blessed that perhaps people can take something different away from the service because I was a part of it. I guess you could say that I like to worship by using God's gifts to serve others. That always makes me feel good.