Here is a excerpt from my journal...if you don't want to read ramblings then click on the SNL link below instead.
Yesterday sermon title was "Transforming your life through prayer." Tim was the pastor, Sheila and I had been assigned to plan because Anthony was gone.
We had the idea to turn the service upside down and what really happened is God turned NL right side up!
As people walked into the auditorium I could see they were skeptical. Consumers of church, as we are so often, not wanting more than they expected. But God was mighty through Tim yesterday and had anointed him with words of power and from where I sat, on a stool on the stage, I could see the congregation open up and start to talk to God.
We opened with a drama called, "The Lord's Prayer" which explored what a conversation with God would sound like if He audibly responded to the prayer. We followed with corporate prayer and then group prayers. The small group prayer was a risk because it is an exercise we don't use in worship...ever. I really thought that there would be open rebellion but people did it. I thought we wouldn't hear them but we did. And when Tim started to pray as a sign of the end the congregation continued to pray getting louder...only stopping when they were done. I was amazed.
We had a time of individual/family unit prayer while I sang the song, "I Surrender." Tim instructed us to think of the one thing that we needed God to take care of...the one thing that was weighing on the family or individuals heart and take that one thing to the throne of God. As I sang I had the privilege of seeing families praying together in each other's arms. Mothers, fathers, small children and teen-agers talking to God, together. Singing to each other and wiping one another's tears...communicating with God and with each other.
We ended with the song, "Holy God" --a song that I think has such power to move our hearts to God and yesterday that time was full of the Holy Spirit. From my stool on stage, I saw God painting colors of power and love across the auditorium. I literally saw His power filling our members with his love...and the picture of un-abandoned worship was the most beautiful thing I have ever witnessed in 20 plus years of worship leading.
I think the difference in yesterday's worship from any other service was perspective. So often, we come to church to receive, to hear, to be entrusted, to be moved, preached to, or challenged...but yesterday we had to be involved. We had to give of ourselves and in return, we received more than ever before. I think that being at consumers at church may be the most lonely and dangerous role for us to play.