Thursday, January 26, 2012

Messing with a Good Thing, Pt. 1

I wanted to take some opportunities to explore a little of the "why" behind some of the changes seen in our worship services over the past several weeks and months.  We've tried to explain it as we go but that doesn't mean that everyone caught it or remembers.  Plus, the conversations & questions that sparked some of these changes would be good thought-prodders for all of us in all areas of life.

We've had really good worship services at LifeQuest Church for a long time.  What prompted us to mess with a good thing? If I were to try and point to a starting place or a spark that began it all, I'd have to say it was a book written by Jim Cymbala titled "Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire".  Quotes like this one started the wheels turning:
"...the writer to the Hebrews nails down the most central activity of all for Christians: "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need" (Heb. 4:16).  It doesn't say, "Let us come to the sermon." We in America have made the sermon the centerpiece of the church, something God never intended.  Preachers who are really doing their job get people to come to the throne of grace. That's the true source of grace and mercy." pg. 84

When we started really examining the structure of our worship service, we found that everything led up the message AND once the message was given we allowed about 3.5 minutes for response to that message before moving right along.  When we asked ourselves why we planned our services that way, the only answer was "well that's the way it's done, right?"  That wasn't good enough so we began asking questions like: "Is prayer a priority in our worship gatherings?" "Do we allow time for people to see God at work in our midst?" "How could we structure our services to allow more time for prayer, response, and life application?" etc.  Please note we weren't even concerned with what other churches were doing or what the latest hip thing is.  I haven't been to a church that does what we're trying to do...that doesn't mean they don't exist but just suffice it to say: We are trying to create space for listening to God in our services...we're not trying to find the latest, greatest worship fad.

CLICK HERE to read part 2....

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

ONE VOICE: Your Great Name

The Song:
At LifeQuest Church, we’re kicking of a new year of worshipping God together by learning the song “Your Great Name” by Krissy Nordhoff & Michael Neale.  For some reason, the song strikes me as a great anthem for a new year, new opportunities, new birth, a new dawn.  We begin 2012 by proclaiming the great power of our God and Savior. At the sound of His great Name: “lost are saved, find their way…every fear has no place…the enemy, he has to leave…the weak find their strength…hungry souls receive grace…”

By His power you can live with greater confidence and less fear this year.  By His power you can make a new start this year.  By His power you can experience healing this year.  By His power you can help someone else come to know Christ.  By His power you can make a tangible impact in your community and world.  I trust that—by the power of His great Name—LifeQuest Church will accomplish great things for Christ and His Kingdom in 2012!!!

CLICK HERE to download this song from iTunes.

Lifting my voice with yours, Pastor Neil