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....