About three weeks before Easter, the pastors met to discuss plans for that day. Some of those discussions were logistical – parking, childcare, greeters, etc. In that meeting, we decided to try three Sunday service on Easter. (I don’t know that Bethel’s ever done three…and even if so, it’s been awhile!)
Our discussion then moved to promotion. How did we want to spread the word and invite folks to be apart? This was basically brainstorming – just throwing ideas out. In that discussion, Ross and I stumbled on this idea of him “hosting” the whole worship service. I’ve always been intrigued by services like this and I think my recent reading of Worship By The Book influenced me to push for what I consider a “whole worship” service. The plan – at that stage – was simple. Ross would carry all the speaking from the stage. As we sang, he would guide us through scripture and lead us in our worship time.
We threw out all the standard titles: “Alive”, “Come awake”, “Celebrate”, etc., but none of them felt like US. At some point, we landed on the letter V for victory. But what if we had other “V” words? What if we could celebrate Easter in a linear, clear presentation of the whole gospel?
Ross was okay with the idea, but wasn’t sure if we could find the words. But after about five minutes, we landed on “volition”. This would allow us to teach from scripture that God initiated this redemption of His own will. Jesus went to the cross for the joy set before him.
As soon as volition was on the list, Ross went to work. In 30 seconds, he had violence and vicarious. Suddenly, we had three talking points to lead us to celebrate Christs’ victory over the grave!
A week or so later, Ross and I got back together and shaped up the ideas with song placement. I have to give props to my friend and senior pastor. He was tentative about taking all the “talking” from me. In truth, he was taking away some of the “worship leading” from what I normally do. I appreciate his humility, but this idea was just too good! I had no problem surrendering the microphone.
TAKEAWAY: It’s hard to have takeaway from a planning session, but I will say this about those meetings where ideas are flying around and some of them begin to land:
That’s when it gets fun!
Ministry is a tough job, but there are perks. To me, there is nothing more cool than a planning meeting where God is obviously moving and enlightening His people with creativity.
Next post will focus on promotion and what we did to get folks excited!