We are two weeks into our new way of doing Sunday mornings and so far it's going well. It's not that we've enacted a revolution, you understand, just made some changes to shift the focus of what we're doing more towards discipleship.
So, we start with a block of worship songs that aim to lead us on a journey to an encounter with God. Then we have a 'sermon' (15 minutes) followed by refreshments, a chance for everyone to talk about what they've heard. Once everyone's got refreshments we have a Q&A about the morning's theme or get into groups to talk about we'll apply what we've heard to tomorrow (whatever that holds for us). At the end we get everyone together, draw the threads together, hear from the children and go home.
It doesn't sound too revolutionary but we hope it will be. We have changed the palate of the music we use - more contemporary, stringing songs together to lead us on a journey. We have changed the way we deliver the teaching to make it more focused. To aid learning we have produced a booklet of notes (we are working our way thematically through James) that forms the basis of the conversation both in church and at home groups. We are using the same teaching plan over all three services so that we do not overload on information.
The aim in all this is to focus on our lives as followers of Jesus. That's simple, what every church should be focusing on. It is also our aim to attract and keep people looking for a vibrant, relevant and welcoming worshipping community (something we have been struggling to do over recent years).
Change is always difficult and I am delighted with the way so many of our people have risen to the opportunity that this new way of working. Let's see what the next few weeks brings. I for one am excited.