The coming generations want a church that is real, relevant, and relational. The coming generations are not interested in serving as a church officer, formal attire, or "sit and soak" worship. The coming generations are not interested in professional advancement or making bucket loads of money. The coming generations want to make a difference. The coming generations are interested in transforming the world. It is time for the church to do things differently. It is scary for me to think about but in our new service, which begins in February we are going to try different things. We will have coffee and refreshments inside the worship area, and tables and chairs in the side isles to create a cafe adjacent to the pews. We will post pictures on the walls which reinforce the theme for that morning. Our call to worship might begin outside the building to create a buzz and then process inside. We won't have a printed bulletin but we will have liturgy. We will have one lay person each week stand up and share their "God sighting for the week." We will have a quality band singing secular as well as Christian music which brings us to a strong connection with Jesus.
Most importantly we experiment with preaching. At the classic service I will preach 15 minutes of a sermon that can be divided into 3 parts. This works for people my age and older. We are used to uninterupted, talking heads but the coming generation grew up on 30 minute sit coms where no scene lasts more than 2 minutes. (This began with Seinfeld, test it out, put a stop watch to the scenes of your favorite show). For the contemporary service, it might work better to use only 2 parts of that 3 part sermon. The would be a beginning sermon section of 5 minutes and then people would be invited to have 3 minute directed conversation among themselves discussing what they have just heard and experienced. The more introverted or shy folk will be invited to pray at their seats or at a designated prayer station in the worship area for those 3 minutes.The proclaimer would then call everyone back together, conclude with the second 5 minute sermon segment and repeat the reflection process.
I am persuaded that this is what the church for tomorrow will look like. Do any of you worship like this? Will you write me and let me know about what it feels like to worship like this?