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Monday, June 8, 2009
Trying Something New
I tried something new this week.
As a preacher, I'm accustomed to listening for a preaching direction in the quiet of my study. Then, the pattern continues, following God's lead, and delivering the end result as a monologue (or dialogue with a silent partner on a good week). This week there were too many ideas to fit into one message. I was sure of the theme, the possibilities, but not the focus.
It was then that it hit me (God, the Holy Spirit, a good idea, frame it as you wish), why not invite the congregation to notice what's in the scripture story and invite them to ask questions? (Instead of me imagining the questions and needs, and simply speaking to them.)
I could only think of one good reason not to do it...besides my apprehension. That's not how I was taught to prepare a sermon! But that's just what I did.
First, I wrestled with my own insecurities about doing something new. Then, I reflected on the practicalities of this unfamiliar event. Finally, I did it.
I was amazed at the holy conversation that took place right there in worship. God showed up!
I'm never surprised that God does good stuff or that God is always doing things in worship, or that God always shows up on time. I do have to fight the demons that whisper in my ear that someone will be unhappy, or that "this is crazy...this will never work."
It did work. People were engaged, inspired, and energized in fresh ways. They said so. They emailed so. They showed it with their questions, their eyes and their words.
God is always doing something new. I wonder what it will be tomorrow? I hope I notice and decide to join in. It's always good.
How about you? What have you tried new and different lately? What did God do in the middle of the adventure?