Well, here's something interesting: the youth ministry program that Richard and I nurture has been growing. Both in spiritually and physically. It's been so great. My biggest problem now: the church. We had our sponsorship dinner last night. Not only is it our biggest fundraiser of the year, it's also the best opportunity that the members of our church have to get to see the youth group first hand . . . in all it's goofiness and Godliness. The kids put together a talent show that was awesome! They did a lot of their acts that they did for the school talent show and also did little skits that shared parts of our youth group experience (that were pretty much just goofy).
Explain to me, when we had over 100 people in church Sunday morning, why only about 35 (1/3 parents) showed up for this!? Here's the thing: we raised more money than last year. Why? Because the people that were there, cared and gave us money. But I'm still so, hmm, what's the word, jacked, at the larger congregation. Only 3 or 4 of our 13 session members were there!? Ah!!!
Yesterday, was also our first contemporary youth service. For all of you who have experienced nothing but contemporary worship at large evangelical churches, you probably do not understand why this is a big deal. But it is a very big deal in probably 90% of the churches in the country that didn't emerge in the 80's/90's at the dawn of CCM. I feel that most of the present churches at that time didn't know what was hitting them - and then felt bitter that they were going to have to either change or try to let their beautiful pipe organs compete. Hmmm.
Anway, it went really well. We used a projector and Affix lead worship with just guitars (we'll introduce some more instruments next time). And, I preached. I didn't cry either - or even come close to crying - which is a huge success for me! A lot of people said they really enjoyed my sermon, and they seemed sincere. (Disclaimer: I didn't write it - I adapted one that came with this new curriculum I'm using). It went pretty well, just some technical issues, that we'll iron out for next time. Like getting the screen up higher and Affix bringing their sound system because the church needs a new one! A lot of the youth participated in the service, I knew a contemporary service would be better received if it involved the youth! For now we're going to do this six times a year, but I'm hoping it will lead to permanently blending the two worship styles together!