Last night was our fifth service, and though I'm not sure how you could make a judgment like this, I would say it was definitely our best. When I think of what defines a "good" church service, the first thing that comes to my mind is the presence of God. We gather together as a community with the purpose of hearing from God and responding to him in worship, and we hope that he will make himself known to us by his presence. And last night he did just that.
I, and others that I talked with, could sense his presence with us. Our worship time was very rich--that's the only word I can use to describe it. I came away extremely encouraged and edified. The first song after the sermon was Revelation Song, led by my beautiful wife Breena and Kelly Heasley. (My wife did a fantastic job, by the way, and it was only the second time she has ever sung in front of a group!) That is such a Spirit-filled song, and it really set a tone for our time of responsive worship.
Because it was the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we wanted to do something to commemorate the event. But yesterday morning I still had no idea what we were going to do, and then my wife came across this amazing video from the I Am Second series. So we started the service with it, and it was a pretty heavy way to begin a worship service. If you haven't seen it yet, and you've got ten minutes, you should definitely watch it: Sujo John - I Am Second
The sermon was the fifth in our Jeremiah series, and I'll post a recap of it tomorrow. I'm becoming more comfortable preaching again. Even though I rewrote the last half of my sermon on Friday night, I felt far less tied to my notes than usual. I've also moved from the floor to the stage, which, I think, has subconsciously made me take the sermon more seriously. Not that I didn't take it seriously before, but being on the stage makes me feel like I'm preaching, whereas being on the floor makes me feel like I'm sharing.
I can't forget to thank the band for rolling with me last night when I asked them to do one more song at the end. Charlie, Garth, Kelly, and Breena...thank you! You guys are awesome! And if you weren't there, you missed Charlie's beatboxing--I mean, "vocal percussion"--on one of the songs. You should definitely come to Ember, because where else are you going to hear a banjo, a pump organ, a fiddle, and beatboxing in the same worship set?!