Have you ever listened to a speaker without any passion? You probably know what I mean – the people who speak in monotones; who read from sheets of paper, rather than use their notes as a guide…
Very few people in my church lack passion. I can disagree with what they’re passionate about, but I can appreciate that what they say has heart.
At the moment, my church works like a multiplex. It’s currently divided into two sections – there is the Sermon Stream and there’s Messy Church, which is a more creative way of looking at the Bible passage for adults and children.
There are, at the moment, three ‘segments’ to my church. The 10.10 section is purely for singing and prayer, with very little speaking otherwise. The 10.30 part of the service leans more towards a ‘normal’ church service, with a short, all-ages based talk. And then, at 11.10, is where the congregation splits up.
I did actually miss part of the first section of the service, so I can’t say what went on before the song I came into. There was a good mix of songs on the whole – both older and more modern ones. I like both, as long as they’re ones I’m actually able to sing. We have more of a worship band now and the particular grouping this morning worked really well.
Two different people led the rest of the service parts I was in for. The 10.30 section worked quite well where it was aimed at all ages. I did think there were a few parts of it that came across as a bit structured, but it did work really well. However, I’ve noticed that, when volunteers are called, they’re nearly always children. I think that, when more than one volunteer is needed, there should be a mix of adults and children for all age. Too few adults volunteer for anything. (The exception to this was my brother-in-law, who put his hand up as soon as he saw cake was involved).
The Sermon Stream, which was what I stayed for, was about passion – hence why I started my review the way I did. I felt that there was good engaging of the congregation going on. The preacher used questions to encourage people to think and the use of humour helped more of it to stick in my mind.
I also think that good use of visual aids was made – something I see so rarely in the Sermon Stream. It wasn’t a massive amount, but what was used was especially effective.
For the most part, all of the songs and prayers fit very well with the theme of the service. Both leaders were very passionate about what they were engaging with and although I might not have agreed with everything, I didn’t find myself switching off, as can sometimes happen.
I did feel a bit disappointed that the Lord’s Prayer wasn’t used and neither was the Grace. I know those are pretty minor things, but I still like those parts of the service.
The Sermon Stream preacher is one that I haven’t seen in action before, but I liked the service well enough to hope for more in the future by him. The song words didn’t always come up correctly on the screens, but for the most part, that wasn’t a problem.