Sunday, October 14, marked an important day for us as a church here at Redeemer. We held an evening of modern worship called “Taste of Second” to give people a chance to interact with the contemporary liturgy we are officially launching Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013. God showed up in a mighty way! Afterwards, I heard “MANY” positive comments from those in attendance at the Second Service. The one thing which surprised me most was the volume level of people singing. Check out some of the comments made on Facebook following the service (people’s names have been removed for confidential reasons):
“Amazing contemporary worship service tonight!” #soblessed
“Went to the first contemporary church service at Redeemer Lutheran. Thumbs up!”
“Great worship service tonight … contemporary Christian praise & worship songs, a contemporary service … and picked up what I missed in this morning’s service when I had my sweet (albeit busy) grandson with me! Great ending to a wonderful weekend.”
A grade-school child commented that it was their “best Sunday EVER!”
A few general comments from people immediately after the service:
Something to the effect: “And look, nobody burst into flames.”
“This was a very moving service!”
One newer, multi-generation family (non-members) enthusiastically said, “We’ll be back!”
With a disappointed look, “You mean we have to wait until January for the next Taste of Second?”
This is from an email I received from a longtime member:
“I just had to write and tell you how engaging I felt the new service format is. As the first song started I felt a chill and tears well up in my eyes. This feeling occurred several more times throughout. When I saw the older couple go up for communion I was so touched and happy that they would come to experience the new format. I really felt God’s presence there last night. The time for personal prayer was very beneficial. The whole experience just felt so much more personal than I have experienced at Redeemer since joining in 2,00X.”
Based upon the comments made, it is evident God’s hand was at work. Overall, the initial run of the Second Service could not have gone any better. I also think we learned a lot. I am extremely proud of Redeemer and the part each of you played to lead us where we are today in the ministry enhancement process. We stand on the shoulders of many faithful men and women of faith, pioneers in mission, who were ready to try new things for the sake of reaching the unchurched with the Gospel of Christ. I witnessed that same spirit during Taste of Second. The task that stands before us is truly a God-sized task, calling for us to lean fully upon the Lord and His Word for its successful completion. We have wrestled with, and continue to wrestle with, some mission-critical questions as a church surrounding discipleship. The Second Service, as you can see from the above sampling of comments, is already making an impact in people’s lives. It was a milestone event for us as a church, and to think we were a small piece of this is extremely humbling. One of my major observations of the night, also voiced by others, is the overall acceptance of the service, giving strong affirmation to the style, focus, and direction of where we are heading with the Second Service.
Due to the overwhelmingly positive response, there has been some talk of offering Taste of Second a few more times prior to the Easter launch. These requests will certainly be considered. Watch for more info as the details and feasibility of this are discussed and worked out from the leadership, logistic, and volunteer standpoint. In the meantime, I invite you to join me in keeping this process in your personal prayers. I marvel at how far we have come in a relatively short period of time in our ministry enhancement process, which is not only a strong testament to you and your willingness to follow the Spirit’s leading, but also reveals something bigger going on … God’s mighty hand at work.
Words cannot express how proud I am to be your pastor! Our future is eternally bright through Jesus Christ, our Lord and guide! As we walk together in this brilliant Light, I cannot wait to see all God has in store for us in the days ahead!
Christ be my leader by night as by day;
Safe through the darkness, for He is the way.
Gladly I follow, my future His care,
Darkness is daylight when Jesus is there.
(“Christ Be My Leader”, LSB #861, v.1)
Christ be my Leader,