I already wrote about my personal experience today, but here's a run-down of the actual service.
We're in the third week of Big Stories of the Bible 2.0 (or II) and today's topic was Abraham and God's request that he sacrifice Isaac. Heavy stuff - child sacrifice - for a 21st century church. Brian did an awesome job with the message (check out Powhatan Community Church on iTunes to get podcasts), and the rest of the service, though challenging, worked.
Today was the first day that we began to run live music in Power Jam, our kids' ministry. To make this work, I split all of our musicians into three teams (they'd been running as two bands, serving two weeks on and two weeks off). The new schedule has one team in 'Big Church' for one Sunday, then in PJ the following week, then off one week. We're going to try this until the end of August and see if we can get some momentum going and work out the technical kinks.
Today the tech issues and lack of manpower bit us hard during set up, and we ran really late. Our 'Big Church' team was heavy with teens and we really needed the extra time - but we didn't get it. We ended up cutting a tune and working up to the wire with a good bit of stress - but attitudes were remarkably good and I sensed a prevailing spirit of unity.
Here's how the service went down:
Happy Day - Tim Hughes. We had to change the key so our girls could lead it, and it lost some of its punch - plus we only had one electric guitar, and this song needs a bit more power. But it was a good start.
Marvelous Light - Charlie Hall. A first for us, the teenagers suggested it because they loved it at World Changers. Good song, pretty much the same chord progression as 'Happy Day', which I realized after we got into it...
Mighty To Save - Laura Story. Great song.
Our series introduction video was homegrown and a great first effort by Scott Gordon; I hope to post it here tomorrow.
The Guide - Borne. This is the tune we ended up cutting, but we'll throw it in next time. Sweet song. It talks about Jesus, but I really don't think it's literally about Jesus - however, we chose to present it as such because that's how those of us who know it interpret the song.
I Need to Wake Up - Melissa Etheridge. We left out the second verse for expediency and to avoid any political overtones, but this song stands powerfully in a worship service that calls for change, commitment, movement, etc. We wrapped it around a video - Clean Slate by Friendswood Community Church (check it out at WorshipHouse Media here); after the first verse and chorus, which were mostly acoustic, we played a quiet vamp underneath the video and its audio. As it ended, we pushed hard into the chorus, did the bridge, and then back through the chorus again. It really worked.
It was a good day - trying for us in terms of human resources, but also informative and a blessing. We stretched ourselves a good bit. Before service, when we gathered all of the Power Jam folks, the tech crew, all the musicians and everybody involved, we had a crowd of close to forty people. Now that is a powerful sight, seeing that many individuals commited to making church happen for their community and to 'bring up there, down here.'