After finishing our WIRED series, which focused on our individual relationship with God and spiritual discipleship, we are intentionally leaning towards a discussion of the character of God and who he is during these next few weeks. We've chosen a few adjectives for the messages, but they are by no means exhaustive. Our goal is to prompt thinking and generate your own exploration of who God is through the Bible, small group studies and prayer.
Our graphics team came up with a cool image. (One trivial tidbit of info concerns the blackboard in the series graphic image. That's a REAL blackboard from the VCU campus in the image...)
Here's the way the service ran today. For you local PCC folks, I encourage you to follow the links on the songs and add these tunes to your playlist. Worshiping throughout the week to songs that connect to your Sunday experience can provide some powerful moments for you to praise God and for him to speak to you. Click on any song to find it on iTunes.
God Is Great - Hillsong - This is an older tune that we did for the first time today because of the obvious connection to the series title. Easy to learn, lots of energy - it worked and was a lot of fun to lead.
Your Love Never Fails - Chris Quilala - The students have led this song at FOCUS and found it to be a powerful worship song. We were excited to "steal" it this morning. It was great to have Joseph and Samara lead with us; they are regular members of the FOCUS band, and it was cool to have them leading in the Big Room today!
We had a great 'Man On the Street' video that was shot by Rachel, a PCC student. A quick visit to Cary Street generated some interesting responses.
So Great - Michael W Smith, Israel Houghton, etc. - Bob Pino sent this song to me and strongly encouraged us to add it to the mix. It was more powerful than we ever imagined when we finally arrived at today's service. More than anything, it was awesome to look out over the crowd and see people responding physically; I saw a woman standing, hands open, eyes closed, simply worshiping God. Sarah said she saw a man standing in the upper section with his hands raised, looking like an angel worshiping God. Those are the most powerful moments for the musicians and production team - when we are prompted to interact with God in the middle of a service. When we witness it in the crowd, it's incredibly moving. I want to do this song again, soon.
Brian's message focused on the idea that God is safe. He taught about sheep and the imagery of Jesus as our shepherd. You can hear the message on the PCC website (www.powhatancc.org). Click on the 'TELL ME MORE" tab and find the message date - you can listen live or download it to your computer or iPod.
Safe - Natalie Grant - Our closing song was an intense reminder of the promise of God - when we are willing to trust him, he will meet us where we are. One particular line in the chorus has stuck with me all day: "Your love has mended my blisters and bruising shame/here with you I am safe".
The unique aspect to today's service - and something we'll keep out for the next four weeks - were two large boards painted with chalkboard paint, set at either side of the stage. As he began the message, Brian invited folks to come at any time - even while he was talking - and react to the statement "God is..." by writing their response on the chalkboard. We provided sidewalk chalk of various colors. People moved - during his message, during the closing song and then after the service ended. It was really cool - almost a holy moment - to read what people had written.
It was a good day. I'm looking forward to the next few weeks!
If you were there, we'd love to hear your thoughts about the service! Leave them in the comment section below.
This post is part of the Sunday Setlist blog carnival at www.fredmckinnon.com. Check it out for more updates about Sunday services around North America!