Phew. A busy Sunday. If you don’t know, we try and aim for a 75-minute service time regardless of the elements that go in it. I’m OK with it going five minutes over, but much after that and it messes with other things going on outside the sanctuary. (“How unspiritual”, you might exclaim. I disagree–but that’s for another time.) A look behind the curtain on Sundays like today and some of the silly logistical things we filter through while trying to keep our services at the agreed upon length:
- Wildwood Video–We had the Wildwood playground build over the weekend, and Quinn Miller put together a great video of it. That needed time in the services.
- Announcements–The announcement block was long. Poor Michael, he had to remember a lot (and did a great job at it). There were more announcements than usual, with some last minute additions.
- Baptisms–I didn’t put them third on the list because they were third in priority, I’m just kind of stream-of-consciousness right now. Two baptisms at the 9:00am service and six at the 10:45. They needed the right time and space in the service.
- Seek and Save Video–This was the humorous video that came during the service. Everything takes time. This took about two minutes. (For those of you looking for it, I don’t think it is available. We bought it from a conference we attended and aren’t allowed to freely distribute.)
All these things affect time, and we don’t want to be harbingers of frustration, so we try and accommodate where we can. Try. We sometimes become surgeons, picking and choosing where to cut–usually from the songs and the sermon. That’s OK by me in most instance, even though this passage was one of my favorites of the series (Col. 4:2-6). A short and triumphant passage about how we engage the world around us. . .
Because the passage was not long, and I felt comfortable in it, it became easy to condense down. Christians engage the world around them in three ways: (1) How they pray, (2) How they live, and (3) How they speak. All three matter and are necessary as we bring Jesus to others (not I didn’t say “bring others to Jesus”–that was on purpose).
Talking about evangelism in this manner makes me wonder why we reduce evangelism to tricks and gimmicks. I appreciate short gospel presentations. I also appreciate long ones. I appreciate not needing to give every answer right away. I appreciate videos explaining grace, and I appreciate a good tract. Above all, I hope that we, as a church, can simply be sensitive to the Spirit so that we know how to respond to “each person” (Col. 4:6). It is harder to trust the Spirit than to trust in a presentation, but may we never settle for that.
I wanted to send with two resources. First, this article from the Send Network talks about ways to bring Jesus into everyday conversations (Thanks, Michael Rhodes!). Talking about Jesus shouldn’t be awkward, that article helps break down awkwardness. Secondly, I wanted to share the freestyle video of Lecrae because it’s awesome. Remember the point: speaking about God’s grace should be able to roll off our tongue. Even if we’re rapping.