Tuesday, January 11, 2011

interactive worship: awaken/see afresh/live the change/pass it on

last year i read a review of the book Spiritual Intelligence on Jonny Baker's blog that piqued my curiosity. once the book was available in the United States i ordered it and read it last fall. Brian Draper wrote the book that looks at spirituality from a Christian perspective - but written for a wider audience.

Draper uses 4 icons to help guide the reader though a process of deepening one's spiritual focus in life.

the alarm clock icon is Awaken.
the eye is See Afresh.
the paint brush and palette is Live the Change.
while the arrow is Pass It On.

The book follows a pattern of these four icons while Draper also lists on his website a clearer understanding of what each of these four icons represents.

i liked the ideas found within the book (see my brief review on GoodReads) and felt compelled to design an interactive worship service based around the 4 themes Awaken, See Afresh, Live the Change & Pass it On. This time of worship meshed well with the natural tendencies of setting new years resolutions and what not - but i think this kind of service could work at any time.

this experience was also designed for a youth worship service - but i think it applies to all ages.

here is what we did:

introduction: God is doing a new thing.
18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
~Isaiah 43:18-19

brief overview of 4 themes: AWAKEN / SEE AFRESH / LIVE THE CHANGE / PASS IT ON

awaken: what was the top song of 2010? Katy Perry ~ California Gurls
(i played a 10 second snipit of that song on repeat)
What if this song were played on repeat indefinitely? it wouldn't take long to grow tired of it (some may already be tired of hearing it.) Why? because it would get old, etc.

it's a new year - and it's time for a new song. What will your song be for 2011?
are you awake enough to see what new things God has in store for you this year?
sometimes we need to slow down, look and listen for the the simple things in life - trying to get our attention.

showed short video Gentle Falling Snow (a simple video i made and posted on Vimeo)

see afresh: showed some photos from Steve McCurry (including his famous 'Afghan Girl" photo). talked about how art and photography, if studied and investigated - can help us 'see afresh.'
Each picture has a story behind it. What is that story? where is God in the image?

I also showed a series of 'found' images (lost photographs that have been found in random places).

this image from ASBO Jesus animator Jon Birch seemed relevant to 'See Afresh' also.

i finished up this segment with a brief reference to the Apostle Paul's transformation (Acts 9) where he was blinded on the Damascus road - but when the scales fell of his eyes - he saw a fresh vision from God. It was Saul/Paul's journey that was transformational - and enabled him to see something he had been missing (i.e. the truth found in Christ alone).

Peter Rollins once shared a story about Two Chimney sweeps that proved the point "it's the journey that is most important - not the destination."

live the change: the Parable of the Sower was then shared (Matthew 13) in a modern way (a surfing story created by a co-leader, Bryan).

Christ's challenge to be 'salt + light' was added to this. (from Matthew 5). Draper talks about this in his book: "salt doesn't tell you what to do. it simply is." light is the same way. live the change means grabbing ahold of the story of Christ and His redemption and 'living it' with action and word.

pass it on: how can we/should we 'pass it on'? check out 1 Peter 3:15. check out Matthew 28 (the great commission).
one easy simple and easy beginning step is what Draper calls the 'Smile Project.' it's easy - when you walk into a room of people, smile. watch for the reactions of others. watch how a simple smile can bring change (both in you and in others). watch how it can be contagious.

after this - we finished the worship with a time of interactive worship - a time for students to connect with God.
here is a brief description of each station.

interactive worship stations:
collection of interactive stations images [1] [2] [3] [4]

awaken station (a new leaf): various leafs were cut out and placed on a table. students were invited to list the high and low points of 2010 on one side. then they were to 'turn over a new leaf' and write hopes and dreams and goals for 2011 on the flip side. then they tacked the 'new leaf' side to a bulletin board.

see afresh (every picture tells a story): this station featured 48 images from the Youth Specialties publication Every Picture Tells a Story. the instructions were as follows: look and examine the image. what stories do they tell? what are the stories of their past... their future? then 'if one were to take a snapshot of your life, what would people see when they looked at it?

live the change (salt and light): on one side of the table were some flashlights. students were to shine the flashlight around the room and take note of how the light illuminates the things it shines on. they were then asked to write on Post-it notes 'how can you shine the light of Christ this week?'

on the other side of the table were some salted and unsalted Saltine Crackers. Students were to try one of each and to note the difference in taste. Then they were to write on Post-it notes ' how can you add flavor to your life and to the lives of others?'

pass it on: 5 or six different pieces of card stock were laying on a table with words like Generosity, Kindness, Stillness, Genuineness at the top. Students were invited to write, in their own words - how living this out would be a benefit to their life and to others.

one final station had a printout of The Lords Prayer (in NIV and Message translation). along with the text i had images from the deluxe version of Derek Webb's Feedback album (an instumental album based on The Lords Prayer). the images were painted by Scott Erickson and photographed by Jeremy Cowart. (feedback video promo on vimeo)

we had a good response to the interactive stations. thanks to Brian Draper for the inspiration.
it is my prayer that all who participated and interacted will be compelled - God willing - to Awaken, See Afresh, Live the Change and Pass it On. may you be compelled, also.

collection of interactive stations images [1] [2] [3] [4]

Tim Beck
youth pastor
Christ UMC Louisville

No comments: