What happened at Pentecost is described by the evangelist Luke in the Acts of the Apostles as follows: "Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (NIV, Acts 2-2-3)
Violent wind and many voices
This spirit in common reminds us, that the Sunday service and the work of the church, in general, should be open to everyone. Worship is a shared celebration of all who come together to celebrate. Not only the work of a vicar and some few members. This can be remembered most especially around the day of Pentecost.
We have gathered some ideas for more participation:
- Involving the congregation in the Bible passage or theme of the upcoming sermon, even working together on a sermon text in advance.
- Collecting personal intercessions, either beforehand or live during the service.
- A post-service discussion of the sermon and service (but in such a way that it does not become a critique of the pastor).
- A "writing conversation" during the service, i.e. a whiteboard or writing wall on which visitors can write down their thoughts and add to each other's and which is then hung up in the church for a few days.
- Personal "journaling" in the service, for example by writing down and drawing thoughts on the sermon at the appropriate place in one's own Bible (more on Bible journaling here).
- More sensual experiences: Touching, tasting, smelling in addition to seeing and hearing.
- Changing worship with movement in the church or outside, creating togetherness in small different groups.
- The British concept of the "Messy Church" for families
How does ChurchDesk help?
In a group in your ChurchDesk you can gather people who want to think about the service in advance. In good time before the service - about two weeks - pastors can post the Bible text on which the sermon is to be preached and record the group's discussion. Of course, you can also collect suggestions about which Bible text or sermon topic the congregation would like to hear. The finished sermon text can be kept in the document repository and, of course, published on the website afterwards for future reference.
ChurchDesk forms on your own website are a good and easy way to collect intercession requests for the service. This can also be anonymous, as you wish, as names are not a mandatory field. You can set this up individually in the forms. You can refer to these ideas in your church newsletter, link to the sermon to read, and share the summary of a service follow-up with the whole congregation.