We’ll take some time over the coming weeks to review some of our major areas of ministry (largely reflected in our disciple’s pathway). We’ll begin with worship.
Leading a church in worship is always interesting. For many who are looking for a church, the worship service (in person or online) is their first exposure to the church. The teaching, the worship, the warmth of the people, the overall “vibe” (whatever that can mean)—all of these and more make up how people view a church.
However, the service itself will not often have significant impact if people are not involved in other areas of ministry and invested in actual relationships with the people at Genesis. Thus, the service itself is both important (because all of life is worship) and not ultimate (because we need to be invested in one another daily) with regard to how we form people as disciples. Still, we are a doxological people—and our gathering is important. Let’s look at it.
RECOVERING FROM COVID
Like many churches we talk to, we’ve felt the effects of COVID. While we’ve slowly seen more people in attendance month by month, we still aren’t where we were at the beginning of 2020. By the numbers (more of a historic snapshot by quarter):
|Q1 2020||Q4 2020||Q2 2021||Q4 2021|
You’ll notice a drop of roughly 30% from our pre-COVID attendance. We didn’t have kids ministry for some time and then it slowly got added back in 2021 and wasn’t fully-functioning until August 2021. Still, our kids ministry does an excellent job of caring for 25-30 kids who come through our doors on Sundays. They worked hard to get the classrooms back and we are grateful for their ministry.
We love Genesis and of course would love more people coming and worshipping Jesus with us. From our interactions with our members and attenders, it isn’t that we’ve shrunk by 30% in total but that people come less frequently. A child with a cough means a whole family doesn’t attend. It’s part of our current climate. At the same time, we also know that some have gotten comfortable not attending simply because it is easier. We want to encourage everyone to join with us if they are able. It is good for us all.
ADJUSTMENTS IN THE SERVICE
If you’ve been with us recently, then you have likely also seen changes in our service flow. The changes are on purpose. We want our service to engage more of the entire person—head, heart, and hands.
Listen to how Matt Brantner, our worship pastor, shares what’s gone on in his heart as he’s considered these adjustments:
Over the past year I have been challenged (through a worship cohort I’m in) to really examine the why behind what we do in our worship service.
Because of this, we have made a few additions to our worship service. We have added three elements:
- First, we now stand during the reading of Scripture. As Johnny previously explained, it is out of reverence, honor, and appreciation to the Lord (Nehemiah 8:5).
- Second, we have added a Confession of Sin moment to our service. This is a time where we can be still, reflect on our sins, and bring them before the Lord in prayer. It is important that we recognize our sins and take the time to bring them to God, knowing that through the gospel of Jesus we are forgiven. This is something that has been done throughout church history and we believe it is important.
- Third, we now have the elders standing in the back of the room during communion/song available for prayer. It is important that the elders are accessible and available to the church for prayer.
We are excited about these new additions to our service and hope that it serves the church well!
So when you join us, you will see some things that are the same and others that are different. These are all done with a goal of helping form us as better worshippers for the Lord.
HOPES MOVING FORWARD
Moving forward, we continue to pray for more people present and that the Lord saves men, women, and children on Sundays. It’s one of the reasons we incorporated our prayer cards (let us know who you’re praying for here) and it is why we often pray together on Sunday mornings (at our pre-service huddle) that God would save people. We’d joyfully welcome the growing pains that come with new believers, new children, and new families.
We are doing baptisms this Easter (learn more here) to celebrate new life the same morning we focus fully on the resurrection of Jesus. We don’t want to be bigger just because more voices sounds cooler when people sing. We don’t want more people in the service to justify our existence or to make budget. We have the best message in the world, and we know the savior of the world. We want people to find life in his name (John 20:31) and live transformed by that message of grace. We want people to come to communion joyful that their sins have been forgiven and remembering the grace they have in their savior.
Consider inviting someone you’ve been praying for to one of our services soon. We don’t know what the Lord may do.
If you have specific thoughts, reach out to [email protected]
WORSHIP PODCAST EPISODE
Matt and Hans took some time to debrief these thoughts more fully in a recent episode of The Genesis Daily Podcast. Have a listen, and subscribe if you haven’t.