Patient readers of my blog will know I have been involved with two churches in Oak Lawn as they developed a worship renewal program over this past year. The most recent (lively) episode concerned Doug Pagitt's visit. Next Tuesday evening there is an Open Meeting to draw together some key issues.
I have been asked to do two things:
1) Preach a short sermon (note short!) on the call to live out God's kingdom values in our lives and community, to be followed by interaction with all present.
2) Co-lead a 20 minutes conversation about evaluating worship with possible markers for transformation. How can we tell whether our worship is making any difference?
To encourage collaboration church members already know that I shall preach on Luke 4:14-21. I want to open eyes to Christ's mission while telling a little of my own story. Linking congregational worship with community mission has always been a key concern in the Oak Lawn project.
You know how I like to sum up my work on the sermon by defining what the sermon will say and do. By God's grace what the sermon will say is that Jesus' mission is global, subversive and impossible without his power, BUT it is possible with him where we live. And what it will do is inspire worshippers to commit to his mission in Oak Lawn. Of course, nothing will happen apart from God's grace.
I continue to work on the second part about evaluating worship. Any insights are welcome, as always.