Church 2.0, Church in the round or Interactive Church is my favorite topic and in the past 5 years I have had the great joy of presenting the idea to large and small groups all over the place.
The two most common initial concerns seem to be
- A) how do you facilitate the conversation part?
- B) what about the liturgy?
The conversation part is easy once you get the hang of it. There are lots of little tricks that help keep people on track and to make those small groups of 3-6 people a dynamic engagement.
I have created a page on my church website for those who are interesting in updating and innovating their Sunday morning gatherings. https://vermonthillsumc.org/interactive-church/ “questions” is the bottom video
The liturgy questions, I have figured out, is easily explained by simply showing people our worship guide from the previous week. Once they see that it has a flow and an order – that is is not a chaotic free for all – they get how the different elements come together.
I thought it would be good post this week’s Order of Service to give you a taste. The sermon is a version of my ‘pep talk’ Be Bold – it probably wont work anyway
*Call to Worship
*Song: “The Potter’s Hand”
*Passing of the Peace Please greet someone new and refill your coffee or tea
Pennies From Heaven (offering) We collect spare change to support Neighborhood House
Song “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” Hymn #211 (v 1,2)
Scripture: Isaiah 42:1-9
Homily: Be Bold, Bullies are Not Subtle
Prayers of the People
*Song: “Instruments of Peace”
So you can see that it is basically a mainline liturgical service with ONE BIG difference: the main event is the conversation and not the sermon.
Tomorrow we are using the ‘Talk Back’ style of questions where people first talk in groups of 3-6 about the homily topic (be bold) and then I will go around the room with a cordless mic asking if anyone would like share what their group talked about. This is an emergent component where the smaller conversations give rise to the larger expression. It is unscripted while at the same time directed by the topic. It is not determined but it is also not a ‘talk about whatever you want’.
It is real. It is live. It is vulnerable. It is electric.
I love doing church this way. I always learn so much from the congregation. They bring such interesting insights, perspectives, experiences, and challenges. This is why it is important to have diversity in the room: different generations, relationship histories, genders, sexual orientations, race, economic and education levels, and religious backgrounds.
Let me know if you have questions, clarifications, concerns, etc. I will let you know how it goes tomorrow.