Last Saturday night a massive thunderstorm rolled through the Permian Basin. That storm left many homes and business in the dark Sunday morning, including our church. There were no lights … There was no air conditioning … There was church. Yes, it was hard to see the person next to you, and hard to read your Bible. Yes, it was hot and stuffy with everyone crowded into the fellowship hall (the only room in our facility with space and some natural light). Nevertheless, it was a glorious morning gathering together for worship. Many people even asked if we could do church like this again soon!
As I talked with people Sunday afternoon, here are 5 things Immanuel remembered in a hot, dark worship service.
- Technology is nice, but it is not necessary. Air conditioning and overhead lighting make it easier to meet together for Bible study and worship. Mics and a nice set of speakers make the sermon and the music easier to hear. However, one hot, dark worship service reminded us that while technology may be nice, it is not necessary. If you can’t worship without technology, you won’t worship with it.
- It’s good to be together. Since we moved from the pitch-black sanctuary to the dimly lit fellowship hall … People could not sit in their “usual” seat. Because the fellowship hall was so dark … People really had to get close to know who they were talking to. Even in less-than-ideal circumstances, many of our people told me they just enjoyed being together in the same room for worship. Amen.
- Serving improves mood. You’d expect a chaotic morning to sour some folks. It didn’t happen. We needed people to prop open doors for ventilation, move chairs to the fellowship hall, direct people to the fellowship hall, collect all the water bottles in the building, and clean up when church was done. When you serve at your church, it changes the way you “feel” about your church. Serving improves mood.
- Many around the world worship with less. One of the newest members of our church is from El Salvador. Before worship, with a smile on her face, she kindly reminded me that this situation is not an “issue” back home. She’s right. This week our church will send a team of 40-plus to Kenya. We will worship with our brothers and sisters, but we won’t have overhead lighting and air conditioning.
- The Word is powerful. We are studying Psalms on Sunday mornings, and the psalm of the week was Psalm 115. It was a good reminder of who God is, who we are, and how we are called to trust him completely. With or without lights … With or without PowerPoint slides and flashy graphics … The Word is powerful. When it is proclaimed and heard and celebrated, it does not return void.
Originally published June 15, 2016 on landoncoleman.com.