July 7, 2011

Follow the Word

At our 10am service, we have, for several years, tried to make it more family friendly.  Parent's have a hard time paying attention because their kids are fidgety.  Kids have a hard time paying attention because they are kids.  And so, our families were averaging maybe an every-other-week attendance.

Over the past six months or so we've tried something new, that seems to be working pretty well.  The Gospel book is processed to the center aisle where the children (up to grade 5) are invited to join the preacher.  The Gospel is read and the book is handed to a child who leads the rest of the group to the chapel where some sort of art project, apropos to the lessons, is attempted.  The kids bring the project back in during the offertory as their "Word Offering" each week.

The key verse for this activity is featured in this Sunday's 2nd Old Testament lesson from Isaiah 55.

"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven,

and do not return there until they have watered the earth,

making it bring forth and sprout,

giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,

so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;

it shall not return to me empty,"

It is our hope that the word going forth to the chapel will meet up with the Word and what returns, while a cutesy art project on the outside, is a changed life on the inside.  As the parable of the prodigal sower tells us, however, we won't know the fruit for quite a while.

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