Posted by: everynation | February 17, 2010

Two Ingredients of A Great Sunday Service

by Russ Austin

I was thinking about what a great Sunday Service should look like this morning (Saturday am). Two words came to mind that were iconic in nature.

1. Known. Every Sunday service needs to be patterned or adopt a form that people can become familiar with. This is important. As much as I love the spontaneous, too much of that and the people will suffer. They need to “know” where we are going. This allows them to participate properly because they “know” where we are going.
Of course it is good to shake things up occasionally to keep their “pallete” fresh but order and familiarity are good. It feels safe.
I don’t worry when our services are somewhat predictable. I actually think it is good (with balance).

2. Unknown. Every Sunday service should have a feeling of the unknown. What I mean by this is the anticipation and excitement we feel when we sense the presence of God. When the “unseen” God moves on our hearts it produces a chaotic feeling. He is in control and we are not. The brooding of the Spirit on the people should have them “nervous” in a good way. We know He is with us but we are not certain of all that He intends to do in us, to us or for us. It is the unknown.

I think a great Sunday service has both elements at work. The known and the unknown. I have been in services that have one or the other (actually led a number of them LOL). The best services are those that have both elements working at a high level. These are the moments that lives change forever and God is glorified in magnificent ways.

Russ Austin is the founding pastor of Southpoint Community Church in Jacksonville, FLorida. He is married to Debbie and they have three children, Ryan, Aaron and Chelsea and a granddaughter, Madison.

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