“I experienced worship as a ‘normal’ person,” admitted the Rev. Matt Miofsky after moving from the pulpit to the pews on a Sunday morning without a leadership role to play in the worship service.
The Rev. Amy Thompson Sevimli has been following Pr. Miofsky’s blog since he addressed our synod’s Young Adult Conference in November of last year in conjunction with our 2010 theme, “Year of the Young Adult.” He writes of his ministry experiences at The Gathering in St. Louis, Missouri. Local pastors may possibly want to try Pr. Miofsky’s experiement locally, suggests Pr. Sevimli, as we move into our 2011 theme, “To See Ourselves As Others Do.”
switcheroo – blog post by the Rev. Matt Miofsky
This past Sunday, I pulled a switcheroo. I was not preaching or leading in communion. I didn’t have to do prayers, make announcements or get up front at all. I experienced worship as a “normal” person. It was fun and I learned some things:
The coffee is good but my cup was too small. Right when the sermon started is when I needed a refill! (No wonder so many of you get up right as I am beginning!). Lesson – bring a larger refillable cup.
Taking my kids back to kid’s ministry takes time. They showed me the stickers that print off at check in, paraded me around their room, and introduced me to teachers. I am now amazed my wife is able to do this every week and get to worship in time to hear me preach.
Saving seats for friends is hard, especially when there is a shortage of seats. Trying to flag down a friend as everyone is standing up to sing is a challenge. But if you sit in the front, there is more space.
All the noises that I zone out when I am preaching, I suddenly heard as I was sitting there. Kids playing, babies crying, adults making lunch plans. It takes focus to listen to the sermon, but all the sounds are signs of life and growth.
Get here late and you have to park far away, sometimes so far that it makes you question whether or not it is actually worth it. I discovered that once inside, it is worth it. While we pursue responses to our growth, I try to remember that taking an extra few minutes to walk beats coming to a church with an empty parking lot!
This past Sunday, I saw things from your perspective, and it was good. In the coming Sundays, I invite you to see things from my perspective! You would be amazed how your Sunday experience changes when you are in leadership – a greeter, responsible for coffee, playing in the band, working with the kids, or running the computer. So for all of you that come to church, but want to see it from a new perspective, I invite you to serve at least once a month in some capacity on Sunday and see how it changes your perspective. Here are some easy places to start:
[specific congregational ministries with volunteer contacts named w/ email link]
Pull a switcheroo. Once you try it, let me know what you learned. I hope it helps you see Sunday in a whole new light.
Reprinted by permission from the e-newsletter of The Gathering, Vol. 5, Issue 06 (February 9, 2011)