I was at a church over that past couple years that insisted on using the word “EXPERIENCE” in describing their Sunday morning gathering. The staff was not to use the word “SERVICE” as it was old fashion and out of date. I had thought about it quite a bit, as the change occurred, listening and observing. It was interesting to me, as I believe words hold meaning and depth.
I even recently put a survey of sorts out on social media asking other people in youth ministry what word their churches used. It was interesting to me the different words that were used. Overall though the 2 words seemed to come up most often. It got me thinking over the past couple months as I also interviewed with different churches.
Then I sat down with my new staff, at my new church I was intrigued as they talked through their vision and heart of the Sunday morning gatherings. As we talked they explained the preferred wording that best fit that vision. One of those things was they did not use the word “EXPERIENCE” but instead used the word “SERVICE”. I was actually excited because I had been slowing mauling over the 2 words.
Hear are my thoughts about Sunday Morning Experiences OR Sunday Morning Services…
Experiences happen in Auditorium vs. Services happen in Sanctuary: Auditorium is where we demand God to show up for the show, Sanctuary is where God is already present and we show up to honor Him.
Experiences are about Outreach vs. Services are about Evangelism: Outreach is when we seek to meet peoples needs, Evangelism is when share with people their ultimate need for Christ.
Experiences have Music vs. Services have Worship: Music we listen to a creative performance by select talented people, Worship is allowing God to listen to all of us honor Him and cry out in our imperfections.
Experiences are Programming vs. Services are Ministry: Program is another organized event people choose to attend if their schedule allows, Ministry is a intentional priority people make time for in their lives. (See My Old Post of “Group Magazine”)
Experiences need Marketing vs. Services need Welcoming: Marketing is attracting the eyes. Welcoming is attracting the heart.
Experiences have Purposes vs. Services have Prayers: Purposes are our plans to succeed, Prayers are God’s plans to succeed and our heart to follow.
Experiences are about Connection vs. Services are about Community: Connection is feeling like we are liked, Community is about knowing we are loved.
Experiences ask for Giving vs. Services ask for Offering: Giving is something that is asked for out of obligation, Offering is something that is offered freely out observation.
Experiences offer Talks vs. Services offer Sermons: Talks are speaking from our human wisdom and thoughts, Sermons are speaking from God’s wisdom and the inspired thought from His Word.
Experiences have “Regular Attenders” Sitting vs. Services have “Servants” Serving:
Sunday morning worship “Experiences” have a group of Regular Attenders sitting as customers awaiting Consistent Personal Moments of Satisfaction. Sunday morning Services have a group of Servants Preparing for a Continual Movement of Serving!