Monday, November 17, 2008

Upper Room experiences

Our church, the Upper Room Community, always has an experiential component to the worship meetings. That is probably the thing that we love most about this church. There are a lot of things we enjoy about this Christian community but the experiences at the services are what sets them apart from other churches.

Last night they talked about the purpose of the church body gathering together. The experiential component of the service was to have audience members blog about their most memorable experience at a service. People actually got up out of their seats to go and journal on one of the computers setup at the back of the sanctuary/auditorium during the sermon. It was a little odd that the pastor was encouraging people to get up and move around while he was speaking but people did it. Then at the end of the service, we were able to read excerpts from people's writings up on the projector screens in the room. It was moving to read some of the stories and neat to see how this community is impacting people's lives for the better, influenced by Jesus.

I have already been impacted numerous times by the experiential elements during the services. The thing I love most about the experiences is that they get you to commit to yourself that you will do something different in your life. It has motivated me to have conversations with people that I may have delayed. It has motivated me to pray for someone whom I might have forgotten. It has motivated me to do an action in my life to reflect love to someone.

When we first tried out this church, we thought that only a few people would participate in the experiential elements because it requires you to get up out of your seat. And usually you have to go up on stage to do something, like write a note on a big board, or take some element asking you for action. Instead of only a few getting involved, it is a large portion of the audience participating. Sometimes only a few participate but usually it is around half of the audience or more doing something about what they believe. So inspiring to see others motivated by their faith in Christ. Others motivate me and so does the Upper Room.

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