Yesterday we kicked off a new series entitled “Basics” which was my idea originally. I wanted us to talk about the basics of our faith and things we may take for granted, but hope everyone understands. This Sunday’s message was entitled “Why Did Jesus Die?” Scripture text was 1 Timothy 1:13-16.

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…”

Pre-service: Had iTunes pre-service mix of upbeat songs playing with Welcome and Announcement slides playing on the left and right screens and a big clock (like you’d see on a classroom wall) on the center screen. The school clock on the center screen started to countdown at 5 minutes before the service (9:30 and 11am).

Opening: We did a humorous roll call led by our Student Pastor. He called out for various people and various things and asked people to respond with “present.” After the opening roll call, we played a funny video to get people in the spirit of our Basics series. This featured our pastors (not all, but most) going back to school. Featured in the video are our Campus Pastors, Worship Pastors and Student Pastors. Note: This video came about by our brainstorming at our last Creative Planning Team meeting. Hats off to my Worship Pastor, Matt Rector and our Media Director, Aaron Stockton for bringing our ideas to life. See our opening video below:

Forest Park – 2012 Back-to-School Video from Forest Park on Vimeo.

Welcome/Brief Announcements: Our Student Pastor led a few brief announcements and covered the entire opening. (I didn’t come up until the end of the service)
Song One: All Because of Jesus (C) – Fee
Song Two: Here and Now (C) – Eddie Kirkland/North Point Music
Message: Video message by our Lead Pastor
Song Three: True Love (C) – Phil Whickam (with video)
Response: I came back up and shared the gospel and led people in a time of commitment and response to the gospel. After leading in an invitation (where people prayed to receive Christ), I encouraged our people to remember and celebrate Christ’s sacrifice for us by taking communion as we sang the next song.
Song Four: Remembrance (The Communion Song) (Eb) – Matt Maher and Matt Redmon
Song Five: Salvation Is Here (B) – Hillsong
Closing: I came back up to close out the service and celebrated the lyrics to Salvation Is Here. I encouraged our people. I then pointed to the hundreds of gift bags for teachers behind me on the stage and led in a prayer for all our teachers and administrators as they start back school this week. We will deliver the gift bags to all our teachers this week. I mentioned that people could text in their response to our special text response cell phone. People can text their name and if they made a decision, want to be baptized or want information on membership. I also mentioned our Communication Card again and reinforced that we want to hear from first and second time guests. I then end each and every service by having us all pray and recite Ephesians 3:20-21.
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us,  to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
***NOTES:
  • We have fun, ice-breaker type stuff planned for each week of this Basics series. We’re trying to get our people to arrive early and be in their seats on time. We’ll do crazy stuff each week at the top of the service.
  • We introduced a brand new song called “Here and Now” last week from North Point Music. When we introduce a new song, we do it for 3 weeks straight, so this was it’s second week. The whole top of the service was upbeat, energetic and celebratory.
  • The message was a straight presentation of the gospel, so we built up to a God-moment. Right after the Lead Pastor’s video message, our band led in a song called “True Love” with an old Jesus movie playing in black and white behind them. I then came up after the band’s song and led in a response.
  • After the response we encouraged people to take communion and sang “Remembrance.” Note: We offer communion every week through stations lit with candles at the front left and right of our auditorium.
  • Since the day was about the gospel and salvation being offered for all, we closed with the upbeat song “Salvation Is Here.”

Greg Atkinson

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