Yesterday was the last day of our series entitled “Supernatural” which we got the idea from LifeChurch.tv. This Sunday’s message was entitled “Heaven and Hell.” Scripture text was Matthew 25:46.

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. ”

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 Welcome graphic on the center screen. The center screen also plays an animated graphic of a cell phone that reminds people to turn their phones off. Countdown starts at 5 minutes until the service begins (9:30 and 11am).

Song One: Where the Streets Have No Name (Db) – U2
Welcome/Brief Announcements: Me (Greg Atkinson) – At the end of my welcome and announcements I mentioned the craziness our country had faced this week with the whole Chick-fil-A issue. I said that I wanted to be clear to everyone how we felt at our church. I said we were introducing a new song that had the words “All are welcome here.” I stated that that is our heart – all our welcome here at our church.
Song Two: Here and Now (C) – Eddie Kirkland/North Point Music
Song Three: How Great Is Our God (C) – Chris Tomlin
Message: Video message by our Lead Pastor
Response: I came back up and wrapped up the message 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 sing the next two songs as a time of worship and a glimpse of Heaven (which we had talked about during the message).
Song Four: Revelation Song (F) – Kari Jobe/Gateway Worship
Song Five: I Can Only Imagine (E) – MercyMe
Closing: I came back up to close out the service and went straight into a prayer that acknowledged the intimate worship moment we had just had. I talked about how next week we were going to present the Gospel and talk about salvation. I encouraged people to invite someone they care about and bring them with them next week. I mentioned that if you got here early or on time, you got to experience our band cover a U2 song. I pumped up next week’s opening and the kickoff of our new series, “Basics.” 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 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 sometimes open with cover songs. We opened with “Where the Streets Have No Name” by U2 to kickoff this day focused on Heaven and Hell.
  • We introduced a brand new song called “Here and Now” from North Point Music. When we introduce a new song, we do it for 3 weeks straight, so you’ll be seeing it in our next 2 weeks’ setlists.
  • We rarely do “How Great Is Our God”, but decided to do something very simple and familiar after such an aggressive new song like “Here and Now.”
  • We wanted to end the service/day with a glimpse of Heaven and powerful worship. “Revelation Song” we do very rarely, but when we do, it’s a powerful time of worship and really relates well to the scenes of worship we see in the book of Revelation. I changed our last song to “I Can Only Imagine” after watching our Lead Pastor’s video message and seeing how much he pumped up Heaven and how great it is going to be. I immediately thought of the MercyMe song (which we’ve never done before, but our people know from the radio) and it was the perfect closer to a day focused on where we’ll spend eternity.
  • During the outro of “Revelation Song” and the intro of “I Can Only Imagine”, I asked our worship pastor to put the following Scripture up on the screen to set up the final song:

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those that love Him.” – 1 Corinthians 2:9

Greg Atkinson

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