PT6: Setting it Up at Your Place
Updated: Jan 1
Assuming you know where and when you want to step out, here are some things to consider:
Train a Ministry Team Using in a Unified Model which Works Well in Your Place. I'd recommend a weekend retreat for your initial training, then quarterly updates through the year.
Preach or Teach what you're going to do, then do it. Trust is essential when stepping out in thee ways.
Ask your best intercessors to pray specifically as you begin, and then ongoing as you continue. Spiritual warfare can be brutal. Fear, uncertainty, skepticism will certainly surface in your church (you too!).
Choose the best time for ministry to happen within your service. For example in our church we have free-form prayers and times where the Spirit can move in the people following an extended time of worship at the top of the service. All things done in order, I say.
Provide opportunities for your people to hear God, and then receive God, too. More on this below.
Monitor activities carefully. Label them for newcomers, gently correct them if they seem out of sync with your inner peace.
Intentionally incorporate the words or activities into the service. At the Offertory, for example, mention what was said and heard, and exhort your folks to receive ministry around that from the healing team.
Follow up to encourage or exhort your people who risked stepping out in faith to give that word or prophecy. In rare cases you may have to schedule a meeting with them if their manifestation was off, or scary.
With all that in mind I present a model for clergy which is loaded with my own opinions, biases, protocol, and a lot of experience. It's not the only way. But it's a sure-fire way for your church to come alive with the presence of the Holy Spirit on Sunday mornings. I am speaking directly to those with Episcopal or Anglican liturgy, but adapt as needed.
Processional Hymn. This is a song of proclamation and reminder of who it is you're gathered to worship. It's not an "I need you" song, but a "who you are" song. A song rich in orthodox theology which will frame the entire service.
Gloria Set. This is the traditional time for contemporary expression to happen. Again, this is not a time to say "I love you," nor is it a time for deep worship. That will come later. Here God's glory is what is expressed, worshipped, and adored. We entered into worship with a processional describing his character and attributes. Now we're in a time where praises are lifted up to him. If you have more than one song, they can be intentionally chosen to cross from glory to intimate worship. There's no need to do a theologically driven hymn here. The focus is on him, his glory, his exploits, his holiness, and his saving activities to heal and bless. At the end of this set is an ideal time to invite your people into a time of solitude, worship, spontaneous prayers, and a time to hear from God what he may be saying through the gifted people in your midst. If you have trained people skilled in hearing God through words of knowledge this would be their time to do their thing. At the end of the gloria set it could be said that we have just given him glory, praise, thanksgiving, and worship; now it's his time to respond to us -- not unlike a dance or dialogue.
Liturgy Resumes. Though the readings, sermon, creed, and prayers - but be careful here. During the course of your sermon you may have a sense to pray over your people, enjoy a time of silence, etc. If it goes long, don't worry about the time. You can cut the creed, or even prayers, if it's what God is doing. People are forgiving in the midst of a move of God.
At the Eucharist. Before I serve Communion I like to invite people to approach the sacrament with the idea of receiving Christ in mind. It might be a follow up to a word or prophecy given earlier on, or the sharing of a word that God has given me for them. Many times "words" come to me during the preaching of the Word. When that happens, and it appears people need to respond in a more significant way, I invite them to do so, right there as they receive the bread and wine.
One church served in, at this point in the service, invited 5 - 8 trained prayer ministers to semicircle the altar and present to the celebrant any words of knowledge they were getting for the congregation. These words were shared softly and, after being filtered through the celebrant, were spoken aloud to the congregation. After receiving communion, those identifying with the words, were invited go to the side of the church to receive prayers for that particular thing. It was a wonderful way wherein God could minister specifically to his people!
Communion Songs. In my temple template, I see Communion to be in the Inner Courts and Holy of Holies part of the temple. By definition, the songs here are mellow, directed right to God, and intimate. I don't encourage my people to step into congregational ministry at this point, but to kneel, sit, and hear him in the beauty of his majesty. Scripture is clear: Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10) This is my go-to default place for that to happen.
Recessional. Not unlike the processional. It's a song reminding us of who God is, who it is that we have just worshipped, and who it is who is sending us out into the world to do the works he has given us to do.
Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Collect for Pentecost, BCP)