Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Worship in a Box

This past weekend in Student Ministry we had our Worship Services in a box.  It's not the conversation that you think is coming either. I've heard a lot of ministers talk about their Sunday morning services as, "Worship in the Big Box." As our Student Ministry team got ready to do a series on Biblical Worship it gave me an idea. We wanted to show students why our Sunday services look like they do. Why do we sing? Why does someone speak? Why do we collect money? Are we really eating Styrofoam wafers during communion?

So instead of getting everyone into a 'big box' and teaching them about every element of our worship service, we put all of the elements into a little box and gave them to our small groups to go outside and explore. Our students and leaders loved going outside and having their own special worship service with their group. 

One of the most memorable parts of the Worship Field Kit was how we 'took up' the offering. When each group opened their box a helium balloon would pop out and just float there, tethered to the box. When it came time for the offering, someone in the group would read the prompt. This is what it said:

1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NLT)
"“17 Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. 19 By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.”"
Uh-oh we are talking about money. Why do we collect money during a worship service? Are ministers just too lazy to get a real job? When we give our lives to Jesus we are also giving him everything we have for Him to use as he wants. That'’s why we ‘sacrifice’ and give our money as an ‘offering’ for Him to use. We can give other things besides our money too though. We can also give our time, and use our talents to serve him.
I bet you have been wondering why there was a balloon in your field kit. Hopefully you haven’t popped it or let it fly away yet. Part of giving an offering is trusting God to use what we have given for His Glory.  Hold onto the balloon we are gonna use it in just a second.

Who in the group has a single dollar that they are willing to give to God to use? Put all of the money in the offering envelope in box. Seal the envelope and tie or tape the offering envelope to the balloon ribbon. Have someone who gave a dollar pray that God would use your offerings to bless someone in need. After the prayer, release the balloon. Its ok if it doesn’t fly away. If it stays on the ground just leave it there and trust God that someone will find it who needs it.

It was one of the coolest Offerings I've ever seen collected. Throughout the evening in the park beside our church, groups of students would bring their balloon with the handful of dollars they had collected, pray that God would use their gift, and then release their balloon. None of us know where our Offering Balloons ended up, but we all know that God is going to use what we gave.