Worship this past Sunday was fun. It wasn’t our typical Sunday experience at our Hamilton Road site. Yes, if you had seen the “order of worship” on a piece of paper it would have looked almost identical to every other Sunday. First we sang a song, then a welcome, then more worship through singing, then the message, then another song. Sounds like a typical Sunday right?
I think the first sign this was no typical Sunday started in the parking lot. Most everyone exited their car carrying a beach chair or a blanket. If you looked close enough you might have noticed casual, more casual than normal, was the theme for the day – a lot of shorts and flip flops.
The worship space was empty of the usual 550 comfortable green chairs. Instead there was a ring of chairs around the outside of the room and nothing but a wide space of carpet (and not the cleanest carpet, I might add). We have the carpet cleaned every three months or so, and it was due for a good cleaning. It gets dirty pretty easily with all the spilled coffee, OJ and random things that hit the carpet on a Sunday morning.
However, we are one of those churches that doesn’t worry about the carpet. We offer free coffee, OJ and donuts on Sunday, and we want people to feel comfortable enough to enjoy them in our worship space if they choose. We have just learned to live with a few carpet stains. So the fact that we served over 300 popsicles after the service both in our worship area and in the lobby was no big deal for us.
The music was lively for the over 350 people who joined us on the 4th of July weekend. There were people sitting on the floor, in beach chairs and some in our green chairs. There was no rhyme or reason to it; no orderly rows, just people spread out across the room.
We invited the whole family to this service. All generations were represented in some families; everyone from newborns to grandparents and everyone in between. It was fun to watch as the kids played and the rest of us worshiped. It reminded me of the words of Jesus in Matthew 18:3 that so many of us know. “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Rusty’s message was short, shorter than he planned I think. But it wasn’t the message, the music or the casual atmosphere that made Sunday fun. It was the feeling of family and how we all just enjoyed worshiping our Father together. Go here to see more photos from the morning.
As my wife Amy and I were talking this morning she said, “I think Jesus would have had fun this past Sunday.” I would agree. I also think He would have enjoyed the popsicles that made it Pop Sunday.
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