How Your Congregation Can Interact With Your Sermon: Build A Fence!

by Bobby Gilles

in Church Communications

Last year Sojourn Lead Pastor Daniel Montgomery preached on legalism, from Galatians 3. Prior to his sermon, he met with our pulpit communication team to brainstorm ideas for involving the congregation. We wanted to get everyone to wrestle with this truth in a tactile way:

“You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?” (Galatians 3:1-2)

In the video above, you see what we came up with. Pastor Daniel wanted to use the concept of a fence, and ask the congregation “What have you used to build a fence around the cross? What ‘rules and regulations’ have you used to obstruct yourself and others from the free grace found in the cross of Christ?”

So Art Director Michael Winters built a literal wooden cross, surrounded by a fence. We installed it in our Midtown Campus art gallery, which doubles as the foyer to our auditorium. As Daniel finished his sermon, he told everyone to write their “fence material” on slips of paper we provided, then tie them to the wooden fence before leaving the building.

You see the result in the video. This enabled worshipers to respond to the message of scripture in a “hands on” way, with “fence material” like

  • politics
  • healthy-living
  • self-righteousness

Later that week we shot the film, which uses time-lapse photography to show the fence gradually covered in red paint (the blood of Jesus), then torn down so that the cross stands unobstructed before the viewer.

On a side note, we used a Sojourn song called “In The Shadow Of The Glorious Cross” for the video, written by my friends and co-writers Brooks Ritter and Rebecca Elliott. You can find this on the Sojourn worship album Before The Throne.

What hands-on ways has your church used to get attendees engaged with the truths preached from the stage?

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