Worship Service Planning 101: Pound Class & Prophecy Charts, oh my!

by Bobby Gilles

in Church Communications

A church campus, built in 1915 as an elementary school, rests at the corner of Silver and Ekin. Small children are working on their math and reading readiness in the Sojourn Summer Academy, to get a head start on school success. It’s just another morning in Anytown, USA. Deeper in the bowels of this building, a church creative team prepares for the coming Sunday’s worship service.

They’re in Week 2 of a sermon series on the book of Daniel called Stand: Staying Strong In A World Of Chaos. Pastor Bobby Gilles will preach Daniel 2 (see the various ways this church creates pieces of communication that come out of these weekly meetings here)

This Week’s Players (in alphabetical order)

  • Lindsey Blair – Women’s Director
  • Andy Davidson — College Director
  • Bobby Gilles – Associate Pastor
  • Justin Shaffer — Worship Director

Lindsey: I have to leave right at 9:30 because I’m teaching a class this morning.

Bobby: Pound class at the Y?

Justin: What’s this about?

Lindsey: POUND® is the world’s first cardio jam session inspired by the infectious, energizing and sweat-dripping fun of playing the drums. (no, seriously).

Bobby: I’ve walked by the group exercise room while they were doing it. They look fierce.

Justin: Sounds like the Haka (The haka is a type of ancient Māori war dance traditionally used on the battlefield).

Bobby: Exactly,

Lindsey: Some people fight stress with yoga; some prefer Pound.

Andy: takes a sip of coffee.

Bobby: writes on White Board: Problem, Complication, Looking For Clues (tension), Aha!, Dénouement (practical application and/or vision casting).

So as usual, this is the basic structure of my sermon. You have my manuscript so I won’t go into too much detail, but I wanted to avoid the two pitfalls with this text:

1. Getting bogged down trying to “figure out” the prophecy (the interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a statue that is smashed to pieces by a boulder from heaven). I’ll have a little fun with it: “We can’t preach a series on Daniel without putting a prophecy chart on the screen.” Then I’ll display a chart on the Roman View and the Greek View of the four kingdoms in the dream, from Wendy Widder’s Daniel commentary.

2. Preaching a simplistic, “Daniel had a problem, he prayed, he got a miracle. So, if you have a problem, just pray, and you’ll get your miracle.” That’s why I want to stress that, by the time he and his friends pray to receive the interpretation of the king’s dream, it’s been two years since they were abducted. That’s two years of God not delivering them. Then I want to briefly flash forward to Daniel 12 where he’s an old man, and he still doesn’t really understand all of the visions and dreams he has seen (since this sermon series will end before we cover Daniel 12).

Andy: takes another sip of coffee

Bobby: My “Big Idea” is that God is conquering the kingdoms of this world, so we can pray and speak truth with confidence. My tagline is, “You won’t always know what to do, but you can always trust Who you know.”

Justin: Between all the baptisms we’ve experienced recently and this sermon, “Jesus is Lord” is prominent, so I want to hammer it in the liturgy. Still waiting to see which musicians will make up the band this week. Then I’ll decide which prelude song to lead. Hopefully, “I Heard About A Stone.” And if Ryan is available, we’ll end with “We Are Changed.”

Bobby: I love the lament you’ve planned.

Andy: Refills coffee.

Justin: Thanks. I want to seize the momentum of “Jesus is Lord.” Do we believe that? And I’m going to one of the classic passages for the Assurance of Pardon (Romans 10:8-13). Then with the giving, I want to highlight the tension that we trust Jesus but we worry about our finances.

Bobby: looks at Justin’s liturgy draft. This is great. Lindsey, are you good to do all the announcements before your scripture reading?

Lindsey: What all do we need to cover?

Bobby: A call for volunteers at Back To School Bash, plus the new Women’s Book Study. And we need to announce the Marriage sermon series coming up — they’ll be able to submit advance questions about marriage beginning this Sunday. We can either tag team it, or you can do all the announcements and then the scripture reading before the sermon.

Lindsey: I’ll do it.

Andy: We’re out of coffee.

How did the liturgy turn out? Did they sing, “I Heard About A Stone?” Did Bobby put a prophecy chart on the screen? Read and/or watch it in yesterday’s Liturgy 101 recap, here. You can even see what some of us look like. Justin is the one with the long hair. I’m bald. Lindsey is a woman.


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