|photo by: Gözde Otman|
But how do we turn our churches into potlucks? How do we encourage folks to bring something to the table? (or the sanctuary?)
Third, the voices of the congregation need to have a space to be heard in worship. You cannot participate if you are not allowed to speak, to sing, to respond, to question.
While we don't do this every Sunday (and sometimes I wonder, why not!), every so often our worship takes on a form of lectio divina. We ask folks to reflect on the scriptures and to share with one another what they think. There are other days when I ask folks to respond with their own questions. Even hymn sings provide the opportunity for individuals to share their favorite music and why it is a meaningful selection from their own experience.
I have also realized that there are some people who will never speak up during church. They don't feel comfortable in front of large groups. I have attempted at various times to engage in The Roundtable Pulpit: Where Leadership & Preaching Meet sessions where a small group of folks help me to reflect on the text for the coming week. Those questions and ideas are then woven into the sermon. It provides an opportunity for voices other than my own to be heard and included. I love the concept, I have just had a difficult time getting a diversity of people to show up for the weekly gatherings.
Just as we have fantastic cooks in our local congregations, so too do we have people who are gifted in word, song, dance, creativity, passion, experience, and dedication. Just as we celebrate the good eats that come to the table when we feast together, so too should worship be a feast to God with all people offering together.