So what does the gathering look like? (Part 3)


Parts 1 and 2 of this little series contained some basic templates for a 75-minute Christian gathering. This third variation is especially good for those occasions where the content of the Bible passage or sermon is relatively simple and straightforward, but contains a powerful challenge with numerous implications for our lives. It has the sermon quite early in the meeting, followed by a more extended time for prayer, reflection, discussion and other things (such as celebrating the Lord’s Supper together).

This can also be a useful pattern to follow where the sermon is longer and more demanding, but is not amenable to the ‘two-parter’ template (which is part 4, to follow).

Template 3: Earlier sermon

9:30 Welcome and opening prayer, introduction to this morning’s theme.
9:32 Song of joy, praising the great deeds and character of God.
9:35 Bible readings (one each from the Old Testament and New Testament) with brief introduction/explanation as necessary.
9:40 Response to readings: Creed or psalm or a song of dedication/exhortation (e.g. ‘May the mind of Christ’).
9:43 Sermon (followed by optional question time; depending on the topic and/or time available, it may be good to omit question time in some instances so as not to dilute the power of the challenge).
10:15 Responding to God’s word, selected from the following:

  • confession (with words of comfort/assurance following)
  • creed or psalm said together (f not used earlier)
  • further proclaiming the Lord’s death and our fellowship in it through the Lord’s Supper
  • prayer (lead by two or three, or an open prayer time)
  • discussion of implications in twos/threes; feedback/questions; forum-style
  • 14:26: Congregation member giving personal encouragement/reflection/prophecy (prepared in advance); perhaps a book review related to sermon topic.
10:37 Announcements and family news.
10:42 Song (reflecting main theme).
10:45 Round-up and morning tea. (Seat people after the song, and bring their minds back to what we’ve learned as a lead-in to conversation at morning tea.)

One thought on “So what does the gathering look like? (Part 3)

  1. I am loving this series TP.

    It would be interesting at some stage to hear your thoughts/tip for service/meeting/gathering leaders. It seems to me that it is one of the jobs that can be done well and no-one notices or badly and EVERYONE SUFFERS!

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