A post from Monday had several people asking about what I mean when I talk about “Scrubs’ing” a service and using service order effectively, so here’s one example.
Last year we did a series on dating. One of the messages was on: How do you know when you’re ready to get married and if this is the right person to marry? So here’s what we did:
We called the series: Boy Band Fever. Why? Because Boy Bands are a part of our culture and easy to make fun of. It will make make a connection and help build a bridge from us and what we’re talking about to the people, especially non-Christians.”
So how did this particular Sunday go? Here’s how the service looked:
1. Our band rocked/punked out a “classic” boy band song. (I think “Bye, Bye, Bye.”) Our people thought that was hysterical, and new people were at least bewildered (that’s good!) or, more likely, impressed at our sense of humor and energy.
2. Person comes out. Welcomes everyone. Explains series (and why it’s called Boy Band Fever) and today’s theme. Then says that something most people don’t know is that several members of our staff were in a boy band. Asks if anyone has seen their big music video. Then introduces the music video, which was a fake music video we made mocking typical boy band videos with the song “I Can Love You Like That.”
3. Band leads about 20 minutes of worship (probably 5 songs), with communion offered during the last song (and introduced/explained prior to).
4. A person introduces the offering. After, as the offering is being passed, that person reminds everyone of the series and the theme of the day, then we played this sermon bumper video:
5. Sermon (about 33 minutes). First 3/4 is about how to know if you’re ready to be married and if this is the right person for you to marry.
a. BUT the last 1/4 is where we make the “turn.” Earlier we had people laughing at our music video set to the “I Can Love You Like That” song, which features lyrics such as, “I can love you like that. I would make you my world. Move heaven and earth. If you were my girl. I would give you my heart. Be all that you need. Show you you’re everything that’s precious to me. … I can love you like that.”
b. Talk about how way before boy bands, God was the original one who sang these lyrics. He said to us, “I can love you like that. I would make you my world. Come from heaven to earth, to make you my girl. I’ll give you my heart. Be all that you need. Show you you’re everything that’s precious to me.”
c. Talk about how single people are so desperate to find a spouse to meet their needs, and married people are desperate for their spouse to meet their needs, but really ONLY God’s love will meet our needs. And when we look to someone else to do what only God can do for us, not only will we end up feeling empty, but it’s also sin. And it will lead to messed up marriages.
d. Encourage people to repent. To repent of looking to things other than God to do what only God can do. Repent of expecting their spouses to meet needs that only God can meet.
6. We gave everyone time to repent and pray. As they did we had our worship leader play a way mellow, contemplative version of the chorus of “I Can Love You Like That” on the piano, singing softly.
7. End the service by having the pastor go back up and say a final prayer.
Hope that makes sense, and you can see how we had people laugh at our theme but then at the end cry at it. In the middle they learned about it, but then they FELT it. It also had practical “how to” help, but ultimately brought people to Jesus and His centrality in our lives.