Sunday, December 2, 2012

Presentation Helps, But Connections Are Everything

I did something I don't normally do on a Sunday morning, I attended a real church service at the Victory Outreach in West Phoenix.

Most of the time, and perhaps it's negative influence of religion in politics and media, and that most services I've attended in Alberta, Canada--whether it was a Sunday service, funeral or wedding, I was not inspired by a sermon. 

You could call me Christian, but I really don't have a denomination. My thought is that God lives inside of our hearts, not a building.

Today, I saw a building -- not a traditional stand-alone church -- but a corner of an industrial building that housed the most uplifting service I had ever experienced. Don't let the outside fool you. The inside was staged professionally with all the trimmings technology can provide. 

The gospel choir was culled from audience members, not robed singers in the background.

Latinos and African Americans made up 95% of the congregation, mixed in ages.

The messages connected because many doing the preaching had lived the same life as some of their audience. For some reason, for me, that made the sermon carry more weight.  

"God did not design you to fit in, He designed you to stand out. You were not an accident. You were created for a purpose." "Do you ever feel like no one understands you?"

Preaching is an art form. It is about presentation, but it is more than that. The preacher interprets a passage in the Bible and finds a real-life example to hone the message. How that is presented is the difference between the audience "getting it" or falling asleep in the pews.

Try and sleep to this guy. He's pretty inspiring. 

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