We tried something new yesterday at Salem. Shocking…Lutherans trying something new. Wow :)
Anyway…what we did for the first time was have coffee fellowship time BEFORE worship. I know that this is not a revolutionary thing as I have experienced this at other churches in the past, but it was new for us. And from what I heard from a number of people this was a big hit.
[By the way…I take no credit for this idea. I wish I could.]
When people arrived they seemed pleasantly surprised by the crowd in our small narthex. When I told them about the coffee time a smile quickly formed on their face :) Many people grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down to visit. Before long there was a holy buzz in the narthex. People were talking and laughing. One of the cool things I noticed was that there were people participating in this holy buzz that normally don’t stay after worship for coffee fellowship time. That put a smile on my face :)
At about 10:10 a.m. (worship begins at 10:15) I began to wonder how I was going to break up this holy buzz. I almost wanted to have worship out there in the narthex (but there were people in the sanctuary waiting to begin). So I walked inside; waited for the organist to stop playing; and I starting talking. People quickly filed in as I shared the morning announcements. It was a smooth transition.
As worship continued I quickly noticed something else (something others shared with me later). There was a different kind of “energy” in the sanctuary. It’s hard to explain but that pre-worship holy buzz drifted into the sanctuary and something happened. One person said, “It felt warm“, and I would agree. Following worship some people continued to hang around in the narthex for another cup of coffee and another quick treat.
More holy buzz.
All in all it was a great morning.
I think it is so easy to take Christian fellowship for granted. Worship, scripture reading and prayer are important and essential but so is taking time to visit and listen to people. I know we can not recreate last Sunday but I think it is safe to say that pre-worship fellowship time is going to continue…and definitely with my blessing.