Welcome to our spiritual formation experiment!
One of our highest values as a church is to experience the presence of God so that he might form us more into his image. The thing is, there are endless ways in which we might experience him. Our sense is that the Lord is inviting us into a season of experimenting with different ways of encountering him--some of which are rather familiar to us as a church, some of which may be relatively new.
All along we'll be asking the question, "What's the Holy Spirit breathing on?" We want to discern where he's going and what he's doing so that we can go where he is and do what he's doing!
Each week will be different. Here's what you can expect this Summer:
Our Teaching Services
Our teaching services will be the two main elements you've come to expect of a Greenleaf Service: A time of worship and a sermon. Pretty normal for us.
Worship is an opportunity to open ourselves up to God's presence as we sings songs of love and praise. We lean into intimacy--most of our songs are sung to God, not just about God. While musical worship is certainly not the only means by which we glorify God, there is something powerful about music's ability to help us express ourselves beyond mere words, and to also help open up our spirits to communion with God's Spirit.
We deeply value the Bible as the means by which we grow in our understanding of God, of the world he created and loves, of ourselves, and of what it means to follow Jesus--joining him in the renewal of all things. We hold the Bible as sacred and mysterious, something to be wrestled with, discussed, explored, and loved. In our sermons, we aim to invite people into the magnetic mystery of the Scriptures, allowing them to challenge and transform us.
Our Contemplative Services
Our teaching services will move at a different pace. There will be a different energy in the room. More opportunities for stillness and silence. These services will be a back-and-forth flow between songs, scriptures, silence, and prayers.
Songs are powerful tools for opening up our souls to God's presence. As we sing intimate songs of love and worship to him, we attune ourselves to his presence. The repetition built into most songs is also a meditative practie. Plus, even physiologically, singing is good for us as it causes us to breathe more deeply and more rhythmically.
Since we so deeply value the Scriptures, they will even hold a central place in these services. Rather than a teaching of some kind, however, Scriptures will be read more meditatively, giving opportunity for quiet reflection, allowing God to speak to each person individually.
In such a noisy culture, silence can be the most revolutionary thing we do. Not to mention the healthiest. We will pause a few times during the service to simply observe silence, with no other aim than to simply be present to God.
Just as we sing well-crafted song, we also pray well-crafted prayers. They often give voice to what our hearts don't know how to express to God. They form our hearts as they draw us near to God in praise and petition. Some of these prayers will be ancient, some more modern; all of them will be a powerful opportunity to raise our voices in unity as people.
Our Family Services
In our family-friendly services, our children ages PK4 and up will join the adults for worship, teaching, and Communion.We love making the Scriptures accessible and life-giving to all people, and especially our kids on these Sundays. These weeks are also the built-in opportunity for our kids who have been baptized to celebrate Communion
Our Worship & Prayer Services
Leaning more heavily on our Charismatic roots, these services will be a little less formally structured, allowing more time and space for us to listen to the Holy Spirit and follow his leading. In particular, these services will be geared towards leaving as much opportunity as possible for people to give and receive prayer ministry. Worship will be led by our usual teams, while a pastor will help guide and direct the prayer ministry times.
Come ready to settle into God's presence in worship. Come ready to receive pray for whatever ails you. Come ready to step out to pray for others needs. Come expecting the Holy Spirit to move in powerful ways!
Our Potluck Brunches
On these occasional 5th Sundays, we forgo our usual, formal rows for a single, long table. We share dishes we've prepared, we tell stories, we laugh at jokes, we cry at heartaches. We open with a reflection on the power of meals, and close with Communion.