What do you need to hold public worship services? I mean, what do you really need? What are the things you can’t do without if you are going to worship our Savior? At the end of the day, a public worship service is really simple, isn’t it? God’s Word, people, bread, wine and water – that’s it.
Four walls – optional.
A roof – optional.
Musicians – optional.
Pastor – optional.
Everything else – optional.
These things are beautiful additions to a public worship service, but finally, they are optional.
When Cross of Christ decided to begin worshiping at a second location, we fully trusted God’s promises to be with us always. But, we had to ask, “Where do we start?” We had to decide what was essential to establishing an outpost of the gospel in neighborhoods heavily steeped in both the teachings of Joseph Smith (Mormonism) and in the secular ways of much of the West Coast. What would we absolutely need?
With that question in mind, we began our public worship services. The Word was there. People were there. We included water when necessary and bread and wine as often as we thought was right.
But, while we knew we had everything necessary for public worship that would hold a resurrected Christ before the eyes and hearts of people, we also knew we could do more. We could do better. Enter our Church – to go!
Church – to go! equips churches with all the things that aren’t essential for public worship. They further help congregations that are on the move: congregations that set up and take down week after week because they are in a shared and rented spaces. Since we are only starting out and worship in a local elementary school, Church – to go! matched up very well with our situation.
And so we began a process of using Church – to go! to make our worship if not better, then more comfortable – more welcoming to visitors, and more efficient in setup and take down. If you’ve ever built a new house, you know how many decisions there are to make… the same thing happens when you’re putting together your Church – to go!. There are items for churches of all styles and flavors.
Would we want LED lighting?
What kind of computer would we need?
What about a kids’ areas?
Would we have kids church?
What kind of signs would we set up and take down Sunday after Sunday?
What kind of trailer would it all go in?
Could we store any of it at the school?
Those are just a few of the questions we faced.
But in the midst of those decisions and all the possibilities, Cross of Christ kept its focus on what was necessary for public worship. We could decide for or against LED lights. We couldn’t and wouldn’t budge on whether God’s Word would be proclaimed as clearly as possible. Did we want pipe and drape? We could go either way, but did we want communion regularly offered for the communing fellowship of believers? Absolutely!
In the end, we are excited and grateful for our Church – to go! and for our WELS fellowship that made sure we had what we needed, and wanted, for worship. Our Church – to go! made our Sunday morning experience more comfortable, more streamlined, and more inviting. Their work has been a blessing surpassed only by our gracious God who has already supplied everything we absolutely need for public worship: his Gospel and people to share it with.
Written by: Pastor Ben Workentine, Cross of Christ Lutheran Church – Boise, Idaho
P.S. – Want to learn more about how this flexible solution is helping home missions reach out with the good news? Be on the lookout for the December WELS Connection showing at your congregation!
Learn about the ministry work of WELS Missions.