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Passion - BYO Worship

28 October, 2005 10:14 AM

This week at our LivingRoom group we did a BYO worship night.

Bring Your Own Worship is always a meaningful night where each person is invited to bring something to share around a particular theme. This week the theme was Passion.

The idea is that each person considers during the week what they could bring to the group to do for 5-10 minutes (depending upon the size of the group) on the theme. Previously we've had people sing songs they'd written, brought bible passages, brought things that meant something to them, get us doing something hands on and creative, read us passages from books, played us bits of video/cds, taken us on walks around the neighborhood or lead us in meditative exercises.

This week we had a variety of things including:

- A time of complete silence
- A discussion on Food
- A reflection upon Paul's passion in Acts as well as some video footage of Ephesus
- A reflection upon some of Paul's words in Timothy to 'fan the flame'
- A time of communion and reading of the Lords Supper
- Reading of a short article by Henri Nouwen titled From Action to Passion

I always love BYO Worship nights - they tend to be nights of surprises and nights where God's Spirit moves through the variety of reflections and personalities of the group.



Darren, is there any other "format" you use around an evening of this type? Is it structured or do you just let folk jump in as they feel led? I'm leading a college-age small group and we're working through a module on worship. I think this would be good for them to experience.

Ian McKenzie » 28 October, 2005 3:55 PM

It's pretty informal. We let people present their bit when they feel comfortable and prompted to do so. Sometimes people bounce off each other a bit - ie one person presents and then someone else feels their's fits perfectly to follow it etc.

It's a very relaxed thing. We did it last night around the dinner table - some during the eating and some after. Previously we've done it in a lounge room setting also.

I've also done it in larger groups (obviously people can't share for as long) and it can work well there too.

Hope it works for you Ian

Darren » 28 October, 2005 4:04 PM

Thanks for this post Darren. We are currently in the middle of sharing our timelines/stories with each other which we are finding to be a simple but invaluable experience. This was prompted by your post of your own experimenting with this idea. I am now keen to also incorporate some BYO worship nights into our meetings. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the wider christian community including little old me over here in Perth!

Andrew » 28 October, 2005 4:56 PM

We have become so used to rocking up to a prepared and practised program and calling that "church". The way people are so 'amazed' and think BYO worship is so 'innovative' tells me just how far the church - as an institution -has fallen from what it was originally intended to be - church - the living breathing all participating body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 14:26 (The Message)
Here's what I want you to do. When you gather for worship, each one of you be prepared with something that will be useful for all: Sing a hymn, teach a lesson, tell a story, lead a prayer, provide an insight.

kel » 29 October, 2005 10:13 AM

I just read the article by Henri Nouwen that you are mentioning here.

The article speaks about passion and defines it as a waiting love, one that does not seek to control.

This reminded me of my husband's observation that I do not forbid him to do anything, but I just tell him that I do not approve of it. I don't want to control him.

Swan » 31 October, 2005 3:16 AM

This is so beautiful. I think it's exactly what we need to do to remake worship into something worthwhile that honors the contributions of everyone.

One thing we've been doing at our bible studies is working on some sort of art project during the discussion. So far, we've done:
-Constrution paper cutouts symbolizing John the Baptist and Jesus, during a discussion of the parallels between their lives in Luke's gospel
-Play-Dough sculptures symbolizing the act of becoming a neighbor to someone (during a study/discussion on the parable of the Good Samaritan).

Thanks for sharing. You've inspired me to do more sharing of what we do in our gatherings.

jeff » 3 November, 2005 8:23 PM

We have experienced all of these things, but it took us a year outside of the structured environment to really embrace them. It was uncomfortable for awhile. We still tend to fall into a comfortable routine at times and have to then shake it up to get out of it.

Teresa » 8 November, 2005 5:17 AM

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