The third Sunday of the month is always Rally In The Valley, an interdenominational worship service for the students in the area. Three months ago I was asked to speak at tonight’s on James 1:19-27. Everything about the pre-service was scary and bizarre. I don’t think of myself as a "youth speaker" and I was worried about not connecting with the audience. I have no sense of humour. Normally, everything clicks and I have these images and connections and it is a beautiful mosaic mess that becomes a sermon. It has always been the "big idea" and application that took the longest and most thought. This message I had the main idea which was the also application before I finished praying for God’s guidance as I prepared, but then nothing else came. NOTHING. We were in pre-service prayer and I had four thoughts in my head of possible introductions and none seemed to fit.
I saw Sheri Horsman as the worship band started to play. She prayed for me and that made all the difference. God showed up and it just happened. I had an intro that connected, I even got a few laughs, there was also a middle and an end. Message in a nutshell: Know the Word – Live the Word. It was all God; I couldn't repreach the message if I wanted to. After the service a few kids came to thank me. The best conversation for me was with this one guy who told me that God used the message to deal with him, only the thing God had done was only a very minor part of the message. I totally know it was a God-think not a me-thing. That makes me happy.
Each month RITV is at a different location. Tonight we met at St. Joseph's Catholic Church. Why are Catholic churches so much more beautiful than our sanctuaries? We met in the church’s gym but before the service they let me into the main chapel/sanctuary to pray, read my notes, and deal with pre-service jitters. The room and its imagery blessed me. I love visual forms of worship.