Lent re-thought

I am excited about Lent this year…not to say that I haven’t been any other year, but this year is going to be different.

At the Belmont Lutheran Church (the small county congregation I also serve) annual meeting on Sunday we decided to try something new for Lent.  For our Wednesday Lenten services we have been averaging around 10 per week.  So for a while now I have been pondering the future of these services.
–Do I need to re-think what we do on Wednesdays?
–Do we need to change the time of the worship?
–Do we need to change the location (share a service with Salem in town)?
–Or what?

Well…on Sunday I offered an idea that I heard from our Methodist friends down the street.  Instead of Wednesday evening Lenten services what about having home cottage meetings on Tuesday nights?

Are you intrigued…then allow me to elaborate…

What Belmont decided to do is meet in someone’s home on Tuesdays during Lent at 6:30pm.  We will gather together in a circle and have a time of worship/devotions (I am not sure how this will look yet).  The bulk of the time will be devoted to some teaching.  I envision this to be a cross between a sermon and a Bible study.  I will do the majority of the teaching but allow for questions, feedback or discussion.  People can come and just sit and listen or get involved…it’s up to them.  After we are done there will be some refreshments and fellowship time.  The thinking is that this will be a more intimate setting and thus more attractive to people.

I am not sure what the topic will be; whether I will do a series in a particular book of the Bible, some aspect of Jesus life or whatever.  The idea was suggested that I use the topic from the Lenten small group that I will be leading called “The Seven Wonders of God’s Word” from Augsburg Fortress.  That idea intrigues me so I am going to explore that as well.

So I am excited about this new thing we are about to do (I will post updates here during Lent).  I am not sure how it will be received.  My hope is that the home we meet in won’t be big enough, but we’ll see what happens.  But in the end we need to remember that where 2 or 3 are gathered there is Jesus right there in the midst of them.  So either way we will praise God.

-edh-

3 thoughts on “Lent re-thought

  1. A colleague in this area recently did something similar, though I don’t think the initial reason was the same. They cancelled Wednesday night services, and then designated that as the time that small groups met. He used a lectionary based small group study, based on the “Sticky Church” design, and small groups met at the church during what would have been their Lenten worship time. He had great success with this.

    • Thanks for the feedback. These home cottage meetings won’t work at Belmont on Wednesdays since I am already booked solid with Wednesday activities at Salem so Tuesday was the alternative. Salem is still doing worship on Wednesdays, but who knows…maybe we will look at these home cottage meetings in the future.

      It is nice to hear that someone had success with this model. It will be fun to see what happens here.

  2. Eric
    I like this plan for each congregation to have its own way to focus on Christ in lent. It Sounds like a neat way for both of your congregations to grow. I’m amazed after 11 years as a pastor at how many people say that they haven’t had a conversation about God at work in their lives since confirmation. There’s great potential for the 10 or hopefully more who will come to engage at that level.
    peace to you
    John

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