Three Things I’ve Learned from Peace Mennonite Church

One of the great things about the pulpit exchange we’re doing this year with Peace Mennonite Church and Eden Mennonite Church is the chance to encourage and learn from one another–in our sermons, yes, and also in the way that our different congregations live out our calling in our own unique contexts. Here are three things that I’ve learned from Peace:

(1) Two Fridays before I was to speak at Peace, their church secretary sent an email to everyone involved in the worship service so that everyone would have the same planning information and would know who else was involved with that particular service. I found this so helpful that we adopted and adapted the idea that very same week. Now in addition to our worship schedule, we have a worship memo that goes out two Tuesdays prior to any given Sunday so that everyone involved in planning and leading worship has the same information and knows who else is involved, so we can incorporate any changes and additional details that we didn’t have when the schedule was put together, so we don’t have as many separate emails to different people flying around, so we can pray and plan more as a team. I’m already seeing the benefit of streamlining and consolidating our communication in this way.

(2) At Emmanuel, the worship leader, music team, and speaker meet for prayer before worship, but at Peace, the musicians were practicing on stage and I’m not sure where the worship leader was; instead, it was the elders who met for prayer before worship, and then they went out to greet people in the foyer. I think we still need to meet together for prayer and any last-minute preparations for worship, but I love the idea of elders (or deacons, as we call them) bathing the church and worship leaders in prayer on Sunday mornings.

(3) Since I was in their sanctuary the last time, Peace has mounted a screen at the back of the sanctuary with a second projector. Their music team still had music stands and music with them at the front, but having the screen allowed them to look up more. Since it was new to me, I wasn’t able to use it to its best advantage for my sermon last Sunday because I wasn’t prepared for it, but I think this set-up would be very useful for preaching, responsive readings, and for the music team. Perhaps this is something that we could also consider.

Thank you, Peace Mennonite Church, for your hospitality, and blessings on your continued ministry.