I had the privilege to be in Manhattan this past weekend visiting friends and doing the "tourist thing."I love NYC so much. I've always loved the city from visiting as a tourist since 1995. However, living there a couple of years as a part of The Gallery Church plant from 2005-2007 really gave me a sincere passion for NYC and its people to meet Jesus.
I got to attend Hillsong NYC on Sunday morning and...wow...what an awesome experience. It was so cool to attend a NYC church that has been recently planted and see the passion for the city just "ooze" out of the staff there. The service was so inspiring and the worship...yeah, it was like drinking from a fire hydrant for this worship leader!
Here was the service flow...
- Pre-service - 5 MIN VIDEO - Great footage of the cities and communities that Hillsong has existing church plants. It was powerful!
- Worship - 25 minutes - Joel Houston
- Welcome - 5 minutes - Lead Pastor, Carl Lentz
- Greet - "4 Minutes of Forced Fellowship" - This was fantastic! They used a countdown clock on the screen and served water and mini-muffins. It was terrific!
- Offering - Scripture Reading on Giving
- Song - reprise
- Message - this happened 50 minutes into the service - I really loved that!
- Invitation for Pre-Christians - hand-raised indication of accepting Christ
- Song reprise
- Invitation to Christ-followers - come forward invitation- I loved how Pastor Carl did it separately - it was so meaningful - he asked us to pray over these that were making decisions.
- Song reprise/Band played out - 90 Minute service total
It is such a powerful thing as a worship leader to attend a service and participate. I was inspired, encouraged, challenged, and spiritually refreshed. I know I have blogged about this before, but I honestly believe that attending services as a participant truly makes me a more authentic and inspired worship leader for my congregation. If you are a worship leader, I hope that you will take the opportunity to be a participant on a regular basis. You will experience things that you cannot experience when you are leading. Just do it!
Thanks to Joel, Carl, and the HillsongNYC team for such an amazing service. You guys are in my prayers. God bless your mission and your journey in NYC!
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