great home church last night

only six came to our home church last night, but we had a really wonderful time. after dinner together (i had a cleanse shake, whoopee!), we settled into the family room for a couple hours of sharing. i’d asked everyone to bring one song (on ipod or cd) that met one of the following criteria:

– takes you somewhere outside of yourself
– resonates deeply with you at a spiritual level
– helps you catch a glimpse of god
– rocks your emotions at a deep level

i talked briefly about how these songs should be viewed as gifts — gifts from god, and gifts from the song chooser to the rest of the group. we spent 5 minutes in silence, preparing ourselves to receive these gifts. then we followed this format for each person:

– play the song without any commentary at all
– 2 minutes of silence after the song, for reflection
– the person who brought the song explains why they chose it
– others are invited to share observations or responses
– listen to the song a second time

it was wonderful to hear the wide variety of songs, each with their own contribution. listening to the song without commentary, then again after understanding why the person chose it, was really helpful also. songs ranged from my choice of innocence mission’s “o sacred head surrounded”, to U2’s “kite”, to ben folds’ “luckiest”, to the chris tomlin version of “amazing grace” (and a couple more). really cool time together and with god. very communional.

9 thoughts on “great home church last night”

  1. this is really wonderful. Music resonates *so much* with me, and very frequently, whenever i am having my deepest, darkest times, i choose to reflect them in a mix cd composed of the songs that “speak” for me and what i cannot say myself. what a beautiful time together.

  2. I love what Mark shares above. I had a similar (but less structured) experience a couple of weeks ago while driving 5 hours to a youth workers conference with two colleagues. We each took turns sharing 3 songs at a time from our iPods that had special meaning to us. Usually there was a personal and redemptive story to go with each song. Some songs were CCM, some traditional, some secular. When it was all done, the drive felt like only an hour in length. It was a very rich time of sharing great music as well as “to spur one another on.”

  3. Hi my name is marcos and imnot reading in english jajaj

    god bless you mark and thank you for your work wich young

    saludos bendiciones y suerte!!!!!!!!!

  4. This would be an excellent “tool” to use to help guide a conversation – and hopefull build understanding and unity – for those living in tension over worship (in this case musical) “style”. What a wonderful way to share our stories – which provide the context for why we love (and sometimes hate) a certain type of music! Great idea to build community!

  5. Wow, awesome idear. I know of several songs that’d work for me, but my first thought was Driftwood by Travis ( The interim president of London School of Theology used this song in her talk at the opening chapel service for the school year this past September. We were there for my wife who started a Ph.D. program there. Song is probably significant to me now with our uncertainty with job searching and being turned down with several churches. Just drifting, but searching and trusting.

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