A new service began in Misawa tonight. We are allowed certain "titles" in the Air Force. We already have Protestant traditional and contemporary services. This new service is a "praise service." The vision is for it to be contemporary, a bit edgier maybe than the current contemporary service, targeting young adults.
It was a great start. I'd guess nearly 60 folks, a few oldies like us, but mostly those in their 20's - 30's. This is a testament to Chaplain and Jennifer R, who have a true heart for people of all ages. The band was ready to go. The fellowship time BEFORE service was sweet. There was a clear call to be relational (which I'm thirsty for and loved).
Being a bit of a muser.....I found myself thinking of the substance of this service compared to our other services. It really doesn't appear much different (in substance not style or personalities).
Folks responded in worship nearly the same. There were announcements, a band, a worship set, a sermon, some fellowship time.....so it comes down to target? Which has me wondering....I agree 100% with the need to target younger generations which often do not attend chapel services. The military chaplaincy is in a unique position to reach this generation. I applaud what we are doing. It's exciting, it's needed, it's fruitful. However, as a church we lose something as we segregate according to age, gender, race, theology, methods.....and so those thoughts mingle in my mind with the excitement of reaching a target. The mandate to "meet the need," and the mandate to "be the body - one body - a unified body." Surely we need to reach a young generation.....yet a younger generation desperately needs mentors from an older generation. I have grown immensely from this sort of interaction (both as a 20something and as a 40something). An amazing thing about our "church," is while each service may target a small segment of the body, our chapel wide programs DO reach the totality of the body expressed in Misawa. In other words women from traditional, contemporary, off base and praise services all come together for PWOC - women's ministry....and the same happens with our youth, our men, our Sunday School....so maybe we are doing it right and we don't have as much separation as say the church on the corner which never interacts with believers from other churches. I LOVE the multi-faceted view of the body of Christ which is gained through worshiping weekly with those from many denominations and backgrounds.
Those are my "thoughts," my "musings," as I reflect on what I watched God do tonight.....birth a new segment of His body (though that analogy is really faulty since a body is usually birthed at one time ::snort::).
I think the uniqueness of this service (of all our services) will come down to the heart of those attending. I am eager to watch the heart of this service develop. I am filled with thankfulness at the new lives being reached through ministry.
It was EXCITING to see many NEW faces at this kick off.....because ultimately it's about reaching people with the invitation to join a vital, vibrant relationship with Jesus...regardless of age, method, theology, race, gender......it's about the relationship with God made possible through Jesus.
Note these are MY thoughts - the thoughts of a 47 yo attending the birth of a "young adult" service...and they in no way reflect the thoughts of the Misawa Chapel staff nor the acting wing chaplain. ::snort:: In fact, we've not even had time to talk about any of my thoughts and I may remove this.