My name is Dagne Sollid. Like many of you I have grown up in the church. I was baptized as an infant. I cherished the Sunday School pins I was awarded for perfect attendance. l passionately sang in the choir beginning as very young child and as a youth. I was a member of the youth group, served on outreach and mission trips, was an active participant in my college chapel program. I worked as a volunteer at missions on a number of different Native Reservations before I served many passionate years in a teaching ministry on the Navajo Reservation while I worked at the Good Shepherd Mission there.
As an adult I have served in many capacities in many churches wherever I lived. For me church never got old. I was passionate about it. I loved the old familiar hymns, the Bible readings that I could recite in my head while they were being read from the pulpit and often felt the sermon messages spoke directly to me where I was at that moment in time.
Now in my older years I still love church. I love THIS church, Lake Deaton United Methodist Church. I love the worship, the Pastors, the people, the music and all the ways this church reaches out to the world around us as it helps us each grow in our own personal spiritual journey.
But, I see in the generations of my child and grandchild and beyond that the traditional church that I have felt so passionate about and that has meant so much to me in my lifetime does not seem relevant to them. Souls in these upcoming generations are searching but for something that speaks to them in their different cultures and places of life than ours. We won’t reach them with something they consider, dry, routine, judgmental and out-of-date. We have to meet them in their settings with new kinds of expressions of exciting, joy-filled worship that THEY can get passionate about from their hearts not just their brains.
Way back in the 1700’s John Wesley stretched himself beyond his comfort zone when he realized to reach people he had to be “submitted to be more vile”. Preaching outside was distasteful to him but he did it with passion to reach the people where they were and bring them to God. His passion won them over! Now it is our job in bringing the world to God to be passionate in whatever we do to present God to them. We must be passionately willing to try new things even if they may seem “vile” or distasteful to us. If we put our hearts and passion into new multifaceted pathways to Christ we may be happily surprised to see how God will work to make our passionate gifts to Him bear the fruit of new believers and worshippers and even revive our own more passionate faith!
“Don’t hesitate to be enthusiastic-be on fire in the Spirit as you serve the Lord!” (Common English Bible) Romans 12:11
. When have you felt you were really on fire worshiping in the Sprit? What helped you feel this experience was really special?
. Have you been on a Walk to Emmaus (Cursillo,Tres Dias)? If not, you may find this 3-day experience a powerful, opportunity to experience passionately God’s closeness first hand. Talk to the Pastors about it.
. What do you think would help you get more excited and passionate about a worship experience?
. Talk to a person from a younger generation or anyone who does not attend church. See if they can express to you what would make them want to worship God. What kind of setting, music, words, dancing, readings would be meaningful to them? Share that with the Revisioning Committee.