I am a member of United Methodist Temple here in Beckley and attend the Journey@ThePlace worship service. Clif Adkins is the Director of The Place and is also the speaking pastor at this 11 AM service.
The sermon series we're in is called "Trader". No, not traitor as in to your country, but trader as in someone that trades one thing for another. Today we traded in our idols. The things that get in the way of our relationship with Christ. It can be something as simple as a TV program or something harsh like pornography.
We were given plastic hearts as we entered. In each heart was a small amount of Play Doh, and of course lots of people were playing with the Play-Doh all during the service <insert innocent whistle here>.
Clif talked about how he always (well, since middle school anyway) looked for the approval of others. In middle school, it was seeking the approval of the popular kids by telling jokes that shouldn't be told and saying things about others that shouldn't be said. We've all done that sort of thing. Then in high school, for him, he was looking for the approval of others by excelling at sports, namely basketball. After he got to college and wasn't playing basketball he looked for religion as a means of getting the approval of others. His desire, his idol was the approval of others. And he told a couple of other stories that were pretty funny. If his idol is still the approval of others, well, I approve =P.
So today's lesson challenged us to seek the idol in our own life and recognize it for what it is. By making the decision to pull it out of our hearts and give it to God, we can get closer to Him.
Here's the kicker! Our kneeling rail was FULL of people when it came time to put down our idols. We had to wait in line to place our Play-Doh on the altar!
It was A W E S O M E!!!!
Journey@ThePlace continues to show me that Christ doesn't have to be found in a church pew, listening to an organ, saying the right thing at the right time and standing at this time and sitting at this time, raising your hands here but never here <gasp> and . . . well you get the idea? I like this service! I love this experience each week.