Sally Morgenthaler @ TN Annual Conference – Session 1

Live blogging from the stage of Sally Morgenthaler’s presentation to the Tennessee Annual Conference. Sally is the founder of Sacramentis, and a reknowned leader in the area of worship.

  1. Revelation 5 as a model of passionate worship.
  2. What are you passionate about?
    1. Sally’s recent passions – Family
      1. grandchilds: Nathan and Roman
      2. Family is a passion – the things that we go through with one another that are our passions
      3. Mom and dad
    2. We all have passion, but we express them differently
      1. Pixar clip to demonstrate one expression of passion
      2. Unchurced respond to church with bumper stickers based on their image of us.
        1. “I found Jesus, he was behind the sofa all the time.”
        2. “God protect us from your followers”
        3. “Lead me not into temptation, I can find it myself”
        4. “Love the sinner, hate their clothes”
      3. People are trying to talk to us through culture.
        1. The spiritual conversation is going on, but the church is not invited.
    3. Passion is about the things that have the most meaning.
      1. They connect us to things and people beyond ourselves
      2. There is plenty of spiritual hunger, but the church doesn’t seem to be invited.
      3. Bono – We are stuck in the moment but can’t get out of it.
  3. Statistics about the state of the church
    1. TN Annual Conference is growing, and we need to continue touching lives.
      1. Isn’t the U.S. a mission field.
    2. Video clip – Asking questions
      1. Conversation on what was heard in the video
        1. You are the equipment
        2. Movement in the dark with light of hope
        3. Voices disconnected from the rain in the background.
          1. Do we hear what people are saying? Do we know when to speak and when to be silent?
        4. Doubt
      2. None of this is easy.
        1. Folks don’t come out for a good show anymore. It’s getting harder and harder.
        2. Romans 12: 1-2  = 24/7 worship.
          1. All the time we worship . . . we worship all the time.
          2. If people were experiencing Jesus in us all the time, then we wouldn’t need advertising and marketing.
        3. There is a lot of spirituality happening in our world (shared statistics from Newsweek poll)
        4. Some of us are doing well in our church. Some aren’t.
        5. Why do folks say they are in worship every week even though statistics  suggest otherwise?
          1. Folks basically lie about church attendance.
          2. Average weekly church attendance in TN: 23%   National Average: 17.5%
          3. What does it mean to worship passionately if we aren’t involved in our communities.
      3. Passion
        1. Where is God not?
        2. We have disconnected what happens here (church) with what happens with the rest of the world.
        3. Jacob at Bethel – angels going up and down ladder
          1. There are a lot of Bethels where the people we call unchurched meet God
          2. Where is Jesus in the midst of our passions?
            1. Jesus didn’t spend a whole lot of time in sanctuaries. Rather he was out with the people, getting his sandals dirty.
            2. Jesus’ life was outwardly oriented.
            3. Philippians 2:5-11
              1. This is the direction of worship. It is always toward those who need grace. The problem is that when we define it as something that happens in an hour, we will never expand the kingdom of God.
            4. The Call of Isaiah
              1. Every encounter of God has an outward result (Here I am, send me)
            5. The Annunciation/Magnificant
              1. The outward response of Mary – encountered God in a unique way, and her response was to give herself over to God’s plan to redeem the world.
          3. How are you passionate?
            1. Do you experience God more outside your worship service than in it?
            2. We can’t craft passionate worship inside the building if we aren’t passionate outside the building. If we have lost the connection to the Christ who comes after us, we cannot create it here.
            3. “Thin places” Celtic expression where folks punch through the veil to God
              1. Worship should be a thing place.
            4. What are you passionate about? How much of that do you include in your sanctuary? Folks aren’t passionate about concepts. Where are our stories? Have we lost a connection to the visual?
              1. The new stained glass – art, film, image.
              2. How are people seeing and experiencing God.
      4. Why did Sally disappear from the scene for a while?
        1. Stopped experiencing God in church. Story that she didn’t think fit with anyone else’s story.
        2. She didn’t have anyone telling or praying her story.
        3. Do we take the “life out of worship”?
        4. How many stories are we leaving behind? Where is God not?
        5. Experienced God more clearly in visiting her husband in jail.
        6. What do you do with people’s lives – clean them up to be like us, or truly reflect with the authentic issues of life?
        7. Passionate worship needs to go the depths of where people’s lives are.

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