From the pastor’s prayers to the people’s playground: An overview of how we plan our teaching at Westwinds (Part Five)
The final step in this process is thinking both about a response and a reflection. A response is something we do now, during the service, and we want to put some time into planning how that response will happen from week to week.
For example, in a series on Jeremiah, we had broken pieces of pottery in a giant bin by the front door, representing Jeremiah’s shattered jar (see Jeremiah 19). As people came into the auditorium each week during the series, they broke off a piece of the pottery, wrote a one-word prayer on it, and threw it back into the bin. This created an effective visual about the amount of brokenness in our congregation and also about the abundance of God’s promises for healing.
In addition to the response, we also plan reflection—what happens outside of the service and throughout the week. This involves what we do in a satellite group, what we do at home by ourselves, what we do with our children and families, and what we do out in the community. It might be a devotional prompt or another kind of follow-up activity.
During a series on the Sermon on the Mount, we asked people to re-write the Lord’s Prayer and share their prayers in their satellite groups. We offered time during the service to see the prayer on screen, we printed it in the Draft (our weekly bulletin), and there was space beside it for their re-written prayers.
These five steps are not a perfect representation of everything we do for every series, but they are a good approximation, and they are what we typically do instinctually. That ambition is one of the things that makes Westwinds special. That’s right—most of this stuff happens because we’re always pushing ourselves to make things more meaningful.
I hope it’s contagious.