Last week for FreerangeFriday, we used Isaiah 40 to begin to consider our journey towards Advent this year. Considering the things that might be blocking our way, the rocks that need to be removed in order for us to prepare for the arrival of Jesus. How do we need to prepare Him Room?
Some of you may be already planning activities for your church communities, family, and friends. As a worship curator, I like to help people add participation to worship gatherings so that EVERYONE can learn and grow and remember the Message. We remember much more of what we do than what we hear, especially if we are not auditory learners.
One way to have everyone participate is to create what I call a “CORPORATE RESPONSE.” A Corporate Response is a Prayer Station or Prayer Action that everyone does in response to a lesson or teaching. We do the action or activity together, rather than on our own. I often ask leaders, pastors, teachers, what they want their people to “TAKE AWAY” with them. What do you want them to remember? Then I help them design a way to respond to this in a touchable, tangible way.
How do we participate in ADVENT? How do we remember that we can receive the HOPE, PEACE, JOY and LOVE of Jesus this season? In this case by lighting a candle!
CREATE A CORPORATE RESPONSE ADVENT WREATH.
The concept is to create a large Advent wreath and have the center where the Christ candle would be, be a space for multiple candles to be lit by the people in your group. The leader can light the Advent Candle of the week, or have a volunteer do this and introduce the theme of the week like HOPE, but the action does not stop here. Everyone lights a candle and adds it to the wreath either before worship begins as they walk into the space, or following the sermon/teaching, or after taking communion.
You will need enough tea light candles for everyone in your group to light one and several lighters for people to use. Kids will need help with these! You might need more than one tray for candles according to the size of your group, or you might need to create a couple of stations.
You can start the first week of Advent by passing out the tealight candles or having them in the pews or chairs at the beginning of worship. Invite everyone to hold their candle and ask them to consider how they need to receive the LIGHT OF THE WORLD this Advent season. Give them time to talk to Jesus about this. You can also invite them to pray about how they can BE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD this Advent, and give them time to reflect and pray about this.
Then you can invite them to take home that candle to remind them to BE THE LIGHT of the World AND to RECEIVE the LIGHT of JESUS each day. Or you can have them take their candle to the Advent Wreath and add it to the center and LIGHT THEIR CANDLE and then take home a candle to remember they are to RECEIVE and BE the LIGHT of the World each day.
During worship each week of Advent, people are invited to LIGHT A CANDLE in the Advent wreath. The leader can decide what the prayer focus is…Such as ” BEING WILLING TO WAIT for JESUS”, Receiving and Being HOPE, JOY, or PEACE. You can direct this or have a Directional Sign by the Advent wreath to help them pray as they light their candles.
You can also do this at home or with your small group too. Create an Advent wreath with a tray of sand in the middle and tea lights for all your family members or group members. As you begin your time together or as you start your mealtime, have everyone light a candle. Ask them to share how they have seen Jesus that day…or how to use the questions above about how they need to receive the LIGHT, HOPE, PEACE, JOY, and/or LOVE of Jesus. Always give people time to pray and to share if they want to do so. It’s all about PARTICIPATION!
Here’s a video of HOW TO CREATE a Corporate Response for Advent and this idea is also a PRAYER STATION in the
If you have any questions or would like to brainstorm ideas for Advent or more ways to use corporate responses with your church community, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Join Christine Sine and Lilly Lewin on Saturday, November 20th 9:30-12:30 PST (check my timezone) for an interactive, multi-sensory, creative retreat focused on the WONDER OF ADVENT! This retreat will be LIVE via zoom, but if you are unable to join live, you can sign up to watch the recording and participate later! Come with a creative heart, be inspired, have fun, and reconnect with the WONDER of the season.