Summary: Encourages worshipers to not be ashamed or reluctant to display their faith publically
Do you know that today is a special Sunday? Every Sunday is special but today is most especially special because it is congregation participation Sunday. I want to know who in the early service told you what was coming. Today we’ve seen some things, we’ve seen some very small children display their faith in God they rang bells, sang songs, they played catch with Alan, what an honor! And this morning we are going to have three more people, Amanda Swanson, Teresa Swanson and Tiffany Barnhardt come up and lead us in a song. They are going to display their faith in front of people. Now when you are 13,14, 15 or any age and you¡¦ve got to stand up in front of your parents, your parents friends, your Pastors and (pause) Miss Wanda!!! And you have to display your faith its pretty nerve wracking isn¡¦t it? I can tell you for a fact that it is a bit nerve wracking! And so these ladies are going to sing us a song. You will find the words to the song on your orange sheet. Now be obedient children and take your orange sheet out. O.K. We¡¦re gonna spot you the first time through because you may not know this tune. The ladies are gonna sing it, it¡¦s very few words, it¡¦s a catchy tune. But then it¡¦s, Congregational Participation Day! You are going to join them. We will sing it three or four times through but let your heart go, show God you love him by singing this song. Please stand and help these girls sing. Show our love to God,
(song) "Becoming More Undignified Than This"
(at end of song) Lets all give God a great big hand. I know some of you who are life long Methodists may have thought that was a bit strange but, God loves us anyway!
Illustration -- Recently I went to one of the finer eating institutions in our area. As we pulled into the parking lot of the local pizza restaurant (pause), we noticed an abnormality. There was an over abundance of mini vans in the parking lot, and this long white van with big letters on it. I am sure you all are familiar with it, it said church bus. You all know what that means right? It means youth group inside beware! Loving youth groups as I do, I went inside anyway and stood next to the Please wait to be seated sign and the server came up and asked, "Do you want to be seated"? I assured her I did. Now this restaurant was over half-full with very loud teenagers, Youth Group people and they had shirts on that said, ¡§Jesus loves me¡¨, ¡§Jesus saves¡¨ and all kinds of other slogans, some that people wish they didn¡¦t have on their shirt!. They were noisy and as we were going to our table the server is apologizing for the noise and the church Youth Group. She’s just sorry there isn¡¦t a quieter place to sit. She sits us right at the end of the tables where the youth are. I was sharing wonderful conversation with my dinner guest and the food came for the youth group, they were setting it down and there were several adults with this youth group. One adult stands up and he tries to get the attention of the Youth Group. Now anybody who’s been with a youth group understands how hard that can be right? So there was a lot of this, Ssshhhh, shh, shh, shh and stuff going on. Well eventually he gets them to quiet down and, praise God he asked a blessing over the food! Amen to that! Isn¡¦t that wonderful to be out in public and display your faith? But what I didn¡¦t understand is, he is way up at one end of the tables and I¡¦m way at the other end of the tables, he asks the blessing for the food and he is just barely above a whisper. (lowered voice to a whisper) ¡§Dear God we are thankful you provide food for us¡¨.