Working on helping to planning a songs of praise service with someone the other evening, suddenly took my mind back to something I used to do, and it shook me to think that it was about 40 years ago. I really had to ask myself was it really forty years? Where had those years gone to, it didn`t seem that long.
It was at the time when our church Circuit was short of local preachers, so it was agreed that a group of us teenagers, about 6 of us, should, under the leadership and guidance of one of our Sunday School leaders (who was a local preacher), and her sister, should be formed to meet, plan a service/s and go to some of the village churches. I well remember the evenings we spent planning the theme, the readings, the hymns and between us discussing and writing out combined thoughts into a sermon. We then used to sort out who would do what, the sermon was usually split into three sections.
One in particular that I remember us doing was that of the Good Samaritan, where we each took one of the people that walked past the man who had been robbed. And, instead of instantly criticing them for not stopping to help, we considered each of the people and thought about the legitimate reasons they may have had for not stopping, as well as why they should have.
We did several services over a year or two, then gradually the group got smaller until it ceased to be. But it`s a time and experience I shall remember. None of us continued on to be preachers - whether that was the hope, I don`t know!!
So, it actually felt quite reminiscent and a priviledge to be involved with the planning and participation this week. The person I was doing it with had a lot of good ideas, and it went off very well this evening, and seemed to be appreciated by everyone there.