I've joked many times that it's a good thing I think Jim is a great preacher; it would make for a looong marriage if I didn't.
Today Jim was in especially fine form. The United Methodist Church is going to be asking churches to "Rethink Church" -- as a way to look at church in a manner that might be more appealing to those outside of the church. He went "all in." He had bulletins printed 'sideways' and sticky notes inside the bulletins for congregational participation. The service was divided into four parts; three were based on questions Jim wanted us to think about (what is the church, what does the unchurched think about church, what does the church do) and the fourth was about how we are a church together (included our prayer concerns, offering and communion).
For each of the three question parts, Jim asked for verbal and written responses (hence the sticky notes). There were positive and negative answers and "oh yeahs" and nodding when someone thought an answer was a good one. After each of the three response times, Jim preached a mini-sermon. We also sang some great hymns, including "The Summons" which I adore.
I hope my description made sense. Today was powerful. Worship felt 'active' this morning and I think Jim felt the same way. He had great energy and was charming and funny and got tickled a few times (and was thoroughly adorable to his wife).
(Jim came to my aid in clarifying some things in this post. Thanks honey.)