I’ve never been overly fond of church bulletins. In fact, they have always frustrated me. I don’t like to know the details of a church service before it happens. To me that’s like reading the plot of a movie or TV show, before you watch it — a recipe for boredom. I prefer live spiritual action, rather than a programmed religious presentation.
In one seminary class on public worship, I was required to prepare a bulletin for an imaginary church service. I wasn’t involved in a church that used Sunday bulletins, so I went to a big, mainline church and asked if I could have a blank bulletin for a seminary project. They graciously gave me a few that were a light blue color.
When I typed the bulletin, I accidentally switched out the “order of service” and the announcements and got them crisscrossed on the “wrong side” of the bulletin. When I got the assignment from my professor I had a “C” because my bulletin was the wrong color and because the announcements and the “order of service” were not in their proper places.
My frustration with bulletins has even caused me to act out. Once I was leading a church service for a minister who was on vacation. As I did my best to lead the congregation through the details of the “order of service” printed in the bulletin, I missed up 3 or 4 times and did things out-of-order.
At first the congregation was polite, then some were annoyed, and then a few people began to quietly chuckle in church. Finally, in frustration, I tore the bulletin up and said something like, “I think I need to do this spontaneously.” People were in shock. But I sure felt better.
Even today, so many churches still print their program on that piece of paper that people pick up prior to the preaching. However, not everywhere.
At The Salvation Army Berry Street in Nashville, Tennessee we ask God to print His program, part by part, on different people’s hearts. Then as each person openly shares the part on his/her heart, God’s program beautifully comes together and we are all in awe.
Come see for yourself — Sunday mornings at 10:45, 225 Berry St., Nashville, 37207.