The Summer Ministry Experience (SME) students had many experiences this summer, including participating in “Worship at the Cross” services.
One SME participant served as a Chaplain’s assistant at The Lutheran Home Campus in Belle Plaine, Minnesota. He enjoyed learning about and leading “Worship at the Cross” at The Lutheran Home: Hope Residence:
“If you would have asked me what “Worship at the Cross” was 2 months ago, I would not have been able to give you an answer. Before beginning the Summer Ministry Experience, I really did not know very much about Jesus Cares Ministries, not to mention Worship at the Cross. If you ask me now, I am able to give you a good answer. I have been blessed with the privilege of sharing God’s saving message with many of the residents at The Lutheran Home: Hope Residence Belle Plaine, Minnesota. … It is such a great experience worshipping with the residents here at Hope Residence. They love to hear about Jesus and how He loves them and died for all of our sins.
“I feel that the simplified “Worship at the Cross” service is great because it really focuses on God and His Word. The simplified service makes it easier for everyone to follow along and stay focused and engaged in worship. It is really a neat experience to worship with the residents at Hope Residence and to see them praising and glorifying their Lord and Savior with such joy and happiness in their hearts and on their faces. They are always so excited to sing and give praise to God. It is also cool to see the caregivers and others in attendance participate as well. These services are not only for people with developmental disabilities … they are for everyone. I have been very blessed with this opportunity to share my love for our Savior with others who share the same passion and love for their Savior, Jesus Christ. It truly fills me with joy to be part of such an awesome ministry.”
Another participant shares her memories of leading “Worship at the Cross” as the 7 college students traveled to different locations:
“When we first started doing these services, I thought ‘Wow, these are really simplified and I’m sure they are a great learning tool for people with disabilities.’ Now I think that the “Worship at the Cross” services are a great learning tool for everyone. Sometimes Christians are so used to traditional worship services that we just attend or pray out of routine, and sometimes the basic concepts and the focus of our services are forgotten.
“One specific adapted part that I like in the “Worship at the Cross” service is when we go through the Lord’s Prayer, saying it out loud together, but breaking it down on a PowerPoint, one line per slide, with a powerful picture coinciding with each line of the prayer. Often times I catch myself in church reciting the Lord’s Prayer without even thinking about what I had just said, and how many of us do this, not only with the Lord’s Prayer, but with other prayers and creeds? By breaking the prayer down I think it really helped everyone rethink why we say it, what the words mean, and what we’re trying to say to God when we pray those words.
“A lot of the things we do with people of disabilities in order to make it simpler for them to understand, we could all use to get out of the habit of repetition and refocus on the words we are saying in church when praying and to refocus on what the main focus of our worship is—Jesus Christ.”
As our Summer Ministry Experience college students experienced, “Worship at the Cross” is another way to share and honor God’s Word.
The Summer Ministry Experience is funded entirely by donations. We thank all who make this possible!
To learn more about “Worship at the Cross,” Jesus Cares Ministries or the Summer Ministry Experience, contact our National Ministry Offices at 1-888-600-TLHA (8542) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.