More than a ton of sand covered the floor of Westwinds Community Church in Jackson, Michigan. The make-shift desert, complete with cacti, was a solitary eremos place where worshipers could "thirst" for God. Pastor Ron Martoia and his team use dramatic experiences as a key for effecting personal spiritual transformation. It's part of a planned approach, encouraging people in a process, first to become part of the community, and eventually to believe in the God of the community.
How do you lead people from physical experience to recognizing spiritual need?
Our monthly Encounter services don't seem spiritual at first. They provide an entry point from which we provide a spiritual departure.
For our "Hungry" Encounter, we displayed tantalizing food commercials on stacks of televisions. We placed fresh baked bread and cookies, pizzas, and bubbling spaghetti sauce around the auditorium. It smelled great. People began salivating. After 20 minutes we asked, "How can we provoke spiritual hunger at ...1