The Well


Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
                                                                                                John 4:13-14


we are a community
we are wanting to be filled
we are looking to God
we are longing for authentic worship
we are many things.
we know not what we will become.
we come to the well with open hearts, curious minds and a thirst for a real encounter with God.

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the well is a monthly additional worship experience at Providence Presbyterian Church.
the well is designed to organically and authentically integrate many different styles and methods of worship.
the well is an experiment in worship, devotion, interpretation of the Word and community building.
the well is open to those looking for a new way to connect with God and grow in the midst of a community.


Several months ago, I preached on concept of worship as a well. Our church sits in a convenient place under the shadow of a water tower. The same tower that sends out water to the community serves as a landmark by which we give directions to our church. The water tower is always full, always ready to offer a cool drink, a needed shower, and is the source of life for ourselves, our plants and our animals. As I look out my office window today, the water tower stands as a visible reminder, a tangible metaphor, for the ways in which we thirst for something beyond ourselves, and find relief only as we allow ourselves to be filled.            

In the passage from John cited above, a woman comes to the well with certain expectations. What she does not expect is that she will encounter the living God, who will offer her everything she needs to live life to the fullest. We bring many expectations to worship, and as a result, we often experience only what we expect. What if Christ calls us to step outside of our comfortable expectations? What if Christ wants vulnerability more than confidence? What if we are standing in the presence of the living water of eternal life, but are satisfied with only the water that we ourselves can draw?

                                     The Well is a place where we come and pour ourselves out before the Lord, but also the place where we come to be filled. The Well is a place where we are offered everything we need for life, but also a place where we learn how to share that life with others. The Well is a place where our temporary notions of health and sustenance are put in juxtaposition with the true life, health and sustenance that Christ offers. The woman at the well thought only about her physical thirst, and thought she would forever have to refill her jug.  But Jesus offers everlasting life, a life where we thirst no more. Worship is the place where Christ calls out, ‘come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest for your souls.” Worship is the place where Christ promises that “whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
            It should be made clear that for most of us, all of the aforementioned qualities of worship are experienced and cherished in our standing Sunday morning worship service. In fact, if these traits were only to be found in something new that is being offered, we would have much cause for concern. But I want you to think missionally for a moment. When Providence Presbyterian Church conducted its ‘revision’ and ‘percept’ surveys in the last few years, one of the things noted was a widespread desire to see Providence become the church that is needed for our specific time and place. Much of this has to do with location and demographics, but I believe that it has as much to do with our postmodern culture as anything else. We do a great job of ministering and reaching out to individuals and families who are looking for a church and are coming from a ‘churched’ background. Of this I have no doubts. Where our vision can be focused and our mission mindset enhanced is how we actively minister to a culture for which ‘church as we know it’ is no longer valid, intriguing or relevant. 
A number of surveys reveal that young people and many young professionals are looking for a place to meet Jesus, but don’t find the typical Sunday morning worship appealing. While it is not our goal to fall victim to the consumer-driven model of providing a different type of service for every different taste, it is imperative that we see the culture as it is, and modify the method of our delivery without altering the message of the Gospel. 
            As conceived by a diverse team of missionally minded members and participants at Providence, the Well is designed to offer an additional (not alternative or replacement) worship experience for those looking to connect with God in a new way. We will incorporate many different styles of worship; including music, interactive prayer, guided meditation, hearing and responding to God’s Word, enhanced use of media and formats attractive to today’s culture. 
The Well is a worship experience, and as such will evolve based on the people that attend. If you are looking for something new in your relationship with God, then this is for you. If you are ready to dive into something that might be different and stretch your comfort zone, then this is for you. There are no age limits or expectations, The Well is here for anyone that is looking for a new way to be filled. 
The Well is about connecting with God and building authentic community, and making those things available to the widest possible audience. As a church, we already model authentic community and connection with God throughout our various ministries, this is just another opportunity to reach more with the love and life-giving living water of Christ. 
Basic information:
Typically the first Saturday of the month.
The Well is from 6pm to 7pm.
Sanctuary open for guided meditation and reflection 30 minutes prior to service.
Opportunities for fellowship and community building will vary and follow The Well each month.
FACEBOOK members can search for and join “The Well” group for the latest information, discussion forums and photos.