Here we are in the great outdoors!  Don’t worry; we will smell the hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill shortly!  In the meantime….

I love the idea of having church outside; it reminds me of how things were done by Jesus and the Apostles early in the history of the church.  Of course we are keeping our modern conveniences; a sound system, chairs, shaded areas, etc.

Have you ever wondered why Jesus spoke in some of the areas that He did?  Why did he get into Peter’s boat and have Peter take Him out a little way?  After all, wouldn’t it be better (not having a tremendous sound team like we have) to be closer to those He was talking to?  Was Jesus afraid that He would be mobbed by people and so having a stretch of water between Him and them would keep Him safe?  Was it so that if the mob was not the “good kind” He could make a quick escape?  No on all counts.

As the creator of this world, Jesus knew a thing or two about how things worked.  For instance, sound travels really well over water.  Oh yeah, it works!  Something about sound waves and water – it is not an amplifier, but the sound continues strong even over a long distance.  Perhaps it has something to do with the sound not getting absorbed by trees, bushes, people and the like.  The next time you are near the water, listen how you can hear just regular conversations of people across the water from you, or of those who are in boats anchored nearby.  Now mind you don’t eavesdrop – that would be rude!

Something else I have noticed in the way Jesus taught.  When He was not near water, He taught on hills.  He either had the people sitting on the hill and He would be below them (as in an amphitheater), or he would be on the top of a hill and they would be downhill listening.  It had a similar effect of allowing the sound of His voice to travel further.

If I ever have the privilege of being able to plan and build a church building, I would like to be able to use the amphitheater concept.  Not only does it make the acoustics easier to handle, it also helps in making eye contact.  Plus, I kind of like the symbolism of being below you when I preach.  I imagine myself supporting you and pushing you up toward God.

I am continually amazed that God uses even the simple things of this world to get His message across to those He loves.