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Posted by on Jan 21, 2016 | 0 comments

Called to Lead


During the fall of 2015, a group of us gathered in the basement of our church for 6 Wednesdays to study Scripture and explore our own calls to leadership through a resource from Logos Productions, titled: “God Calls Leaders.”  As our study came to a close, we decided to take our study out of the basement and into the sanctuary.  Our motivation: to further explore our own calls to leadership while helping the congregation to the same.

We were fortunate to have an artist in our study group who suggested that we find a way to illustrate particular leaders.  Here’ what we did:

  1. We each agreed to select a leader who spoke to us (biblical or non-biblical).
  2. We agreed to meet for a final study session to discuss our leaders and for each of us to make a life-sized puppet representing our leaders.  We chose to make: Aung San Suu Kyi, Wangari Maathai, Martin Luther King, Peter, Moses and
  3. In advance of our meeting, our artist sewed up some inexpensive muslin “heads” and gave one to each student.  She also supplied us with paints, markers, other art supplies, and kind encouragement.
  4. While discussing our leaders we each painted/drew our leaders faces.
  5. When done, we took them home, mounted the heads to simple dowel frames (dowels fastened together in a cross shape), added hair and clothes to make them look like the leaders we were trying to depict (see image below for a sample).
  6. We then presented our leaders in worship on the Sunday before our annual meeting when our congregation chooses leaders to serve in various roles for the coming year.  After our call to worship and during a congregational hymn, we processed with our leaders down the center aisle.
  7. We also scattered quotes from each leader throughout the service.  I preached a special sermon about our leaders, asking what their stories had to say to us about our own leadership as followers of Jesus Christ.  Sermon is here.  Order of worship is below.
  8. After worship, our students all stood by their puppets and spoke to members of the congregation about their leaders, their experiences in the study, and about whatever else came up.

A creative way to help many to explore God call in their live to leadership in Christ’ name and for the life of the whole world.


NOTE: Thanks goes out to Rev. Amy Pitton and the people of Bethany, United Church of Christ (Montpelier, VT) for inspiring us through their All Saint’s Day artwork.


God Calls Leaders
Gathering Music

Peter Speaks: Acts 10

Greeting, Welcome and Announcements
Choral Introit

Wangari Maathai Speaks

Call to Worship
One: God calls leaders.
MANY: God has plans. There is need for healing, restoring, saving…
One: God calls leaders in all places and times.
MANY: To lead God’s people from slavery to freedom, from darkness to light, from death to life.
One: God calls us.
MANY: To lead. To be Christ’s hands and feet. To imperfectly use what God has given us in service, with love, for the liberation of all.

Procession of Leaders

Leaders’ Prayer (in unison)
Christ, our leader, you are made visible in these leaders today: Peter, Wangari Maathai, Aung San Suu Kyi, Martin Luther King, Moses and Miriam. Call to us in this time of worship today, as you have called to them. Help us to become the leaders you imagine and which the world needs. AMEN.

Passing of the Peace

One: The peace of Christ be with you.

ALL: And also with you.

Sung Response

Aung San Suu Kyi Speaks

God’s Leaders Listen
Children’s Message

Martin Luther King, Jr. Speaks

Message: “God Calls Leaders”

God’s Leaders Respond
Choral Anthem

Moses Speaks: Exodus 3

Joys & Concerns
Pastoral Prayer, Silent Prayer & Lord’s Prayer
Prayer Response

Miriam Speaks: Exodus 15

Offering Our Gifts to God
Offertory Hymn

Prayer of Dedication & Benediction

© Rev. Kevin Goldenbogen, 2016

Kevin Goldenbogen is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ serving an amazing congregation in the foothills of the Green Mountains of Vermont. He skis, climbs, runs, bakes bread, rides a red Vespa, and tries every day to follow Jesus. He is married to the perfect woman and has two boys who he loves beyond words.

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