Live and rockin’
Word of Life Ministries
Word of Life Ministries601 W. First St.
Reno, NV 89503
The thing I like best about Filet of Soul is that it takes me into little—and sometimes immense—groups that I would not encounter in my regular life. It takes this newspaper down to a neighborhood level in ways that covering the city council simply can’t. As I stood clapping and grooving and listening to the beautiful voices at Word of Life Ministries, I thought how really lucky I am to be welcomed into these groups—and these groups of strangers have never failed to welcome me.
Anyway, I showed up to the Word of Life “converted” office building at about 9:50 a.m., walking unwittingly into the end of the Sunday school class. People smiled and continued with the class. I sat down and began taking notes on the room—a simple space with windows, a blue, cream and silver theme, about 120 blue padded chairs, a well-dressed congregation, and a small chancel with a bluish Lucite lectern with a dove, a crucifix and Bible inscribed upon it. There was an organ and drum set to the left of the chancel and screen above, which flashed song lyrics and scriptural passages. Several people enthusiastically introduced themselves to me, pointing out the various leaders of the church.
At the break, I met co-pastor Patricia Tau, wife of Live Tau, the minister. “It’s not a very quiet service,” she said with a smile.
The service began with a prayer given by a woman with a powerful voice, “Oh God, shake us up in the name of Jesus. Thank you. Thank you. Hallelujah.” The introductory prayer was followed by statements of faith, which were recited by the group. The statements regarded such things as the Bible, God, church, sin, salvation, Christ, Holy Ghost, sanctification, purpose, the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.
Following announcements, four women—Tau family members—came up to sing songs including “The Power of the Lord is Here” and “This is the Day the Lord has Made.” I was a bit disappointed to leave while they were singing but a gentleman invited me back to meet the Rev. Tau. The music was so rockin’ and beautiful, I thought Rev. Tau would have a tough time following up. The predominately African-American congregation was singing and clapping, and I saw a few tambourines and bells. It’s hard to describe the palpable excitement in the room, but even the many children were caught up.
After a few words of introduction of some of the visiting congregants, Rev. Tau launched into his sermon, which was based on Joshua 1:1-9. He’s an extremely passionate preacher, drawing inspiration from and bestowing it back upon the congregation.
“Amen,” “C’mon preacher.”
The Rev. Tau doesn’t stay on the chancel, but uses nearly the whole sanctuary, addressing individuals, touching people, gesticulating forcefully from the words on the screen back to the flock. He’s got that ability to raise and lower the energy in the room. While it’s obvious he has a plan, since the sermon keeps returning to the scripture, he goes where the spirit takes him. The sermon often returned to the theme: If you want God’s blessing, you’ve got to follow His word.
“Don’t ask the Lord for a blessing if you haven’t done what the Lord said to do. You’re just lying to yourself. … You need to understand something: What you do today and in the future is what’s going to make a difference. Not what you did in the past. … The emphasis of the Scripture is not on the blessing, not on the miracle—but on doing the will of God. Because the blessing follows obedience.”
After the sermon, there were individual prayers where people came up to the front to pray for particular strength and healing.
This was a fairly long service, at about two hours, but the time passed quickly. I think this is the kind of congregation with which many folks could find a home. And since the group is moving into a larger church in coming months, there will probably be room.