Shake it up a little

In standard Easter fashion, we at FBCE pulled out all the stops and built a service around extraordinary music. We have some exceptional talent in our church and as volunteer Technical Director (that’s a self-proclaimed title), I absolutely love to be a part of it. In addition to a solo performance of “Arise my Love” by Woodchuck (a.k.a. Bryan) that gave me chills and received a standing ovation (I know you missed that last note, man, but it didn’t matter. Really. It didn’t), we experienced a time of worship kicked off by one of the most energetic tunes I think we’ve ever done.Besides the fact that it really gave us the opportunity to stretch our new sound system to its limits, we challenged ourselves to get out of our comfort zone. So much so that our guest drummer for the day (a great friend of mine and long-time member of our church) said “are we allowed to play this one?” He said it half in jest and half sincerely, as it was really something we haven’t done in a while, if ever.

We challenged ourselves to leave the “churchy stuff” behind and hopefully shake up the view some may have of our church. This is where we’re headed. Hop on and enjoy the ride.

Remember, when I talk about relevance or creating an environment comfortable to those not familiar with church, I don’t mean that we sugar coat anything. We don’t change the fundamental message. That HAS to remain the same. What we’re doing is presenting that exact same message (fire, brimstone and all that) in a way that people understand, can relate to, and are willing to get up at 8am on a Sunday to come hear.

This brings up a few questions for you:

If you don’t attend church and you did yesterday, why? If you didn’t, why not? Is your “expectation” of church what keeps you away? If a church in your area blew that expectation out of the water and met you right in your comfort zone, would it make a difference? Is it the environment or the message that is given? Does the environment affect the message?

If you’re a church staff member or even just a regular attender, what was different about your Easter Sunday? Was it just another regular service? Was it just another Easter Sunday where you present some drama, give the Gospel presentation and sing the standard hymns? Did you build it with the visitors in mind?

I realize some of those questions are loaded, but I’m really curious. This is something I’m building my life around and I really want to know what people are doing, and what people expect from Church.

New Era of Procrastination

Searching for the perfect device, I was hoping to fall in love with the Treo 700w enough that I would be able to wait for Cingular to carry it. Alas, I wasn’t pleased with the few I played with and decided that smartphones have a long way to go before they’ll be useful to me. So, realizing that I was destined to carry multiple devices, I purchased a Dell Axim a couple weeks ago to help organize my busy schedule. I carried a dayplanner for about 3 days, but it did me no good because it didn’t remind me of the things I put in it. The Axim has helped.

The problem? I played solitaire more than I actually used it for the reasons I bought it. Well, yesterday my third iPod (yes, third) crashed. I bought a 20GB 4G iPod shortly after they came out and luckily invested in the AppleCare program. Each time it crashed (twice for those counting – hence the third iPod), the nice folks at the Apple Store graciously replaced it with a new 20GB. Well, yesterday I took the latest casualty in and they explained the “three strike rule” and handed me a brand new shiny iPod with video.

New Theme

I sat down tonight to start realigning this blog. I was inspired recently when Terry Storch redesigned using the Hemingway theme for WordPress. I’m basing my new design on this theme, with a little Veerle’s Blog mixed in. So yeah, once again I’m promising much more than I know I can deliver. Stay tuned anyway, we’ll see what comes of it. For now, enjoy this slightly modified Hemingway. Why do I love this green and brown combo so much?

Update: Wow, I really need to get a CRT at home for testing purposes.  Those. Colors. Are. Dark. They looked great at home on my laptop and Dell LCD, but here at the office, they look too subdued on the CRT (granted, it’s a crappy CRT, but it needs some work).