Shake it up a little

In case you weren’t aware, yesterday was Easter — the day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. On the most heavily attended Sunday of the year, churches tend to make every effort to make their church seem inviting to those once-a-year visitors. We at FBCE were no different.

What did you do to achieve that goal? Present the Passion play? Pull out your Easter sermon from last year? Buy a media kit from Worship House Media? Or, did you step out of your comfort zone, abandon tradition and do something progressive? Something relevant? Something exciting (yes, all of these are relative terms)?

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.