Strange. That’s the word to wrap up this past weekend, for me, at LifeChurch. I heard a lot of compliments, and there was a great vibe, but for me – watching from different angles, this weekend was strange.
First of all, it was our first weekend of Grand Opening, so we were expecting a lot of guests – which we got – quite a few new families. Here’s a list of the elements for this weekend:
- Guest speakers Graham & Treena Kerr
- Baby Dedication (only at 1 experience)
- Starting Life (Membership classes)
- Music: Forever, I am Free, How Great/How Great Thou Art, I Can Only Imagine
- All Church BBQ
- Mandatory all-staff meeting with our Deaf Ministry
Of course this was the end of a week of really hard work by all our staff to get ready for the Grand Opening. Let’s hit each of these areas quickly:
Graham & Treena Kerr; a lovely couple with a powerful message. Only problem was that we didn’t talk too much about the timing of the worship experiences, so we went long every time – which creates chaos for our KidsLife program and a parking nightmare. Another slight issue was that they both have pretty strong British accents, which made them a little hard to hear/understand through our system. And there were a couple culture shock statements that we won’t go into, but it’s interesting to see how generations deal with different topics. They were amazing guests and we were really excited to have them.
Communion. For me this always seems rushed. It’s just the nature of our church culture because of timing issues and all that goes into our weekend worship experiences. One idea that we’ve been bouncing around is something that some other churches do; I’ve heard it called “First Wednesdays”. The basic idea is that more time allotted for worship through music, prayer, scripture, and communion. We have this idea called “Breaking Bread”, where we would actually eat together (like the church in Acts), and then spend time in worship, prayer, & scripture. We’re still up in the air on this – what do you think?
Baby Dedication. These are actually “Family Dedications”, we need to change our vocabulary on this one because it is really about the family choosing to raise their child in a Godly environment, with the help of the local church. These are always special and unique. Normally we do these always on the 3rd weekend of the month (so as to not conflict with Communion and other things) – but this one was special since some family was in from out of town. It’s nice to be flexible.
Starting Life Classes. These are one of my favorite things we do at LifeChurch. We get face to face with new people and share with them our vision, mission, core values, beliefs, etc. and then give them the opportunity to join the LifeChurch family. This is where people really get “plugged in” to LifeChurch. We actually hold these classes every other month across our parking lot at the Community Resource Center, who graciously allow us to use their facility.
Music. The music was good – powerful songs. I think there was something going on with our band though, something just didn’t feel right. Me and Karl talked a little about it and weren’t really sure how to pin it down, but remember how I said this weekend was strange? That’s what I’m talking about. I tend to be hyper critical of music/production – but I’m sure that people had a good worship experience. Again our transitions kill us – those times when we go from one element to the next, when they’re not done with intention and passion, we just seem to lose momentum. Tech was OK. Our second (or third) week with no “official” sound tech – and on Saturday night we ran the whole service with 3 tech people (one of which was me).
BBQ. This was a great idea – just lots of extra work, and mainly for people who were already working hard in other areas of service (ushers, greeters, parking, tech, band). It was great to connect with people after church, although not as many new people stayed as we thought would; mostly a lot of our core families stayed.
Deaf Ministry Meeting. This was awesome – even though most of us were completely wiped out! We spent about an hour with our deaf ministry as they brought us up to speed on their culture and how their ministry is growing in our church. They are amazing people with great hearts – especially for outreach, which fires me up. I can’t wait to see how they grow in the future.
So that was our weekend. Good, but just a little strange. How was yours?