Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fresh Eyes #2

Here's the second installment of Fresh Eyes!

Clean Campus!
- The Church we visited was extremely neat and tidy. I noticed that they had put quite some effort into making their facility look clean. I led worship at a conference here a few years ago. I noticed that since then they've re-done their staging and lighting which made for a cleaner look.

I'm Lost - However, as clean as it was, it surprised us to note that there was absolutely no signage to speak of! As we walked up to the sanctuary, despite the fact that I'd been here before, we weren't quite sure where to go. And on top of that, there were no greeters to help us find our way.

Granted, we were 10 minutes early so maybe we missed the greeting party, but most first time guests will probably be 10-15 minutes early. The worst part was that we walked by numerous people, even staff members and not one of them said 'hi'. hmmm...

I hope we never lose the concern that we have for the first-time guest.

What are you doing to make your guests feel welcome?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fresh Eyes #1

My wife and I took the weekend to celebrate 9 wonderful years together (more on that later). So needless to say I wasn't at Church on Sunday. But we did go to Church, just not our Church. It's always great to get out and experience other communities.

Staci and I have this problem though. Some people like to call it "Fresh Eyes". But Staci and I like to call it what it is... critical hearts.

It seems that whenever we attend other Churches, we have a tendency to be critical. Do you ever struggle with this?

Well, we decided that this weekend would be different. We were going to go to Church and worship... period!

That lasted about 30 seconds... the 30 seconds that it took for us to walk from our car to the sanctuary. So we decided that we would no longer consider this gift that God has given us to see the faults in other Churches as a negative, but as a positive. In fact, we're from this point on going to refer to this gift as "Fresh Eyes". And I thought it would be a great idea to share this gift with each of you in a series of posts dissecting the Church we attended over the next few days. (please note mild sarcasm).

Now let me preface the rest of this post and the posts to come with this statement. The Church that we attended is a great, Bible Believing, Jesus Worshiping Church. I want to make that clear. Overall, the experience was pleasant and encouraging. However as Church Planters with "Fresh Eyes" there were some things that we noticed that I believe will help all of us make our own Churches more pleasant and welcoming places to worship.

Here is my first observation...

Positive #1

Skatepark! - I used to run the one we had at Horizon in the late 90s. I'm all for it. It's a huge liability, but the connections that can be made with the community are well worth it. If you've got a facility and go about getting the right type of insurance, it can be a huge Kingdom Builder.

A couple of cool things about this one were that it was constructed well, it had a nice flow and a variety of ways to skate it (quarters, tables, rails, etc.) The coolest part was that kids were on it every time we drove by.

Area of improvement #1

Skatepark Staff! - Now I was only there for the weekend so this could be a little skewed. So let me make this generic statement to anyone who wants to start a Skate Park Ministry. If you're going to have a Skatepark, please be willing to staff it correctly! The whole point in having this type of ministry is to connect the Church with the community.

While every time we drove by the Skatepark we were sure to see kids skating it, we rarely saw any staff members connecting with the kids. In fact, on Sunday morning there were kids skating in there without any supervision whatsover. Not only is that a huge liability, but it's also a waste of resources. If you're not connecting with the kids, what's the point?

All in all, I love the concept and I think it is well executed at this Church. I do think they could beef up the staff a little.

Great idea!

Keep your eyes open for "Critical hea... I mean "Fresh Eyes #2"...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Worship Confessional

It was a pretty solid week @ Chorus Church if I do say so. The band was tight, the music was great and the Church was totally into it!

Here's what it looked like...


me - agtr/vox
dave - keys/vox
lynette - vox
daniel - egtr
crawford - bass
wes - drums

andy - audio
aj - audio
charlie - audio
bradley - propresenter
paul - lights

Let the praises ring - Brewster
Amazing - Redman
Superman - Five For Fighting
Who am I - Casting Crowns
How Great - Tomlin

Pastor Dave challenged me to do Superman. I wasn't sure about it, but I think it went pretty good. On top of that, I wasn't sure who was going to drum for us until Saturday night. Brandon was out of town & Ross couldn't do it so I called a guy that I played with at Gospelfest and he just happened to be available (thank God!). Thanks Wes!

We did a pretty cool thing this week. It's something that we're going to try and do every week. We had some Elders and Leadership off to the side of the room and we invited people to seek prayer at the end of the service. I'm not sure how well it went, but I'm excited about the idea of it.

Also, we weren't planning on doing "How Great" but I realized at the end of "Who am I" that we still hadn't taken the offering. On the fly I called out the chords to How Great and the band fell right in line. What a great team we have.

How was your week???

Stretching Me Into "Superman"

Seems like I've been getting stretched quite a bit lately. I've been working in the studio with Rob and he's challenging me to use a different part of my voice than I usually use (lower register)... This week Pastor Dave had the perfect song for his message and of course he asked me to sing it. Wouldn't you know, it was a song that stretches my voice in a different way (upper register)... Superman

Check out a clip of it here...

How is God stretching you???

Monday, October 6, 2008

Worship Confessional / Throw Away Services???

We had a great weekend... Nothing special really, just a solid worship service and a pretty solid attendance (2nd service was packed).

Here's what it looked like...

agtr/vox - me
keys/vox - dave
egtr 1 - daniel
egtr 2 - dalton
drums - brandon
bass - kevin

audio - enrique
video - andi
lights - bradley
(aj helped with sound a little too)

All we need (Hall)
Remedy (Crowder)
-SNL "Don't buys stuff" video-
-message 1-
-tithing video-
-message 2-
Enough - C/V1/C/V2/C (Tomlin)
Enough - B/B/C (Tomlin)

I have to say that I think it was one of our best weekends as far as the click track goes. I don't know what the deal was, but Brandon was stinkin' on it! On another note, our first service has a tendancy to be kind of a "workin' out the kinks" kind of service. It almost becomes another practice, but not this week. In fact, I think our first service was actually better than our 2nd as far as the band goes. Especially considering we did 2 new songs...

Great job guys!

How do you keep your first service from becoming a throw away as far as the music goes?

Friday, October 3, 2008

They're growing up too fast!

So I was looking for a picture to upload for my last post on Alex's Flicker site and I ran across these... both from Miles' birthday party.

They're growing up too fast Alex!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

"Can I change my name to Alex?"

So we're driving home from school today and my 5 year old son Joshua, out of nowhere starts the following conversation...

Joshua: "Daddy, when I get older, can I change me name to Alex?"
Me: "What?"
Joshua: "When I get older, can I change my name to Alex?"
Me: "Alex?"
Joshua: "Yeah, you know... like Miles' dad?"
Me: "Sure, when you're 18 you can change your name to whatever you want."
Joshua: "And I'm gonna have a little boy and name him Miles... and a little girl and name her Macy."

Now every dad wants their son to want to grow up and be just like them... but after thinking about it I realized that I'd be stoked if my son grew up to be like my good friend Alex.

Who's influencing your kids... in other words, who do your kids want to be when they grow up?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A New Website & Gmail

We finally have a new website... Woohoo! Check it out.

In the process however, we changed servers to "dreamhost". The cool thing about that is that they're using gmail for their email, which means that we're now using gmail for our email.

I have to say that I've been hearing about gmail for a while now. In fact I even have my own personal gmail account, but I've never used it because it... well... I guess it just looked a little too linear for me.

So I just spent the last few hours playing with it and I have to say... I'm pretty impressed.

If you get a chance, go check it out. If you already have it, can you pass on any pointers?

Worship Confessional Links from Youtube