thoughts on worship, media/production in churches, and pretty much anything else

Here we go again.

Needless to say, I’m not good at this. I don’t maintain it. The content is super old. And I forget my password more times that I eat. So I’ll attempt to revive it, save it somehow. Just use it for dropping knowledge and other such  frequently asked questions. Such as, “why does my toilet water always flow the same direction?” all the way to “What does my blood pressure have to be to have Stage 1 Hypertension?” It’s a toss-up every time ladies and gentlemen. There are some changes taking place in a lot of the main aspects of my life. Church, family, work, the stability of my teeth, etc…But for real, I’m gonna move my fingers to produce words that electronically talk about everything from faith, God, worship, gear reviews, album reviews, Golden Corral specials to my ingrown toenail.

So here we go.

I’ve been struggling a lot lately. Transitions are inevitable in any aspect of your life. They are kinda like car wrecks. You never know when they are going to occur, but chances are at some point, you be involved in one. We, as a church, are entering another one now. It’s both exciting and sad all at the same time. I hope for the best out of this transition.

Now to the real point.

Numbers vs. Relationships vs. Accountability vs. Integrity vs. Emotion vs. Logic

It’s a battle either way you look at it. But it doesn’t have to be one with a negative outcome.

If you had a church, what kind would it be? Relationship oriented? Number oriented? “Contemporary”? Vineyard? Scientology? Six Flags Over Jesus?

Some will argue that “contemporary,” or “relevant,” churches have the ability to be both focused on maintaining the relationships inside the church, as well as extending the four walls of the church and reaching the community, while having that “sunday morning experience,” that blows people away.

Argue away. You would probably have a valid point.

So how do you grow your church naturally and maintain those relationships? You can’t honestly know every persons name in a “Mega,” church and I’m sure you’d be hard pressed to find someone who knows everyone’s name at church of 300. I can’t even remember the date even after I just wrote it down. Thus, I’m not saying the only way to have an effective church is to be huge and know everyone’s name, it’s impossible.

I’d even argue that cliques are necessary within a large church in order to protect people from that feeling of being disconnected. However, they have to be maintained. Imagine 5 circles that represent cities in a tiny state (technically, like Guam, but the little cities look like Cheerios)

One Here 1                                                                      One Here 2

One Here 3

 One Here 4                                                                        One Here 5

Collectively, all five groups make up the congregation of a church. Separate though, you’ve got five different groups of people. Within these groups, all involved have some shared interest. All the different groups offer up something different (be it age, personality, common interests, duty assignments, etc…) but all are working towards the same end result.

What has to happen though is that all these different groups have to stay connected while seeming somewhat distant. Face it, there are going to be people who you just don’t talk to on Sunday mornings. Not by any intention but just because you have certain things going on that don’t mesh with what that individual has going on. The tech team (guys and gals behind the lights and sound), the worship team, the lead guys, the little babies in the nursery…none of them are better or more connected to God than you. They are just different entities in church that allow Sunday mornings to happen.

Here’s where you make the connection.

Church wide, or should I say, congregation wide events. Sure have events for the guys one weekend and women the next, but stay consistent and don’t favor one side over the other or favor one age group over another. While Men’s Prayer breakfasts and Womens Bible Reading Seminars are all good and fun, integration is the key to cohesion. Couples retreats, even if it is to the local campground. Plan activities that reach a broad range of people and ADVERTISE them. Make em exciting. Most of all, make them purposeful. It’s the only way you’re gonna get the left side of the sanctuary to talk to the right side of the sanctuary while maintaining good relations between the front of house and the back of house. You may even mend the relationships between the sound guys and the people who complain that it’s too loud.

Needless to say, I’m all for cliques. Just not close-minded hacky sacking type cliques that wear group t-shirts. If you all are on the worship team, then cool hangout together. Have a cookout, go bowling, build something. But don’t forget that as a team you can do other things than worship. You can get together and help the other people in the church by cooking their family dinner one week. Same goes for everyone Group 1, help group 2, 2 help 3, 3 help 4, 4 help 5, 5 help 1, 1 help 3, 2 help 4, 4 help 1, you get it? Stay connected on a personal level and it is not going to matter how big your church grows. If it grows to 1000 then great. If it stays at 240 for years on years, even better. No matter what the numerical value of your congregation, maintain the ties.

I know it’s jumpy and doesn’t flow easy. I gotta get back in my groooove.

Upcoming Topics (in no particular order)

1. Discussing the truthfulness of lyrics as they pertain to worship songs.
2. My cat.
3. Community Outreach vs. Community Out of Reach
4. My thoughts on the Aeolian mode.
5. Pajama Jeans…Style? Comfort? I don’t care as long as they go with my cowboy boots.
6. My synthesizer and I have a discussion, in A minor.

Anyways, they’ll get better. I promise.





5 responses

  1. Well said, Tom. Looking forward to the upcoming topics. Except the one about the cat….

    August 23, 2011 at 4:00 am

    • tomtom

      Thanks Barbara. BTW, Starbucks instant cold coffee…is terrible.

      August 23, 2011 at 4:05 am

      • all cold coffee is terrible. Unless it’s so cold, it’s coffee ice cream.

        August 23, 2011 at 10:09 pm

  2. abby

    I gave it a chance no random beard fact.

    August 23, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    • tomtom

      So quick to judge abigail. The beard fact is in the picture….it can tow…tow trucks.

      August 23, 2011 at 4:35 pm

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