- Kicked off the new “God at the Box Office” series today.
- The day got off to a rough start when one of my contacts ripped on the way to the theater this morning.
- So I had to turn around and go back home…not a big deal but it did put me a bit behind.
- Set-up today went fairly smooth considering a new set needed to be assembled for the first time.
- Bill did an awesome job creating a film strip look that covered the entirety of the stage.
- Andy did a great job lighting it all up and creating some new effects we’ve never had before.
- I guess one of the limitations of being in a portable situation is the not being able to see if things will work until you actually get there.
- In my previous church when a series was finished, the set got torn down that Sunday afternoon and the framework of the new set was erected.
- That gave all week to work on getting it just right before Thursday night’s practice where the final bugs would be worked out in preparation for Sunday morning.
- Here there’s a lot more hoping and praying! 🙂
- All thing considered though the team does an awesome job with the limited amount of time we’ve got.
- Bill Hybels once said that “Excellence is doing the best you can with what you’ve got”.
- I think we’re doing that.
- Big thank to the Regal for donating popcorn for all 4 weeks of the series to us.
- Nothing like doing a movie series and being able to give away free movie popcorn!
- Attendance was way down today.
- I knew this going in because I had 12 of our adults who normally serve on a Sunday morning let me know they wouldn’t be there.
- Add in all their children and right there you’re missing 25-30 people even before you start.
- Most frustrating though was the lack of first time guests for the new series.
- We did heavy video promotion and provided everyone with a minimum of 5 invite cards.
- Hopefully it will pick up in future weeks.
- The band did a good job despite the lack of energy in the room.
- Here’s the video of their cover of “Iridescent” by Linkin Park which is the main song from the Transformers movie we talked about today.
- The video will also give you a chance to see what Bill created for the set.
- I was a bit windy today but it’s something every Christian should listen to and take seriously.
- Hoping people take the 5X5X5 challenge seriously.
- We recognized the 13 who got baptized last week with their custom made baptism certificates…everyone loved them and were telling me where they were going to put it.
- Hope the visual reminder impacts them for the rest of their lives.
- Love hanging out in the lobby afterward talking with people…we’ve got a great group of people that are building the foundation of what we’ll be for years to come.
- Got a really busy week including a conference that 8 of us from ECTV will be going to…hope we’re inspired to go to new levels for God personally and corporately.
- Guess we’ll have to call this the Monday edition.
- We didn’t get home until after 10pm last night from a wonderful day of Easter activities and by then my brain was too fried to do this post…so here it is a day late.
- Let me start by saying how proud I am of our team. This was probably the least stressful Easter I’ve had since being a pastor.
- Everyone knows their roles and does them very well…going the extra mile to make the ordinary, extraordinary.
- Being the nut for excellence that I am, doesn’t mean I still don’t check and sometimes double check, but 99% of the time things are exactly as they should be and the little extra things to make something even better have already been implemented or thought of.
- With all that said, we had a great Easter Experience!
- Had our 3rd largest crowd ever…which made the theater feel nice and full.
- Most importantly we had 7 people make decisions to become followers of Jesus!
- As for the day itself, set-up went very smooth with nothing out of the ordinary.
- Big thanks to Jeff and Alana Case for cutting their vacation a day short to come back to be with us so Jeff could do all his guitar magic.
- FYI…they also host our practice every Thursday night in Jeff’s basement studio…oh and Alana makes us all dinner as well…awesome couple…couldn’t do what we do without them.
- Also big thanks to Chuck and Tammy Frank. Chuck is the director of church planting for our region of the Churches of God General Conference.
- It was Chuck’s email in October of 2009, that God used to give me the vision for ExponentialChurch.tv.
- In any case, we had a lot of families out of town this weekend that normally serve and so Chuck and Tammy came to not only celebrate Easter with us but to also serve on our First Impressions Team. Thanks!
- We threw a lot of extra elements in the Experience itself but everything went off pretty well…for the things that didn’t we covered them in such a way that nobody even knew.
- No I’m not telling you!
- The band as always did a phenomenal job…I could tell they were really feeding off the energy of the crowd.
- As for my message, I talked about how many things in life “mark” us and how the marks Jesus took have changed history and has the power to change lives as well. You can listen to it here.
- Loved the song /music video the band did coming right out of my message called, “Beautiful Things”. It really brought home the point that God wants to take the old and turn us into something new.
- Afterward the buzz in the lobby was awesome…met so many new people who were really excited about what’s happening.
- Wish I could share all their comments but just a few were…”best church service I’ve ever been to”…”I didn’t want it to end”…”I haven’t been to church for years but I’ll be back”…”very moving”…”thank you, that’s exactly what I needed to hear”.
- Had a nice mix of guests come from personal invites, our Facebook posts and ads, our mailer and even one couple that came because they saw our signs out on Sunday morning and said, “Maybe we should go to a church this morning”. That’s awesome…huge thanks to Mike Sellers for faithfully coming in earlier than anyone else every Sunday and getting the signs out by the road and intersections.
- We video taped the entire Experience yesterday (with the exception of a couple minute period near the end when the camera shut off) to see what it looks/sounds like. Hopefully it came out well and I’ll be able to post it for you to watch online soon.
- Once we were done we went to MD to visit and have lunch with family and then from there went to WV to visit with friends and have dinner.
- Also found out I was quoted in yesterday’s Patriot News on my thoughts about using social media in the church.
- Excited about the kick-off next week to the iLife series.
- We’re giving away 4 FREE iPads to those in attendance (reminder you have to be present to win).
- Been hearing some cool stories of how people are getting the tickets out to their friends, neighbors, relatives and co-workers.
- Remember the more people you invite, the greater your chances of winning so keep getting those tickets out…if you need more let me know we still have a few left.
- In the meantime, I’ve got a busy day ahead…I leave tomorrow for a conference in Florida…supposed to be in the low 90’s…oh yeah!
If you’ve ever heard me preach you know that I will do just about anything to include M&M’s in as an illustration…and not just a few either…pounds of M&M’s have helped illustrate giving and how our emotions sometimes come pouring out of us. Well I just read an article in Fast Company magazine that had to do with M&M’s and I thought I’d share.
Back in the 1980’s when Van Halen was in it’s heyday, David Lee Roth was known for his wild antics and what we’d call diva like attitudes as he and the band were on the road. One such diva like characteristic was that the band wanted bowls full of M&M’s in their dressing room. Wow the nerve of some people right? Wrong…read on to find out why.
Van Halen toured to many cities every year and when they pulled into a city with 9 tractor trailer loads full of equipment and staging, there was a lot of work for the local promoter and stage hands to set-up. Van Halen like all bands had a contract with the local promoter of everything that needed to be done in order to ensure a successful and profitable show. There were many technical points in these contracts like, “There will be 15 amperage voltage sockets at 20-foot spaces, evenly, providing 19 amperes.” Roth himself said the contract was thick and convoluted but needed to be followed exactly in order to not have technical errors that might destroy the entire show.
So Roth did something quite ingenious. He inserted in the middle of the contract, Article 126 which said that the bowls of M&M’s backstage for the band must not contain any brown M&M’s or the promoter risked forfeiting the show. When the band would show up the day of the show the first thing Roth did was go backstage to the dressing room to see if there were any brown M&M’s in the bowls. If there were not it meant that the entire contract had been read and more than likely each of the other line items were being followed to a “T”. If they weren’t removed then Roth demanded that every item of every line be checked since the crews were not paying attention to ensure the show went off without any technical glitches.
So what’s that have to do with us. Simple…details matter. Whether it’s in life, business or church, paying attention to the little details will go a long way in ensuring success. So what are the brown M&M’s in your life or organization that you need to take care of today?
We had a great day at United yesterday…the energy was high, the creative elements were incredible, the band rocked and based off of some of the comments and e-mails I’ve gotten so far, the message was challenging. Now here comes the reality I and the team face every Sunday afternoon…”That was great but in another 160 hours or so, we’ve got to do it all over again and it has to be just as good if not better and it has to be completely different from the week before”.
To be honest, that kind of “can you top this’ pressure can be overwhelming at times. This isn’t major league baseball where having a hit 3 out of every 10 times will land you in the hall of fame…NO…people’s spiritual lives and eternities hang in the balance. So that’s why we work so hard and try to do everything with excellence.
However here’s the flip side. It’s also possible to hinge your entire relationship with God on what’s happening. In other words, if it’s a good day, you feel good about yourself and where you’re at with God. If it’s a bad day, you feel worthless and like you let God down.
Your saying “Ok Gilbert that’s great, but what does that have to do with me”? Well my fear is that too many of you don’t realize that God will never love you any more or less than He does right now! There’s nothing that you can say or do that would change His mind…He is 100% head over heels in love with you! Now that’s not to say that He’s not pleased with our obedience or grieved by our disobedience, but when it comes to your worth in His eyes, that is unchanging.
So today live without the pressure of having to “top your yesterday” and just live in His love!
- “You had no trouble asking people to follow you when you weren’t a Christian but now that you are, you’re ashamed and are afraid to talk about Jesus”.
- “Don’t try to have the biggest and best house YOU can…make sure that you’re children’s HOUSES are bigger and better than your own”.
- “You should work because it’s what God created you to do, not because you need the money”.