This was a weekend that our team was tasked with extending our creative programming muscles into one of the most vital aspects of our church… our Reach Missions. This is an annual weekend emphasis each January at The Crossing and it left us with a dilemma. There was nothing in our current series or the weekend theme (Are We Living in the End Times?) that directly related to the mobilization and movement of people beyond our comfortable life into a collision with the rest of the world. So we made the decision to create a smooth, but clear line of demarcation.
Let’s pause here and address a key concept for creatives. One of our core values as a church is to always be catalyzing movement within people. This is a combination of spiritual and practical steps. Each weekend our hope is that we will grab the spiritual attention of our church, present a clear biblical perspective and then catalyze movement on their part. Sometimes it is a move spiritually (re-commit to a spiritual discipline, confess sin, etc.) and other times it is more practical as they discover their next spiritual step and act upon it in some way by engaging in an active way (often by signing up, register or joining something ). If a moment in a worship service, catalyzes movement on the part of the individual towards God, then we are meeting our objective.
So with that in mind, we used the communion moment post-message to shift the tone. This is important. When you are going to make such a potentially abrupt shift, look for a transition moment that eases the shock and sets up the move. For us, communion naturally provides that shift as people are contemplative and it generally puts a reflective period on the message.
Following communion, we introduced our Reach initiatives for 2016 with the stories of individuals who had traveled to another country for the first time in 2015. These were recorded 6 months earlier and worked perfectly for this moment when combined with appropriate b-roll.
Note: If you constantly find yourself saying, “I WISH we had footage of _________”, begin taking the approach that EVERYTHING has potential for a future story and if you have the means…capture it. Keeping those moments in the video vault will often be extremely valuable in these type of moments. If your video team can lean into this and organize these archives effectively it will pay huge dividends.
Here’s a link to see the video: https://youtu.be/DQh6LWa0RzI
Our Missions Director took the stage following this video for a 4 minute recap, appeal, and information download of their next steps. Specifically on this day we had:
- Local outreach partners from our community available to interact and provide information on potential service projects.
- An interactive replication of our Mexico Home Build homes which included “text to learn more” options for each upcoming Global Reach Trip. A simple text with the key word of the country the individual was interested in would reply with a link to a short video from each trip leader giving info and encouraging them to participate.
- Information Center for all of these trips.
The moment concluded with the song Invitation Fountain and our Guest Services team distributed Prayer Bands that each contained one of our 40 individual partners. The bands were distributed during the song rather than at the doors to tie them directly to the moment and encourage individual response. The song was also backed with a video loop containing highlight pics from the past years Reach missions experiences.
At our conclusion, they were then encouraged to head out to the interactive area.
The home is a replication of what is built in Baja Mexico in our regular partnership with Youth With A Mission. Volunteers spent Saturday prepping the house to a point and we then had volunteers on site throughout our services painting, roofing, etc to interact with people. Tons of work. Totally worth it.
- If something doesn’t naturally fit in your normal service flow, give real intentional thought as to how to best transition into that moment with the least amount of disruption.
- Transitions matter. (Repeat that) Transitions matter. Pay attention to them.
- Visuals and interactive experiences are always a great enhancement to any presentation. Look for ways to infuse them in these moments.
- If something is of HIGH VALUE to your organization, put in the effort that COMMUNICATE VALUE (see: Home Build)
- Look for opportunities for your theme AND your creativity to extend outside the walls of your auditorium. Constantly ask the question ….how can we EXTEND IT?
Sunday Set List:
You Are Good
My Heart Is Yours
Special: Invitation Fountain
Run Sheet: January 17, 2016