Ever wondered if there was a method to the madness? Why does Origin Church do silly games, run funny videos, cover popular songs? Why is there a song at the end of the service sometimes or the beginning of the service? The thoughts below were penned by Andy Stanley and certainly could not be improved upon for us here at Origin…….so enjoy. Ecclesiastes says, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Thanks Andy for formulating this so eloquently for many of us.
QUESTION NO MORE, MY FRIENDS!
There is in fact a template, if you will, of our services. We call it “Rules of Engagement”. This is by no means “the right way” or “the only way”. It’s just “a” way that works for us to reach the person that has never been to church or who has been away from church for awhile.
You’ll notice that this is a funnel. Think of that as you read. We start wide and gradually narrow. You have to cast a wide net in order to get the fish!
It all starts with the pre-service experience from the parking lot, to greeters, to the pre-service music. We want attenders to feel welcome and comfortable. We think through what it would feel like to be in their shoes.
In the opener we try and accomplish recognition, common ground (emotion) and fun. Often times this is a song – but it doesn’t have to be. It can be a funny video. The thought behind this comes from the man, himself, Jesus. In Luke 15:1-6, Jesus finds common ground for both sinner and saint. He strikes an emotion by relating to them with something that has happened to everyone.
We want to welcome people to our house, not bore them with information they can easily find on the website or watch on the screen.
At this point, we invite people to sing with us. They may not know the words – so we put them on the screens. We love to sing about how great our God is!
Although, baptisms do not happen every Sunday, it’s a great way to involve an attender by letting them hear someone else’s story, that may be similar to their own. No one is perfect, but God’s grace is. This is our time to celebrate growing relationships with Christ!
A special song about the message rarely happens because it has to create (not solve) tension. It has to set up the message. Sometimes, there is that perfect song that is the perfect set up for the speaker and it’s a great tool to use to narrow the focus even more.
This is where we begin to challenge people and hopefully inspire life change. It may be uncomfortable, but hopefully they are more open to hearing or listening because they were made comfortable by the very 1st step they took out of their car almost 45 minutes ago.
This is a song that punctuates the message. Often it is a popular song you have heard on the radio. Sometimes, it is a worship song.
Obviously there’s a lot more detail that I have left out like song order and even a funnel within the funnel for the message.