Last night I experienced a familiar progression of emotions as I watched the American Idol finale. As the show began I was mildly entertained and interested, as it drug on I became distracted. After being treated to Sanjaya and Joe Perry (why Joe, why?) , I became bored and chatted with Michele. After being subjected to 18 group musical numbers and Bette Midler in a leather mini skirt (my eyes, my eyes!) I became agitated. And finally as the show went beyond it’s time slot to reveal the winner, I became openly hostile and began yelling at the TV!
I say that I experienced a “familiar progression of emotions” because I have experienced and watched others go through similar progressions during church services that went on too long! (Thankfully, embarrassment usually overcomes hostility so no one yells at the pastor…although…maybe that would help…)
Civility and lack of space doesn’t permit me to comment on why some churches have such unbearably long services, but here a few of the reasons actionchurch‘s Sunday Morning will be exactly one hour long:
- Editing makes a presentation stronger! A four hour home movie has more “content” but a commercially produced and edited 90 minute blockbuster has more “impact“!
- We value transformation over information! Our goal is to encourage and challenge people to live a life that honors Jesus Christ, not pass a bible survey 101 test.
- It’s about the “audience” not the speaker or singer! The bible says to be a leader we must become a servant of many. In order to best serve our “listeners” as leaders we must put aside our own desires to “get it all in” or “really go deep because I enjoy this passage” or “keep talking because I like the sound of my voice”. It ain’t about us!
- We trust people to come back! Our goal each week will be to communicate one “action step” from God’s word that people can actually put into practice in their lives. We do not have to tell the “everything we know” about the Bible, doctrine, and history because “they may never be back”… We have confidence that the good news presented in a creative and attractive manner will cause people to return for more.
I could go on, but then this post would be too long…