Inside Today’s Experience

  • What a great day!
  • Last week I told everyone NOT TO invite anyone today but didn’t tell them why.
  • It immediately became clear today why I said that…for some it happened sooner than it did for others…more on that in a second.
  • So what did we do?  Well it was called “No Show Sunday” and the premise was this…
  • What would church be like if none of our normal 43 volunteers on a Sunday morning showed up.
  • In other words, without telling them why, I gave everyone who serves the week off and then between myself, Bill and Chelsea (all staff)…we did everything (Chad our other staff person was away).
  • But when I say everything, we only did the very minimum’s.
  • What this meant was no signs, nobody opening doors, no greeters, no ushers, no children’s ministry (yep that was interesting have all the kids in with us), no cafe, none of the little extra touches we normally do to spruce up the theater, no lights, no projection (ok we did use an old transparency projector.  You can see what it looks like here on the blog…wow it was horrible!), no full worship team (just Bill on keys), no stage set, no bulletin…well you get the idea.
  • There were multiple goals for the day…
    • First that people realize what we do and the incredible things that God is doing in our midst is not a 1-man show.  As I said, “Yes I may be the big mouth but it takes dozens of people doing their part to pull off all God wants us to do”.
    • Second that those already serving would realize how valuable they are and would be honored.
      • It was awesome the ovation they got and we were honored to treat them all to lunch afterward at a local restaurant.  It was expensive but they are worth 100’s of times what it cost…it truly is a team effort at ECTV.
      • In total 56 of our people who serve showed up and it was my honor to be able to personally go around and thank each of them for the various things they do.
    • Third that those not already serving would be inspired to start.  As I also said, “It’s not that we NEED you to, it’s that we WANT you to so you can experience what all the rest of us are”.
  • I think all of the goals were achieved!
  • You can listen to my message here.
  • Really though this was a message that was more felt than heard.
  • I was amazed how many people picked up on no directional signs being anywhere on Valley Road.
  • It was almost comical watching people come in the wrong doors from the outside.  Our team does such a great job of welcoming and then directing traffic that most people don’t even realize it.  It was funny time after time watching people come through the center doors and then looking around like, “Where am I?”
  • For those that did come in the usual set of doors it was also funny to see them immediately turn left to go get something to eat in the Cafe and then the shocked look on their face when they realized nothing was there.
  • Another big shocker was how many people later commented to me how much they miss the little touches we do in the restrooms to make it first class.
  • Some of the things I didn’t even know we do, but again it just proved that it’s not all about me and the staff and that the “little things” sometimes make the biggest difference.
  • Ok let’s cover some other quick stuff from the day.
    • It was nice being able to sleep in a little later than normal.
    • I busted my head on one of the railings this morning and was pretty woozy…as I write this at 5:30 in the evening I still have a headache.
    • Bill and I decided to set things up early to make sure we had all our bases covered since we weren’t using our normal equipment.
    • Everything set-up quickly which meant we had 1 1/2 hours to kill.
    • Nice of Andy to bring us some coffee cake.
    • We sat around waiting for Chelsea to come in and then the 3 of us just sat there taking turns going, “This is so weird”.
  • We always start the Expereinces with a countdown and today was no different…except it was my fingers shining a shadow on the overhead projector.
  • Bill did a great job leading worship by himself…it was hilarious when he played and sang the beginning of the old, cheesy Eric Carmen song, “All By Myself”.  His wife Meghan gave him the idea which was awesome!
  • All in all the worship time was pretty good energy and participation.
  • My message was the longest I’ve done at ECTV but there was a lot that needed to be said…and also included something I would rather not have had to announce…
  • Effective March 11th, Chelsea will be leaving our staff.
  • Please check back on the blog tomorrow and I’ll be posting much more about this.
  • Until then know that while this was sad to announce, Chelsea and I are both excited about the future of ECTV and our Children’s Ministry.
  • It was so great the sustained standing ovation that Chelsea got from everyone…it was well deserved!
  • Having been in her shoes a couple of times, I know how draining of a day the announcement of your departure can be, but she did great.
  • Again check back tomorrow for more from me and a letter from Chelsea as well.
  • Then on Tuesday I’ll post more info on what the plan is from here on out.
  • If you’re dying to know I did talk about it in the message so again here is the link.
  • Speaking of kids, all of them were in the Worship Experience with us and it was basically what I figured it would be…controlled chaos.
  • We had more people up and down today than we’ve had in the previous 15 months combined…a lot of that I could tell was kid related.
  • For the most part I was able to block out the crying and other general noises from the kids as I was speaking but I could see that others were being distracted by their own kids or others.
  • So thankful for those that serve our kids each week in a fun environment that allows them to learn about Jesus in age appropriate ways…it’s not only good for the kids but also for the adults so they can worship and learn without distraction.
  • I haven’t gotten the final count yet but it would appear that a couple dozen people signed up to begin serving in various roles we have both on Sunday’s and during the week.
  • Doing what we did was a big risk but it would appear well worth it.
  • Oh yeah forgot to mention we had one of our largest crowds ever.  Add on top of that all the kids in with us and the theater really felt full.
  • I kept apologizing to guests afterwards but they all said they understood the point and would be back during one of our “normal” weeks.
  • Next week things will be back to normal…but two things will be a bit different.
    • First for anyone interested, we’ll be sharing communion together at 9:10am in the lobby.
    • Afterward you’ll be able to see what one of our normal team meetings is like.
    • Second, all are invited to Infinito’s on Union Deposit Road at noon for a chance to eat and hang out with one another.
  • Ok think I’ve said enough…have a great week!

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