Thursday, February 23, 2012

M&M's and a TRAIN

Here at Gaylord E-Free we use many creative elements on Sunday mornings that have been put together by our Creative Ideas Group and our Worship Design Group. But why do we use creativity in our worship services? We never want be creative on Sunday just to be “cute” or “cool.” Instead, each creative element we use is based on a purpose. We try to use a 3-question grid for all of the creative ideas we consider:

-Does it fit and help to communicate the theme?

-Can we do it with excellence and cost effectively?

-Is it too far out of the box meaning it becomes more of a distraction than an asset?

The primary purpose for using creative elements is to help people connect with the message that we are communicating. We are visual learners and hopefully our recent Noah series was a good example of how effective creative elements can be as a teaching tool in our culture today. With that in mind, here are the main purposes behind the creative elements we have planned for our new series which begins this Sunday. The new series is designed to allow our people to grasp and connect with our purpose here at E-Free which is to “MEET as many people as possible right where they are and help MOVE them to where God wants them to be." As a result, here are the two main visuals we will be using:

M&M’s! Our goal is to engrain the letters “M&M” into each person’s heart and mind over the next 6 weeks. Why? Because for vision to be transferred it has to be easily transferable. It is our goal that all of the M&M elements to this series will cause people to remember the words “Meeting & Moving.” If people can remember those two words, they will have a much better chance of remembering our purpose which is “to MEET as many people as possible right where they are and help MOVE them to where God wants them to be.”

As a result, there will be a lot of visual “M&M’s” with this series from live M&M characters out front of the church to M&M displays in the lobby to many of our greeters, ushers and stage participants wearing M&M shirts. Why so many M&M visuals over the 6-weeks? Because vision is like a bucket with holes in it - “Vision Leaks!” Vision does not stick. You have to keep communicating it over and over again. Hopefully, all of the M&M visuals throughout this series will allow people to remember our vision as a church long after this series is done.

TRAIN! For this series there will also be a large train on the stage (longer than even our ark was). What is the purpose of the train? We want to visually communicate the idea of MEETING & MOVING. We will see that the “moving” aspect of our purpose involves 6 levels (the community, the crowd, the curious, the convinced, the committed and the core). We will have a large sign with the train identifying these 6 levels as 6 train stations. The train includes a passenger car. We want to use the train to visualize our purpose by visualizing us MEETING people at each station and MOVING them to the next station representing their spiritual journey.

Along with the primary reason for creative elements being to help people connect with the message we are communicating, there is also a secondary purpose which is to create anticipation. The more people come to church anticipating what is going to happen, the more they are tuned in to the worship and the message from the start. It also provides what I like to call a positive “buzz” in that it makes talking about church a very easy thing for our people to do and during the week as they interact with people outside of the church.

Creativity is a powerful tool.


Carrie Sharpe said...

Pastor Scott, I like that you use a variety of elements. I just blogged today about how Maverick learns so differently than our other kids. For him (and others who learn like he does), the creative elements are quite necessary! I hope others will embrace them, keeping in mind that everyone needs something different.

Kudos to you and the rest of the E-Free team for all your hard work and creativity!

Pastor Scott said...

Thanks, Carrie! Laura and I sure appreciate your family!

Connie said...

Looking forward to the M&M series. It is sure to create a "BUZZ". In our community, which will lead to M&M.
The Noah Series was fantastic. Visuals with the verbal help me with absorbing and remembering, and it certainly caused a "Buzz" in our Community (family). We still refer to it in our conversations.