This is a critical question. I know I could spend lots of time on the Why we exist and I may come back to it, however I want to also look at some nuts and bolts of our experience.
What are we not seeing?
Guest and their perspective make me smile. A new fresh pair of eyes can see that chipped paint, bad signage, or poor quality a mile away. We may have excused it away or even not see something.
Yesterday I needed a Kleenex. I looked over where my wife Lori was sitting and then all around the room. I didn’t see the box so I got up and looked in the kitchen and walked around and finally went to the bathroom and grabbed some toilet tissue. I went back to my chair and as soon as my butt hit the cushion I again looked at my wife and saw this big box of Kleenex sitting next to her. I have no explaination to why I missed it but I did.
What are we missing in our Kairos. Merriam Webster says: a time when conditions are right for the accomplishment of a crucial action : the opportune and decisive moment
Got Questions.org The word kairos was an ancient Greek word meaning “opportunity,” “season,” or “fitting time.” Another Greek word for “time” was chronos. A sequence of moments was expressed as chronos, emphasizing the duration of the time; an appointed time was expressed as kairos, with no regard for the length of the time. Thus, chronos was more linear and quantitative, and kairos was more nonlinear and qualitative.
This Time with God is crucial. The Post-Modern church is all about the concert effect. I have noticed that in myself and with the current culture that this though awe inspiring can leave one with a sense of insincerity. Our new eyes have caused us to look at worship, discussion groups, greeting and hospitality, and the sharing of the Word. We are even looking at our space and what does it communicate to someone who has never been here.
Worship experience– Our Lead Worshiper has decided to strip down the music. Lets go more acoustic on purpose. This allows us to hear everything. To give God our best, we need to not hide behind the noise. I have been in several bands and learned that I at elevated volume can hide my mistakes, but one we turn everything down they are all blatantly exposed. It is uncomfortable but doesn’t God deserve our best?
We are also relooking at the space. Does it need to be less cluttered?
Are there any little things that can enhance someones experience or be less of a distraction. These little attentions to detail speak volumes about who we are and what we think about what we are doing.
It is a very hard task to train not just yourself but your team to see what we normally may overlook. The brain purposefully jumps over things and tries to help us process our environment. We have to slow down and try and look with new eyes.
My second most painful observation is flow. Does the time we experience together flow well or is it a disjointed mess. Each and every person has a responsibility to help with flow. Are we giving enough time and space for the movement needed on the platform? Maybe positioning a microphone in a different place would help. At we thinking through every detail or have we just decided to let everything go. It sounds crazy but we expect in every other area of our life to have an easy time navigating through stores, the web, and events. We especially in the metro area have a higher expectation for everything. I am not saying we should loose our minds over this. We have to evaluate on any given Sunday what is important and learn to be flexible, but we must like a strong team after excellence look and reevaluate everything.
Doesn’t God deserve our best?
Don’t the people who take time to experience God with us deserve our best?
Looking at flow helps us also sync into the flow of the Holy Spirit in Worship:
I as the pastor have a say in the order of service. I have to be painfully aware that I am not so focused on the planned activities that I miss an opportunity for God to speak. We may need to stay and soak in a particular place for awhile. I need to also trust my team and if the Lead Worshiper is sensing God to cut or add songs then I need to be open to this.
Think about it. My frustration or control can be sensed and seen. I cannot hide my expressions very well. If the people see I am ok with the changes then they will be ok with them. The reality is usually they do not know that there is a change till they see my reaction. How many pastors are guilty of pushing the Spirit of God out of the way because they had something they felt was important to do or say.
Trust me I hate the uncomfortable moments when I am just there not knowing what God wants to do. It is best to breath and just let go. Stay in a state of prayer until I know where God is directing us.
The service may go long or short but the result is what happened the other day. A guest came and said she so enjoyed the service and had no idea it was 12:30pm. She was delighted that such an openness to God’s guidance was part of who we are.