Thursday, August 12, 2010

Blinded by the Vision


Eastside's vision (#1 goal) for 2010 is called "Worship 2.0". Think of it as an overall upgrade to what happens when we gather on Sunday morning or Monday evening for worship. Here are some details about why we believe this deserves our focused efforts and what it means practically for your next visit to Eastside.
Why a worship upgrade?--Eastside has been blessed with a rich history of Bible-based teaching and preaching. Many guests comment on the warm welcome they receive the very first time they come to a worship service. By God's grace, many amazing things are happening here. But that doesn't mean we don't have our problems...
Through some honest and straight-forward conversations, we uncovered some of our weaknesses. They include orders of service (liturgies) that are not always understood, some hymns that have great words, but are difficult to sing, a lack of time to gather and get to know each other after worship, little youth involvement, and more.
Since more people come to our worship services than anything else we do, we set our vision on making Sunday and Monday the best they can be. With God's help, here are some things you may notice throughout the next 11 months:
  1. Explanations about why we worship the way we do/Historical background of the traditional liturgies
  2. Better sermons that explain the details of Bible texts and apply those texts to our challenging lives
  3. Musical variety that uses more instrumentation and more of the musicians God has brought to us
  4. Easier ways for guests and members to gather and get to know each other
  5. Gifts for guests that show our appreciation for their presence and tell them what we're all about
  6. Youth involvement in as many levels as possible
  7. Great songs that everyone can sing, yet have a strong biblical message
  8. Simple invitations that current worshipers can use to invite friends and coworkers
  9. And much more!
We pray that by December 31st, 2010, Eastside will be an even better place to "grow in Jesus" and "tell of his love."

Pastor's Blog

Pastor Mike's picture

Sex and the Bible

Last night I read Genesis 4 before I went to bed. I didn't get through the very first verse before another one of "God's big ideas" hit me in the face. Here's what I read--

"Now Adam knew his wife Eve and she conceived."

He "knew" her? And then she conceived? So...to "know" must mean to...ahem...well, you know what I mean..wait, not you "know" like Adam "knew" Eve...ummm...this is a little awkward

Okay, I'll just type it! They had sex!


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Fresh Whoopee Worship - As Opposed to Stale, Liturgical, Christ-centered Worship
Steve Collins definition of alternative worship on the web site www.smallfire.org is "Alternative worship is what happens when people create worship for themselves, in a way that fully reflects who they are as people and the culture that they live their everyday lives in." A generation are (sic) growing up for whom the ethos of Web 2.0 is their world. So we should expect and celebrate Worship 2.0 – creative, highly participative, valuing community as the content, open source, low control where the expert worship leader is replaced by teams self publishing creative content. [Web 2.0 forces Worship 2.0 - no follow the logic]

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
General:

Q: How do you pronounce Worship 2.0?

A: We generally say "Worship two-point-oh" (as in the letter "O"). [GJ - Thanks!]

Q: Why is it called Worship 2.0?

A: Because it's newer than Worship 1.0. Worship 1.0 (or worship as we understand today) is our term for the worship that takes place in many churches on Sunday mornings. Worship 2.0 is an attempt to augment Sunday morning church with a focus on giving people a chance for extended worship time.

Q: How long is Worship 2.0?

A: We meet for approximately one hour.

Q: I thought that Worship 2.0 was a chance for extended worship time. Isn't an hour a little short?

A: We feel that an hour allows for plenty of time given that there are no announcements, communion, offering or sermons. Remember, Worship 2.0 isn't a substitute for church. It's meant to be different than the worship we experience on Sunday mornings.
Childcare:

Q: Is childcare provided?

A: No. Worship 2.0 tries to be friendly family and even involve children as part of the worship experience. We think the unqiue approach of Worship affords the opportunity for familes to meaningfully worship together.
Different Worship:

Q: So how is Worship 2.0 meant to be different?

A: Many churches today have had to incorporate many different items into their morning worship services with each item getting a small portion of the available time. It is a compromise at best that many churches have had to do in given today's busy culture. This tight timeline has resulted in a strict calculation of the entire worship service and in some cases has almost removed spontaneity and the opportunity for congregational sharing.

Worship 2.0 is a chance to focus just on worship primarily through music with additional time spent in sharing and prayer. Many churches have prayer meetings or prayer groups that fulfill that desire for more prayer time than what a Sunday morning service can afford. Likewise, Worship 2.0 is meant to fulfill people's desire for more music worship time than the handful of hymns and songs that are capable of being worked into a Sunday morning service. It's hard to experience an attribute of God or to tell the epic story of God's love for us to Christ's death to our ultimately victory over death in just five songs.
Style:

Q: What style of worship is Worship 2.0?

A: We'd like to think that the style of worship at Worship 2.0 is uniquely Worship 2.0. You might be inclined to think that it is a modern worship service but we'd rather shy away from that since we certainly have reservations in some cases about what modern worship music has become. There are a few artists who could be classified as modern in their style that we draw from. However, their philosophy is downright old-fashioned and for that we are grateful.

However, we're not saying everything written up to this point is insignificant. The second most important piece of theological reference and witness in our opinion is the book right next to the Bible in the pew in your church. You may have heard of it before; it's called a hymnal. And for whatever reason it seems to have some pretty good longevity as far as we can tell. We heavily use the hymnal and other resources of worship choruses to plan out our worship music in addition to modern worship songs.

Q: So you still haven't answered what the Worship 2.0 style of music is.

A: No, we haven't and that's somewhat deliberate. We don't feel that only one style could ever be sufficient and we plan to vary the style - even within the span of one Worship 2.0. One of our hopes is to be able to share in the many different ways we can worship Jesus. One time might be very modern sounding, the next time very southern folk-gospel in nature and the third time something completely different. You'll have to come and decide for yourself!
Association:

Q: I read in your "About Us" page that you're affiliated with High Point Church. Does that mean that only people who attend High Point Church can attend Worship 2.0? Does that mean that people who do attend Worship 2.0 might be expected to call High Point Church their home church?

A: No and no. High Point Church developed Worship 2.0 as a means of satisfying those who would argue that you can never have too much music in a worship service. We quickly realized though that the nature of this event easily lends itself to being a tool to reach the greater Christian community as a whole. Madison has greatly enjoyed past efforts of unified cross-denominational worship. Unfortunately, these have tended to be one-off special events. Our hope is that this would be a means of regular worship for people from all Christian churches in the area.

Q: If you are associated with High Point Church, then why do you have your own website?

A: Because we wanted Worship 2.0 to serve as a means for bringing together area Christians in worship regardless of denomination, we felt it was best to have this be presented as separate from High Point Church's website. We felt it was something a new person to the area (whether a student or an adult) might just type into their web browser to see what Madison had to offer. We also felt that people searching the Internet or hearing an announcement on the radio for Madison city-wide cross-denominational worship would be more inclined to visit a website that did not appear to be tied to one particular church but rather was intended for all Christians from many different denominations. It obviously must have worked because otherwise you wouldn't be reading this right now.

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They start to sound more and more like The CORE:

The ChapelNext program, a contemporary and casual worship service designed to cater to a younger generation, is coming to Fort McPherson Sunday at 9:19 a.m. at the Post Chapel (Bldg. 42). The service, which has already been implemented at installations throughout the country, will be more interactive and feature contemporary music and technologies such as multimedia clips.

It might not make sense to a mathematician, but the Fort McPherson chaplaincy is adding through subtraction. With the ChapelNext program, the chaplaincy hopes to add a contemporary worship experience by subtracting some previous traditions.

The program, while new to Fort McPherson, is not new to the Army, said Chap. (Lt. Col.) Robert Phillips, U.S. Army Garrison chaplain.

The program is designed to be causal, encouraging and relevant with the goal of catering to the younger generation, said Chap. (Capt.) Brad Godding, deputy garrison chaplain.

Phillips said reaching out to the youth is important because statistics show people between the ages of 19 to 28 see church as irrelevant and too steeped in tradition. The relevance of these statistics was revealed on Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem after observing those attending services, Godding said.

"We looked across the chaplain community and it wasn't representative of the entire community. The majority of the parishioners were older or retirees," he said. "It is important to offer something the younger generation can relate to and be a part of and support themselves."

"We're trying to meet needs of a younger generation," Phillips added, explaining how the chaplaincy ministers to all of the community. "We're going to be more creative, change things up."

One way ChapelNext aims to broaden its reach is through the incorporation of more technology.

The service will employ video clips and other multimedia presentations, Godding said. Music will be energetic, upbeat and more contemporary.

The atmosphere, where people are encouraged to come as they are, will also be more casual, said Phillips.

Although the first service will take place in the Fort McPherson Post Chapel, the possibility of future services outside the chapel is being considered.

Sermons will also be different, being more interactive and allowing for discussion among the congregation, Phillips said. Such discussion will allow people to give their own testimonies.

"Testimonies preach louder (than sermons)," Phillips said. "We want more people to get involved."

Such involvement is intended to create energy in the community and build relationships and bonds with others in the congregation.

"Relationships are important; a lot of the time (in church) you don't even know the people around you," Phillips said. The differences are not just limited to the way the worships will be run.

Even the starting time, 9:19 a.m., is designed to make an impact. "It (9:19 a.m.) stands out; people remember it," Phillips said. "It breaks the convention. Let's just be different."

Not everything will be different about ChapelNext, however.

Like other worship services, the service will be designed to help bolster an individual's spiritual nature, giving them the spiritual boost to make dealing with life's difficulties easier.

"These are tough days for Soldiers and Army Families. (There's) higher stress, suicides and domestic violence cases. We'll try to equip them to deal with life's problems more effectively," Phillips said. "We'll put tools in their tool bag to make them a better person."

Phillips said he hopes to deliver the first of such tools by pasturing his series of sermons called "Answering Life's Most Important Questions," which focuses on Jesus' interactions with people in the gospel of Mark.

"Sermons will address real-life issues, like parenting, marriage, faith, finances and deployments," he said. "Together, we will explore what the Bible has to say about these very important topics and find some tools to better equip us as we face life's challenges."

Although aimed at the younger generation and for those with needs not met by current services, all are invited to attend, Phillips said.

Those comfortable with current services do not need to worry, as they won't change, he added. Children's programs and child overwatch will be provided during the ChapelNext service. Attendees can come as they are and are encouraged to bring a friend.

"I think it will be a great service for anyone without a place to worship," Godding said. "I encourage you to check it out."

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GJ - Try Googling "real, relational, relevant church" and see how many hits come through. Several people reported this:

Pastor Mike Novotny in your Worship 2.0 post preached at St Mark - De Pere this past weekend. He is a son of the congregation. He was shepherded by John Parlow. DP Doug's son is a member of Parlow's church, too.

The Parlow-Jeske Synod is confessional, orthodox, liturgical, etc. etc. etc.

The apologists overlook the fact that the language above (not the title itself) points toward the same whoopee worship spreading around the Syn Conference. The title Worship Two Point Oh! is rather goofy and will not last. Whoopifying the service does last.

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Our Vision...

River Run Christian Church exists to connect communities to Christ and one another by being Relevant, Real and Relational.

Relevant. To present God’s message of hope and love in a way that is culturally understandable and honors God. Therefore, our messages are practical, our music is current, and our children’s ministry is exciting and educational.

Real. To be real people, living in a real world, dealing with real problems, trying our best to serve a real God.

Relational. To help people develop a personal relationship with God and one another. Therefore, our ministry is Christ-centered and people-oriented so that we can develop relationships with God and one another through worship, education, outreach, service and fellowship.
Please visit the following links to learn more about River Run Christian Church:


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