Kicking It up a notch: Why Boldness is Necessary in Revitalization
As I wrote in my book, SPIN-OFF Churches (B&H Pub), we are living in a Starbucks culture while changing from a Folgers world!
Today what used to pass as an acceptable cup of coffee at McDonalds, has been greatly altered by the rise of bold coffee from new coffee houses like Starbucks and others. Even McDonalds has had to step up in their own coffee offerings.
Bold coffee is trumping mild coffee all over the land in sales and varieties.
BUT IT IS NOT JUST BOLD COFFEE THAT IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN OUR LAND!
Boldness is seen in new and exciting restaurants that are popping up.
Boldness is seen at our nightly dinner tables as new and exciting recipes are just a click away on your notebook computer or a view away on your iphone.
Boldness is nothing new, but it is something we may have forgotten! Even our society has taken on a relaxed attitude and going mild on us. Bold movement’s challenge and confront our mildness and our ambivalence. Boldness in the Book of Acts rushed in, the scripture tells us, like rushing mighty wind that made the mild mannered Mediterranean take notice as a new band of faith was forged and the New Testament Church was forged with a bold conviction that had not been seen before! Within the church today, still boldness in the pulpit wins out over the mild unchallenging pulpit!
Boldness in our preaching should have a sense of:
Cutting to the main point
Conviction of the heart
Boldness does not hurt the local church! But it just might help in renewing it.
Boldness often rallies the passionate church member who sees a well-communicated passionate challenge. Boldness is an asset which will help the church of the Twenty-first century survive by drawing the community into the church and its causes. Boldness goes far beyond preserving the status quo. Boldness is not about harmony. It is not about the mild. It is compelling. Boldness just might offend the status quo of going back to the mild and managing what we got after all isn’t that enough? Jesus didn’t think so and that reminds me we should not either!
Characteristics of the Mister Rodger’s Type Worship Service
The Mister Roger’s type of mild monotone worship is killing us! Question: Is your worship service more like a Mister Roger’s program or an energetically charged Toby Mac concert? How can you tell for sure? Here are some characteristics of the Mister Rodger’s worship service:
Quiet in its demeanor
Soft mild mannered in what is does weakly! (Opps I mean weekly)
Plods along with no variety (pace is methodical)
Un-engaging of the young and masses
Music that is regressive rather than progressive!
Tame, Safe and Sterile
This is why most men and the majority of young men would rather spend eternity in Hell rather than sit in our church pews! (Book recommendation: Why Men Hate Going to Church) Worship should sparkle like a diamond not like the mud it came out of. Boldness is like percussion in the right hands.
Boldness is characterized by:
Edgier rhythm and sound
Instruments that captivate the soul. (Drums, flutes, brass, guitars, electric pianos.)
A never ending array of the visual in worship at various levels.
Lighting that is exciting and varied!
Sound that is more than the turn it on type.
WE ARE LIVING IN THE ERA OF THE BOLD! So be bold. The boldness of the Christian faith is found in Jesus Christ Himself! Bold does not rise above Jesus’ boldness. Do not soft peddle Jesus. Go bold with Jesus because He was the ultimate in bold! If you go Bold, you will take the church out of the building and into the streets! Bold lives on mission and is mission driven to go therefore unto the entire world! Go public in a bold way and watch the community be drawn to your church! The bolder your church becomes to the general public the greater opportunity you have to draw them into the offerings you and your church provide.
Tick Tock Watching the Clock!
What Does Boldness look Like In the Pulpit?
Today there is much talk about contemporary verses traditional worship! Most of this is far overblown and really not that much of a factor when it comes to church revitalization and renewal. Either one can scare off potential prospects depending on what the individual is seeking. The end result is about vitality, joy, and a positive energy in the pulpit! It is more about what works best to reach the community and not about what will enhance our own sense of good taste.
Worship should be fun regardless of the style utilized weekly. Some ideas that can bring a sense of fun into any worship service:
Uplifting music that is easily learned and will stick with the participant for a few hours after the service.
A mix of the usual comfort in the program mixed with new surprises in the order of worship.
Use of interviews where two or more people talk without a manuscript about their lives, interests in various mission activities within the church, or what God is doing in your spiritual journey or a daily bases. This is a great way to emphasize the importance in a daily devotion time by hearing what others are doing in that area!
Active “outgoing” regular attenders walking around the sanctuary before the services begin greeting everyone and particularly guest or infrequent visitors in an effort to help them feel relaxed and at home with the church family. It is amazing what 5-7 people can do to relax visitors and create good will before the services begin.
Refreshments in the vestibule that allow for a time to talk casually each and every week prior to worship or after Bible study! Remember, a box of rock hard donut rounds just will not do it anymore!
Worshiping in the park or some other outdoor area. Taking the church outside of the walls of the church!
A guest musician or singer whose music will be a welcomed WOW to the majority of the participants that day.
A sanctuary that is festive in its appearance and colorful.
A gentle sense of humor that is good natured and not biting towards any individual. Humor can work for you or against you.
Practical Hints that Can Help Ones Boldness in this Endeavor
Remain upbeat and positive at all times even if you are working through a challenging scripture passage or thought. Put the Fun back in Worshipping the SON!
Share the adventure. Work hard at including new participants in various forms of the worship. Use new members as “call outs” in your messages, “John Brown and I were talking about this biblical concept last week or earlier this morning, etc. Bless people from the stage more often (stop worrying you will cause them to loose a crown in heaven)! Work towards building community through challenges from the pulpit that draw people together for a cause and not for a meeting! What ever we do as a worshipping body we must continually be looking out for ways to keep it fun or make it fun. Fun is part of the doing of ministry! Drudgery and the weekly grind is deadly and poisonous for the growing & renewing church!
Wrapping it up!
The Bold and Beautiful of Church Revitalization
Seek to change your little portion of the world and watch how God changes your church into something bold and powerful! Going mild means I will occasionally, sporadically, or casually attend, volunteer, or support. My energy will not be focused on your cause. I will eventually drift elsewhere. Going bold activates people. There is a new spirit of thriving that begins to take place. Rock my life with a worship that is kicked up a notch! Tell me about Jesus in exciting ways that visually and spiritually inspire me. Challenge me to get involved and to join in on the challenge. Be the “B.” Practice boldness and you will win me over and see my total commitment to what you are attempting for the cause of Christ Jesus!