Archive for April, 2007|Monthly archive page

Stuff for Sale

Eight months into our church plant, we’re clearing out some stuff we no longer use. Before going to eBay, I thought I would offer here on the blog to other church planters or churches or otherwise cool people.

1. 6×14 single axle trailer. Bought in 2006 – so it’s only 6 months old (we use a pod now so we no longer need). $2600. Very nice.
2. A bunch of Kidmo’s. Cost $250. I’ve got Beefesians, Powerstack, and about four more. $100 each. Good children’s curriculum.
3. Digital Juice moving backgrounds (called Jumpbacks). Volumes 11, 8, 7, 1, 13, 28, 30 and 8 (which is HD). We just have way to many of these things. I think we paid about $50 each for 7 or 8 of them. $25 each if you want some. I’ve also got groovy stacks 7, juicedrops cleancuts2, xtragrunge, and poplife.

I’ll post some more stuff later when we actually finish sorting through it all. Check back soon or contact me through the blog if you’re interested.

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I wanted to write a few thoughts on staffing, as we’re going through some of this stuff right now. I moved here to start the church myself. We hired our first staff person a few months before our first preview. We’ve had a combination of us, and some part time and some volunteer staff over the past 8 months. Here are some lessons learned and what we’re currently learning.

1. In the beginning, you do everything. I am slowly getting to the point where I can focus on what I do best, which will be the best for our church as well.

2. We had some voluntteer staff early on. I think I would have guarded that a little more closely, for our benefit and the other peoples. Instead of making volunteer staff a regular part of the team, I would not have been so free with the titles. We had staff meetings at night so volunteer staff could participate and this may not have been best. I should have processed what it means to be on staff at OLC a little more before bringning people in.

3. People that help in the beginning may or not be the people that will help you go to the next level. This is no knock on any person, it’s just the facts. Things grow and change fast. When you’re starting out, you don’t really have any idea what to expect.

4. We are to the point now where I cannot hire any project people. We need people with proven leadership experience and ability. I can’t do student ministry though another person. (just an example).

5. Leadership ability, a work ethic and a walk with God are more important to me than college or seminary training.

6. People need clear understanding of their roles. I didn’t do a good enough job in advance defining roles and helping people understand how they fit in. Everybody doesn’t have access to all the same information. Everybody doesn’t get an equal say, even in a team setting.

7. We’re looking for a full time children’s person and an administrative assistant right now. We’re getting close.

8. We’re realizing that paying for staff has got to be a priority. I think we can get by without some things, but we need to get hard working staff here to lead all our volunteers. I’d rather cut back a lot of the small things to get the right staff here.

9. In a few months, our staff will be: lead pastor, admin pastor, connections pastor (volunteers and groups), children’s pastor, admin assistant, and worship leader. With a few tweaks, that setup will help us grow to 1,000.

10. Staff has to work hard. We’re about to load up job descriptions. The right people can handle it and will empower volunteers to help out.

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Your Great Sex Life Resources…FREE

We did a series on Sex in March of 2007.  We created a series website.  We sent out a mailout, made a few t-shirts and upped the look of our set.  We saw about a 20% increase in attendance (which has been sustained), and only got a few nasty voice mails about the postcard.  But all in all, it was a good series, and a defining series for us.

Included in this zip file, you’ll find the message transcripts, powerpoint, graphics, postcards, an intro video and some other fun stuff.  You can listen to the messages by subscribing to the podcast. 

Download the stuff

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Church in a Movie Theater

Lots of people call and e-mail about how church in a movie theater works, so I thought I would write my thoughts here.

1.  We love meeting in a movie theater.  It makes us immediately different from every other church.  We play to that in our marketing and try to take advantage of "church at the movies."  We print it on t-shirts and signs and most of our outside advertising.

2.  The most important thing hands down is your relationship with the local manager.  He or she can make life great or make life miserable.  From the beginning, we’ve gone out of our way to do more than what is expected.  We give gifts.  We check in for no reason.  We ask if we’re doing everything we can do.  In return, our managers take care of us.  We haven’t had ANY problems with Carmike – we love working with them.  We do not have a contract, so things could change for us quickly, but so far – so good.

3.  The most stressful thing is being out on time.  Movies start at different times based on what’s out, so we have to be out anywhere from 11:30 to 1:00.  Most of the time, movies don’t start until 1:00 so we’re okay, but in the summer, that all changes.  We have to alter what we do.  Going to two services was tough, and we have to stay on time with our services.  We would love to do three services, but time doesn’t allow it.

4.  Our guys get to the theater around 5:30  to start setting up (first service is at 9:00).  We set up a stage, lights, sound, a video projector (we use their screen), and a whole bunch of kids stuff.  It takes a lot of time, but it looks good.  We set up a bunch of stuff in the lobby to make it feel like a church.  As my friend Gary says, don’t let being portable turn into an excuse for being lazy.  Ridgestone does some of the best sets I’ve seen.  It can be done, but you have to work at it.  I guess we don’t HAVE to use a backdrop on Sunday, but we set up some truss and a backdrop every week because it’s little touches that really make a difference.  Our sound team actually unbolts a couple of chairs to fit in our insanely huge sound board.

5.  We use the front of theaters, hallways, the birthday room, and the lobby.  What you use depends on the particular theater you rent.  For kids, we use the front of theaters and it’s tough overcoming the darkness and the space.   We are looking into some ways to step it up in this particular area.

6.  The theater we use for adult worship has 282 seats, 260 of which are usable for us because of our setup.  We outgrew one service and started a second one back in January.  Our 10:15 service is still full, so we’re making the decision about what to do next.  I wish the theater was bigger.

7.  We use a lot of lights in our adult service.  However many lights you think you need, double it.  We use a lot, and we still need more.  Movie theaters are very dark.

8.  We set up an info table and a resource table in the lobby.  We use an iPod and a big speaker dock thing to play music in the lobby. 

9.  You need some great people to pull off a good setup.  We have awesome volunteers.  I don’t know of a church that does portable very well that doesn’t have great volunteers.  I don’t know of a good church period that doesn’t have great volunteers.

Anybody else that does church in a movie theater have anything to add?

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Counting Question

Thought I would throw out a series of questions and see if we could get some answers from the community.  Here’s the first one for those of you that have multiple services:

How do you accurately count people?  I assume if you have two services you have people that volunteer in one place (and probably get counted) and attend the service (and probably get counted).  So how do you know you’re not counting people more than once?

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Service Recap 4.15.07

We began a new three-part series today called "Click" by talking about PLAY.

Music:  King (Tree 63), Let us Adore Him, Tears of the Saints (Leeland) and Mighty to Save (Hillsong).

Highlights:  We challenged people to get involved and go invite.  It was a challenge to take the task of building the church seriously and personally.  It’s not what we get out of it, but what we bring to it.  We talked about puzzle pieces and I Corinthians 12.  We concluded the service by talking about the thousands of people we know that are disconnected from God.  We then wrote all the names down on four large canvasses placed around the theater.  People came forward to write the names of friends, co-workers and family members.  We challenged them to do whatever it takes to get people to church on the 29th when we present the gospel.  If this sounds familiar, Perry did this recently.  We just can’t write on the walls of the movie theater.  While people were writing, the band played Tears of the Saints and we played this video.

Stats:  There were 474 people at church this morning, which was only 50-75 people less than Easter last week!  The second service was packed and we had to bring out chairs from the birthday room.  We still have some room at the 9:00 service.

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Service Recap 4.8.07

Date:  4.8.07 – Easter
Music:  Mighty to Save and Wholly Yours.  Program order here.

Message:  All In.  We set up a poker table and had a couple of guys playing during the message.  I posted all the resources earlier, including the message transcript, graphics and the intro video.  Watch the video here.
Numbers:  We had about 575 people in three services.  This was the most ever for our eight month old church.  To accommodate people for Easter, we had three 45 minute services.  That was a great exercise of trimming the fat.  No fluff…only the stuff that really matters.

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Unleash Info

Newspring has posted video from the main sessions as well as PDF summaries of all the breakouts here.  It’s definitely worth a look to anyone working in a church.

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Volunteer Video

This Sunday, we start a new series called Click.  I’ll begin with "play" and talk about getting involved.  I’m going to challenge people to get involved and go invite. A few weeks ago, I put together this little volunteer video that we are going to show.  It was very easy to film and easy to edit, and I think it will be a great way to show everyone just how many people it takes to do what we do. 

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All In Resources

Here’s the resources from our Easter 2007 Stand Alone Message…All In. You can also download the podcast here and get the message transcript here. We talked about Saul the terrorist becomming Paul the missionary and challenged people to go all in to follow Jesus. It was a poker theme. Included in the zip file are the message notes, the graphics and slides, and a 30 second intro video. You can also watch the service at


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