So you’ve no doubt seen the North Point iBand video.
And so have One Million other people!
(OK, we know that’s not true. I mean, I count for about 50 of those hits, just in checking the counter. And you’ve seen it a few times as well, gathering friends and family around the computer. And my mom probably counts for 65,000 views…)
But, the absolute coolest thing about the buzz this video and performance has to be the fact that people have been able to share it with people they care about that might not go to church, or have a pre-concieved distaste for church – people that have been hurt in the past by Christians, or think that church is an outdated, stuffy place full of judgmental hypocrites. (Unfortunately, in many cases that’s correct.)
Around here, the verbage is “Invest and Invite” – a chance to be a positive influence in the life of a non-Christian, and when the time’s right, invite them to a church that is engaging, informative and helpful. And that maybe they’ll take a baby step towards placing their faith in a God that loves them, and has abundant grace for whatever their situation in life is.
I was interviewed by The Toronto Star earlier this week. Sure, we talked about all the story behind the iBand, but the one thing that stopped her short was when she asked “why” we did it in the first place. I told her,
“We love to do stuff at the beginning of a service that engages people. Maybe it’s a familiar song that makes them smile, or a humorous bit that makes them laugh. It’s all in attempt to soften people’s hearts to better receive the message they’ll hear later in the service.”
That’s a filter we program our services through. Just like any good communicator starts a talk with an engaging of funny anecdote to get the audience on board, the same goes for a 65 minutes church service. It’s not overly religious or moody, convicting or sappy – just 5 minutes of something to brighten your day. And, with any luck, the rest of the service is so impacting and their faith journey is one step closer to God, that they’ve actually forgotten the Opener when they leave.
So for critics that condemned us for doing something in church that wasn’t “Godly” or “Christian”, or that we should be busier saving souls than practicing on iPads – they obviously weren’t in attendance for the other 60 minutes of that – or any – North Point service.
But, again, you knew that
PS – I’ll work on getting those Bebot settings from Jared…