iBand Hits 1,000,000 Views

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a pre-concieved distaste for church – people that have been hurt in the past by Christians, or think that church is an outdated, stuffy place full of judgmental hypocrites.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…

 

Sunday Summary – Music for January 20, 2007

To quote the band REM: “It’s the end of the world as we know it…”. In other words, northern Georgia received a lovely blanket of snow on Saturday.

Now, where I grew up in Canada, that would be better known as “A normal Saturday in January”, but in Atlanta, it’s “Polar Armageddon”.

That said, Church was cancelled. And I’m not talking about just North Point. I mean the sheer concept of of church was cancelled. We watched the church closings on the news and commented that it would be quicker to just list the churches that were meeting…

BUT!! Here’s what was planned…

No Opener.

WORSHIP:
Eddie Kirkland was leading in East, and newbie Trey McKnight was in West. Trey’s lead a bit at Buckhead Church (our campus near downtown Atlanta, 15 miles south), but is still a fresh face at North Point.

All We Need” by Charlie Hall

You Never Let Go” by Matt Redman

How Great Is Our God” as made known by ye ole Chris Tomlin.

Yep – kind of a throw-back Passion Sunday.

But here’s some analysis anyway, because we had some opinions after rehearsal and then again Thursday morning. The players in each band have played these tunes a bunch over the last couple years, and the songs themselves are very easy. I mean REAL easy – basic chords, basic repeating chord pattern, simple to play – almost monotonous. To the point that Eddie encouraged the all-star band on East to really worship through the tunes, and not to just play the simple songs. Great advice to anyone playing a song for the 3,000th time…

So after rehearsal, for a while I thought that worship would’ve been a dud. Well, at least according to some of us youngins… But the more I thought about it, I think we had a chance to REALLY engage the audience in worship. Familiar songs: familiar, easy melodies, repetitive lyrics, simple theological concepts. Basically the reason these are popular worship songs around the world.

I don’t think we always need to do the newest, coolest, hip-est tunes. Sometimes people just want to worship with songs that they can sing with their eyes closed – literally! I think believers crave those rare, special moments when they can sing a simple song that lives in their hearts, as opposed to having to read a new theological novella on the bottom of a big screen each week.

Just a thought…

You caused YOU to worship this week?

EAST: Eddie Kirkland, Steve Thomason, Daryl Lecroy, John Carrozza, Scott Meeder, Richard Meeder, Jennifer Young

WEST: Trey McKnight, Michael Gleason, Brad Bretz, Brad Gage, Brad Long, Mike Bielenberg – yes, 3 Brads and 2 Mikes. That’s a Full House. Yahtzee!!