A few years ago we tried something out of the box – before we had the ability to broadcast Andy live…
Due to the other campus’ strong desire to have Andy do an Easter message on Easter (and not a week delay like all other messages), along with an attempt to solve our Easter Sunday morning crowd dilemma, we tried something radical on a Good Friday:
We did an Easter service on Good Friday – the exact same one as was going to be done on Easter Sunday.
It gave a chance to record Andy’s message AND a chance to help offset a few thousand people from Sunday morning.
Remember, it was the same thing Friday night as it was on Sunday morning.
Well, the experiment worked, and we’ve kept up that practice at the Alpharetta campus for a few years now – and based on this morning’s Easter Sunday crowds, we won’t change that anytime soon…
That said, the service over the last few years has taken on way less of a formal, solemn Good Friday vibe, and a far more “up” tone, celebrating Christ’s conquering of death. Although we’ve done our best to incorporate some elements that reflect the whole Easter.
This year we opened with Andy giving a short welcome, a couple announcements and roadmap of the service, and then invited folks to just sit and listen for a few minutes…
Then we went into Charlie Hall’s song “Mystery“, which is absolutely incredible. During the bridge build up, a video started (created by our incredible media team!) that showed historical art depictions of Christ, each one landing on the quarter note beat. Interspersed was text on how Christ came to save the whole world.
As the drums hit the 8th note builds, the picture then turned to photos of people from around the world and continued to intersperse text reflected the lyric of the song.
The building bridge of that song is powerful enough, but the video and stage lighting elements added to the experience 10-fold. GREAT job by all our lighting, video and media teams!!
We then went straight into worship without skipping a beat. Someone in one of our meetings played “Human” by The Killers (a great song, if you’re a fan…), and someone noticed that you could sing the verse of “God Is Alive” over top of it and it was super cool!
So we gave Jared Hamilton, our part-time Music Assistant, the task of creating a similar sounding loop at the same exact tempo and key as “God Is Alive”, which was going to come straight out of Mystery.
The loop ended up sounding very cool, and added a new depth of energy that was really palpable in the room.
By the way, we purposely raised Mystery 1/2 step up to Bb and God Is Alive down 1/2 step to – you guessed it – Bb! Kinda like a smooth flowing medley 😉
After G.I.A., we went into “Stronger” by Hillsong – a tune we introduced last week that has a message and lyric that fit in really well with Andy’s talk.
But we did end the worship set with “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” – a tune strategically picked to connect with the first-time guest (of which there many on Easter!”.
It’s so cool to break it down in a few sections and listen to the audience sing, and sing loud!
Then, after the message and as a response, we did a shortened, moodier reprise of “Stronger”, which ended up being quite powerful following Andy’s invitation for folks to make this the day they put their faith in Christ.
Now you see why it was important for us to introduce that song last week and also sing it in this morning’s worship set!
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Anyway, everyone was a trooper, doing 1 service 4 different times (plus a ton of tech rehearsals and run-throughs!).
East Band: Todd Fields, Steve Thomason, Ben Snider, Earl South, Ashley Appling, Christ Arias, Ryan Stuart
West Band: Eddie Kirkland, Brad Long, Danny Grady, Scott Meeder, Richard Meeder, Mike Bielenberg, Rosie Pinkermann
Thanks for working so hard all weekend, folks! I believe God did some amazing thins in the lives on the people that came on Friday and Sunday!