Hello Church Family,
I hope you’ve had a good week! I wanted to write and remind you about services tomorrow. We will have ONE more week of two services at 8:30 (Traditional) and 10:15 (Contemporary.)
Next week we will resume having THREE Sunday morning worship services:
I know these are not our traditional worship times but we needed to create some distance between worship services to lessen the degree of cross traffic in highly congested areas on campus. This will also allow us to run some disinfectant spray between services and lessen the possibility of spreading the virus in our facilities. These are not forever changes (as if there is such a thing anymore) but a temporary arrangement given our unique circumstances.
We are also resuming our adult small groups on Sunday morning. Our groups will meet at 9:30 and 11:00. Not all of our adult groups will regather on campus. Several of our groups are in the middle of “at home” Bible studies or are made up of people who are “high risk” in relation to COVID-19. Wisdom dictates that they not regather until a later time. However, a good number of our groups will resume meeting. I’d encourage you to reach out to your group leader to see what the plan is.
Broadview “At Home”
Another change we are making next weekend is to our online strategy. Currently, we livestream our traditional service at 8:30 and our contemporary service at 10:15. We’ve seen the level of engagement drop significantly over the past weeks and months. We believe that some of the reason for this is the fact that we now livestream a “live worship gathering” instead of tailoring a live broadcast to an online audience.
To use an analogy, those who are watching from home may feel like they’re participating in the worship service by looking through the window instead of standing in the room. This creates a less than ideal experience. It’s part of the reason why many people have stopped watching the livestreams on Sunday morning. It’s also part of the reason why people are watching them “on demand” at a time that’s more convenient. It’s exactly what I would do if I were watching the services at home.
If you remember all the way back to the beginning of the shutdown, our online worship services were targeted to an online audience. The reason is because the majority of our congregation was online. We had a handful of people in the room where we were recording but the target audience was the people who were watching at home. When we went back to live services that mindset switched. We focused mainly on the people in the room and less on the people watching at home.
What we will do starting August 16th is host a new style of service for an online audience and stream that at 11:00AM. We will also livestream our traditional service at 8:15 for those who prefer that style of music. But the 11:00 livestream will be an “At Home” style of service that is targeted for an online audience.
So what will be different with this “At Home” service?
The music will be produced and of a higher quality. We have invested in technology that will help the music sound closer to what you might hear on the radio or iTunes. (it’ll still be our vocalists and musicians but they will be “professionally produced” through digital software tools) This will require us to prerecord the songs and process the audio beforehand so that the quality is top notch.
The sermon will also be shorter and engage directly with those watching online. When preaching a sermon the message always comes out differently depending on who is in the room. It’s just the way preaching works. These sermons will be targeted to people sitting in their living rooms or watching on their smart phones. It just changes the way the message is delivered.
Lastly, we will include elements in the service that engage the online audience directly. There will be a worship service “host” who will welcome the online audience and tailer the service to them in terms of the announcements, next steps and spiritual decisions. Instead of our online audience feeling like they’re “looking through the widow” they will have a worship service that brings them together and makes them feel connected to what’s going on in the life of our church.
It’ll be the same weekend experience as all of our other in-person gatherings but it’ll be done in a way that engages our congregation “at home.“ I’m excited about it. I don’t have all the answers to all of the questions that this raises, but it’s a temporary experiment to try and keep advancing the mission and message while our world adjusts to this new normal.
I should also point out that this may not be sustainable for every weekend. We are committed to trying this for the next sermon series. But, if it proves unsustainable or poorly received then we will go back to the drawing board and experiment with something else.
I do think that for those who are continuing to stay home, this will be a much better worship experience. For those who are comfortable with the idea of a “house church” where you invite other Christians over to your home and gather for the purpose of worship, discipleship and mission – I think this will be a great resource. We are having to reimagine what church looks like in this post COVID-19 world we live in.
The mission never changes. We make disciples. The message doesn’t change. We preach the Gospel. But the methods and the tools we use to proclaim that message and advance that mission must change. Local churches in every generation have had to make changes to stay relevant and keep advancing the Gospel. This change is an experimentation in aim of that goal. Please be praying for us as we navigate this new season and seek out wisdom for what’s best.
New Series Starts August 16th
Another thing I wanted to make you aware of is a new series we’re kicking off on August 16th. As you may know, we’ve been journeying through the second half of Ephesians and we’ve now arrived at Ephesians 5:22. Ephesians 5:22-6:9 is a long section in Ephesians that deals with the home and the workplace. The relationships pertaining to marriage, parenting and the workplace are often complex and difficult to navigate. You’ll be glad to know that Lord has wisdom to give on each of them.
This first series will be on marriage and I plan to spend about 7-8 weeks walking slowly through that section. The name of the series is “Marriage: Demystifying God’s Good Design
This would be a great series for inviting a friend to church for the first time. This is also a great time to come BACK to church if you’ve been out for a while. Whether you engage with the series “at home” through our online resources or you show up “in person,” I really believe the Lord is going to use this series in a powerful way.
God designed marriage to be a mirror of the Gospel. Whether you’re married, single, divorced or widowed, I think the journey through this particular section of Scripture is going to strengthen our unity as a church. In learning more about God’s design for marriage, we will dive deeper and deeper into His great love for us in Christ.
We will shape the series in such a way that it fits well with a small group study on Right Now Media entitled “The Meaning of Marriage” by Tim Keller. Remember, if you don’t have an account with Right Now Media, our church has a paid subscription that will provide you with access for free. Just sign up here. You can follow along at home, doing the study by yourself, or you can start your own group gathering (virtual or physical) and study the topic alongside of others.
We may have some of our adult small groups choose to do this study alongside of our Sunday morning series. It’s not required but if you are interested you might pass along that interest to your small group leader. Even if you don’t use this series, there are many other great resources to choose from on Right Now Media. I think it’s going to be a really rich season of ministry as we kick off this fall.
Marriage Night – September 12th
The last thing I’ll mention is an event we’re hosting at Broadview entitled “Marriage Night.” The event will be held on September 12th from 6:00-9:30pm. The cost is $15 per ticket. You can register here. To learn more about the speakers you can go here. We will have refreshments available but do not plan to provide a meal given the current climate.
You may remember the name of this event from when we hosted it last year. It was well attended and we saw people from different churches all around our city join together and spend a night focusing on improving their married life. It was a lot of fun. If you can’t make it to the event on September 12th, Lawn Baptist Church is hosting the event on September 26th. You can register for that event here.
This year, they’ve doubled the number of speakers and extended the number of sessions so that it’s a real value add to couples who attend. I think this event will nicely complement our marriage series and will serve as a great resource to couples who choose to attend. Unfortunately, the ticket price is set by Right Now Media so we have no control over that. If you want to attend but cannot afford a ticket please let us know so we can try and secure a scholarship.
Wednesday Night Activities
Before signing off I wanted to let you know that our Wednesday night preschool, children and student ministry activities WILL RESUME this fall. The kick-off is planned for August 26th! Activities will go from 6:30-8:00. Our West Campus resumes their Wednesday night activities September 9th.
With kids going back to school we want to ensure they have a mid-week place to gather and grow in their walk with the Lord. I hope you’ll consider brining your kids if they’re of age!
As always, we are woking hard to make our campus a safe environment for everyone. I hope you’ll join us for worship tomorrow and that you’ll help me spread the word about our new worship times next weekend.
If you have questions or ways that I can be praying for you please let me know.
If I don’t see you tomorrow, I’ll see you on the interwebs!
Have a great rest of your weekend!