Category Archives: Ideas That Didn’t Work

Hard Decisions

(Note: This post was written, for the most part, about 6 months ago – thought it was time to finish it up…)

I had to do something very difficult yesterday. We had an idea for a service that would really stretch us as a team. The whole team worked on it, but two of the guys in particular put in a ton of hours to make it happen. As we got to our Thursday run-through (two days before our Saturday service), it became clear that things just were not progressing in a way that I felt was going to give us dependable results for the weekend.

There was really no doubt in my mind that the correct thing to do was to go with our backup plan, and adjust the service, cutting that particular element. So I did. However, I still thought about it long and hard. I really value my team. God has blessed me with a really good group of folks to work with, and I wanted their work to be rewarded by being able to see their ideas come to life…

It’s still going to be a great service (after-the-fact-note: it was), but I wish it could have gone as planned and let the idea come to life. We’ll bring it back someday and try again…


Tags: , , , , ,

Dumb Things I’ve Done

At the first big church that I served at, we had what we thought was a great idea… “Let’s ask our people to review our services,” we said to ourselves. “It’ll help us to know what’s impacting them in a positive way and what’s not working as well.” It looked great on paper. So we actually did put it on paper. We created a two-sided sheet asking folks to rate every element of the service, from the arrival in the parking lot through the child check-in procedure through the worship music through the message. In detail. “Rate each of these 1-5,” we said, and provided plenty of space for extra comments. Then we choose random people each week and handed them out, 10 or so per service.
The problem? We were unintentionally asking people to change from what they were – people engaging with our services – into something far, far less valuable (especially for them) – people judging our services. Instead of thinking “Could this incredible Hope possibly be true?,” they started thinking “Was that delivered well?” Instead of being floored by person after person expressing their love for God through baptism, they started thinking “Was the lighting on the baptism tank good?” That’s a major biff on my part, and the sad thing is, I find myself being tempted to do it (in various ways) again and again….


Tags: , , , , ,

Ideas That Didn’t Work: Screen Placement

Sometimes, I forget what the staging is going to be for a given weekend, which causes anxiety and aggravation to our graphic artists (sorry)! Here’s a backscreen title graphic that had to be redone, since half of it was in a forest – thankfully, we put everything up during the week to check it, so there’s usually time to fix mistakes…


Tags: , , , , ,

Ideas That Didn’t Work: What To Do

This isn’t an actual idea that didn’t work (sorry for the false advertising) – it’s what to DO when an idea doesn’t work (click here)…


Tags: , , , , ,

It’s Always Something

Just be ready. Something is always going to happen. That’s why you have a job (or a volunteer position, anyway). Things are going to deviate from the expected. We have a 30 by 80 foot rear-projection screen across the back of our stage. It’s incredible. However, one thing that no one thought of was that a room of our size (2100 seats) requires a lot of air handling, and that that much air would put pressure on the screen. Siad pressure causes the screen to bend – just a little. Since we edge blend 4 different projector images together, that bending causes the images to go slightly out of focus at the blending point when the AC kicks on. Not so noticeable with images – pretty noticeable sometimes with words. Sigh. Like I said, it’s always something………(cool screen, though)…..


Tags: , , , ,

Ideas That Didn’t Work: Backgrounds

It’s not so much that this background didn’t work – it’s that I had been saving it because I thought it was cool. In real life, it just didn’t “pop” for whatever reason. When I keep in mind that it’s the worship, not the look, that really matters, it falls into perspective pretty quickly…
Still, I wish it had worked better. It was fine, just not great. Sigh…

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 24, 2012 in Ideas That Didn't Work


Tags: , , , ,

Ideas That Didn’t Work: Christmas Eve

The ideas was awesome…
It was Christmas Eve. We had created set pieces on a giant turntable – it would turn three different times during the service, giving us three different looks. The concept was that we would quickly close our curtain, turn the turntable 1/3 of the way round, and have a completely different look. A little while later we would do it again. Like I said, awesome!

Rehearsal, no problem. The first few services, no problem. Then, in one of the most crowded services, the turntable got stuck. The set piece was two stories tall, and it was HEAVY. And it wasn’t moving. We grabbed every single person that we could to get it to turn. EVERY single person… Including the person who was supposed to be directing the taking of the offering… Including anybody who might have had the ability to “tap dance” and talk until we were able to get things taken care of…

So – the curtain stayed closed for more than 10 minutes. With no explanation. And no offering taken. On Christmas Eve. That was 15 years ago, and only now can I begin to see a funny side to it…

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 11, 2012 in Ideas That Didn't Work