Tuesday Memo

Hi Five Oakers,

I have a couple of things I want to share with you today.

#1- It was fun having Dan leading and Justin on electric guitar. I also enjoyed seeing some newer faces to the worship team. One of the people at the Summit debrief on Sunday evening got choked up talking about his joy of seeing high schoolers on the team most weeks. He remembers leading high schoolers in our once per year or so youth led worship years ago...before they were this good! He was thankful that this is a value. I agree in a big way.

#2- Here are all your comments from the Communication Cards:

  • I’ve never been a person that sings, not even in church, but Justin and the entire music team has helped me to do that. It feels good to sing with the Angels and fully participate in the service. [Yeah, I'm afraid some people may be missing out just because they don't feel comfortable singing out loud. They could connect with God in singing, but they are too reserved or something else. All that said, there are some that are singing loud in their souls as they take it all in. For some people it might be a lot like trying a food you didn't like from time to time to see if your tastes have changed. We had sauerkraut with the hot dogs after the Saturday service and I told the people at my table how I hated even being in the cafeteria in elementary school on the days they made sauwerkraut. Hated it that much. Now I love it.]
  • Just love “How Great Thou Art”. Great message.
  • Daniel, you never sounded stronger or better. Your face shone with joy this morning. [I agree. Dan, you were a blessing.]
  • Have been on vacation. Nice to be back. Thanks for a wonderful message, Henry.
  • Thanks for the great rendition of lyrics! Loved the bow with the electric guitar and beat to “How Great Thou Art”. Thanks for the message. I won’t look back! Well done. Thank you for the closing set! [I love it too when Nathan does the bow thing. I also LOVE that opening beat for How Great Thou Art.]
  • So inspired from the GLS! Thank you Henry and staff for the special relationship we have that allows so many of us to attend! [Yes, great Global Leadership Summit, as usual. So inspiring and many practical take-aways. Thanks for coming!]
  • I liked the hymns.
  • “How Great Thou Art” – love it!
  • Thank you for the effort put into the service and worship experience. It’s very difficult to hear the vocalist over the instruments. Singing time may be more worshipful experience if instruments are less loud at least for some songs. Last week was great. [We'll look into this. Thanks.]
  • Could we try doing the greetings/ice breaker after the message? Or, perhaps have a question on the screen before the service starts? The timing of it feels awkward now – either we have trouble with discussing the question or it feels like we don’t have time to all answer it and make a connection which I assume is the point of having the ice breaker. [We'll look into your ideas. It can be hard to answer the question if you have it sprung on you or if you're not given enough time. Thanks.]
  • I didn’t care for the first intro song, not the people doing it, but the words were confusing. Hard to figure out, almost like they were thrown together. Saw a bit of it, but not great. I like to be able to think about the words, hard to do with that song. [That was Dan's song. He would tell you he slaved over the words, but he would also tell you that he understands his style won't connect with everyone. He almost pulled the song because of this kind of concern (not that it wasn't deep with meaning but that it is harder to access its meaning). I fully appreciate your comment and value it. At the same time, I want us to do some songs that stretch us in this kind of way for a variety of reasons I won't go into here. I love the usual sytle of contemporary Christian worship music. There is a reason for its popularity. It connects and it's made for singing. But there is more out there for us to drink from. I've strongly encouraged our worship leaders to tap into the variety of worship music that being produced that doesn't fit the usual mold even if it takes some time to broaden our tastes and to write their own stuff and use it. Again, I mean it when I say that this kind of feedback you gave is good, helpful and honest. I'm not interested in cramming things down people's throats regardless how they feel about it ("Welcome to worship. Eat your vegetables!") I just want you to understand the reasoning and thought behind what we're doing.]
  • Another amazing service. I can feel God’s presence here. Any recommendations on praying more efficiently/deeper? Trying to demonstrate prayer to my step-kids being more than a list of things done in a day. [My best recommendation is to read A Praying Life by Paul Miller. Can't recommend it enough.]

 Thank you for being a great church! Pastor Henry