I'm at the Rock Church right now (see pic in last blog) hanging in the foyer at the merch table. We're playing 5 services today, crazy. Its amazing how early the peeps get up for sundays normally. the worship team needs to be done sound checking by about 7am! So that means they are getting here around 5am or something. Ridiculous. I don't think Church was EVER meant to make you wake up so early! I imagine if Jesus and the disciples were in San Diego, they would INSIST on going for coffee and breakfast burrito FIRST, then catch some good surf, and then go to Church...night Church. That's some sweet California theology for you.
The Rock Church is definitely on the one end of the spectrum of production vs. non-production. Some Churches like these have incredible sounds systems, all in ear-monitors run on separate automated monitor consoles, count-down timers, and production managers that will get on you if you're not ready to go up on stage. Then there are other Churches that don't know what a sound system looks like or what Power Point or Media Shout is. I've been worship leading long enough to have spent a good part of my career writing those overhead projector sheets for the words. And sometimes, the Church doesn't bother with any of it. Just a guitar and some guy shouting out the songs as loud as he can.
I've grown in my affinity for the later. A style of worship that doesn't have to worry about the production that is going on. With that you might think i'm a hippocrite because i'm here right now doing the big production thing. To clarify, i have no problem with production. What i'm getting at is that, there is something very nice about the simple, the small, and the persona in worship. That's where the idea of doing house worship events came from. Bringing the worship experience into someone's house.
So what do we do on days like this? Well...pretty much the same thing...just play. Even on a day like today where there's about 10,000 people coming on a Sunday...just play. Make it personal. I kinda have to tell myself that so that i continue to do what I am called to do. When i fall into the machine of something big, i tend to start saying the things that you're supposed to say from stage or praying the prayers that i'm "supposed" to pray. The tragedy of that is that its not only NOT me anymore, but its not led by God anymore. Instead its just some regurgitation of what I've heard over and over.
Church is a pretty dynamic thing. One of the best and worst things about touring is getting a picture of what Church is all across the world. Its pretty amazing how different people and different cultures approach it. Gives you a real picture of how nobody really knows the definitive truth of what Church is supposed to look like. We all think we have the right way don't we?
I hope to learn from it all in the end. Whether I'm playing a Church with a huge production or for a few people with no sound system. I just want to make sure that the music is leading me to the heart of God. And that the production or even the LACK of production doesn't matter in the end. The people matter. God matters. The interaction between Him and his children matters.
Till next time