Archives For Vision

Worship Shapes Us

Jared Taylor —  November 21, 2014 — 1 Comment

Plastoceine-Cross

Google says worship is “the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity.” This seems like a good definition. Worship is our response to God for who He is, what He’s done, for His character and acts of grace toward us. God delivers the goods, and we express our response in worship. Right?

Of course! It wasn’t a trick question. That is a true statement about worship, and one we’re not likely to disagree over.

And yet I don’t think worship as expression is a complete picture. I think there’s more going on when we gather. Here are a some questions to tinker with: What is God’s involvement in worship? What makes worship better or worse? If worship is our expression, then does the quality of worship depend on us? Does God need us to worship? If he does, then how can we say God is self-sustaining? If he doesn’t, then why do we spend so much time and effort on it? Continue Reading…

The Family Band

Jared Taylor —  November 6, 2014 — 1 Comment

Family-Band-option-1

Grandpa Taylor was an impeccable whistler. Legend has it, one time a church brought him in as a guest singer and assigned him one of the special seats on the dais until his performance. During the prelude he was casually whistling along, as he was wont to do. When it came time for him to “minister through music” the pastor introduced him and said,

“Pastor Taylor, I couldn’t help but hear you whistling earlier and it so ministered to my soul that I wonder if, instead of singing the song you prepared, you would whistle it for us instead.”

Grandpa accepted. According to the story, by verse two, one hundred souls had been added to the Book of Life.

Continue Reading…

Does Excellence Honour God?

Jared Taylor —  October 29, 2014 — 7 Comments
The Meeting House - Christmas Eve 2013

a shot from our Christmas Eve service last year–a most excellent service.

Excellence honours God and inspires people.

This nugget of wisdom helped fuel the seeker-sensitive movement and these days it seems more popular than ever! I’ve been a part of some great organizations that affirmed this value, and leveraged it to do some great work with some really great people. But honestly this value statement has always made me a bit uncomfortable.

It can manifest itself in the belief among Christian artists that we should be “better” than “the world” at things like songwriting, film-making and laser-light shows. The conversation plays out something like this: Continue Reading…

Part 3 of 3 in the series The Message of the Stage

empty-stage-new

In this series, we’re applying the concept “the medium is the message” to our modern church services. Last time I covered some recent church history and told you about some changes we made to our services at The Meeting House. This post will wrap up things up with some practical advice.

If you’ve stuck with me this far, I’ll assume you agree there’s tension between between the form and the content of a modern church service. A room set up like a rock concert sends a message that’s a least a tad out of alignment with Jesus’ humility and self-sacrificial love. But, as I’ve already hinted, I’m not ready to throw the whole thing away.

Under the Old Covenant, worship had a particular form based around tabernacle and temple. But, under the New Covenant, the gospel spread faster than any cultural form could keep up with! It’s no surprise that, after a few years, the early Christians backtracked to hash out some of the cultural implications of a movement that was rapidly losing touch with its Jewish roots. If you want to read up on the history, have a glance at Acts chapter 15.

I believe God can reach anyone precisely where they’re at, and He’s not afraid to roll up His sleeves and get His hands dirty. So I don’t believe there’s any disqualifying style or form of doing church. But that’s not the same as saying the form doesn’t matter. I believe it matters a lot. Continue Reading…

Part 2 of 3 in the series The Message of the Stage

 

©2013 Joss Monson

©2013 Joss Monson

In this series, we’re applying the concept that “the medium is the message” to our modern church services. Last time I said that every form of communication has an embedded message that can’t be separated out. The challenge is that we get used to our forms of media and start to think our content is all we’re communicating to our audience.

According to Jesus “… all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11) So I think it’s fair to ask the question – do our stages, lights and cameras exalt us or humble us? Remember, we’re not talking about content yet, just the message inherent to the form of communication. I think it’s practically a rhetorical question: by their nature, stages, lights and cameras exalt people. So, if we’re teaching people about Jesus from the platform, there is going to be a real tension between the form of communication and the content.

So is that it, then? Should we knock down our stages, turn off all the lights and dress in giant brown paper bags? As much as I would love a career shift to the fast-food industry (my only other real option) I do have some ideas to share.

But first a history lesson. Continue Reading…

Part 1 of 3 in the series The Message of the Stage
© 2013 Joss Monson

© 2013 Joss Monson

I’m often asked why we don’t use _________ at the Meeting House. Why no moving lights or haze? Why don’t we use video backgrounds or show camera shots of the band? It’s a great question. I mean, we are a fairly big church with modern and relevant services. If technology is just a tool, shouldn’t we have the best tools possible? And we own lots of these tools already, so why don’t we use them “to their full extent”?

I’d like to challenge the notion that technology is “just a tool”. It is a tool, yes, but I believe it’s much more than that. It is a form of communication – a medium. This brings to mind Marshall McLuhan’s famous expression, “the medium is the message.”

McLuhan was at the leading edge of media theory when network broadcasting was booming in the 1960s and he predicted the World Wide Web decades before it became a reality. McLuhan taught that the form of communication is imbedded in the message and can’t be separated out. Whether it’s speech, braille or 3D movies we need a form of media to communicate content. And media is not neutral – each form comes with its own message.

Think about these examples: Continue Reading…

Requirements

Jared Taylor —  April 15, 2013 — 4 Comments

Building-plans

We’re knee-deep into Phase II, a building project at our production facility in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. We’re expanding into empty warehouse space to extend our main theatre, build new youth and kids auditoriums and finish support space to serve all our sites. Just a little summer project!

One of our first steps was to identify our requirements. What seating capacity do we need? Where are the lockdown zones? Where do we need windows and doors? Since I lead the charge for audio, video and lighting, my requirements include fun terms like “4.5 GHz sweep tested HD-SDI”, “higher gain before feedback” and “separately processed amplifier feeds”. And, of course, there’s a budget requirement too!

But how do all these details fit into the big picture? Our mission at The Meeting House is “to grow as a community-transforming church to see more people’s lives radically changed by Jesus in our church family, in our communities, and around the world.” How does my high-bandwidth coax cable transform a community? How does the Colour Reproduction Index of my LED house lights reach the world with Jesus’ message? Continue Reading…

A new year is before us — new excitements, new joys, new challenges …
I’m going to let Tim Day, the Sr. Pastor of The Meeting House, take the first post of 2013.

This is for anyone who is involved in a weekend service context. Musicians and techs alike, be inspired and join with us to make way for the Spirit moving in our communities, and to be used to raise the temperature of our weekend services!

(Having trouble viewing this video? Click here: http://youtu.be/6qP2DZHsLAo)

Some things just go together

Tim Day —  November 16, 2012 — 7 Comments

Some things just go together. For me it’s root beer and good pizza, Christmas and my mom’s sticky buns, and the Super Bowl and smokin’ hot chicken wings – I notice a bit of a food theme happening here!

Continue Reading…