I enjoy getting constructive criticism. The need for helpful feedback has been hammered home to me as a writer. Not complaints: you have to earn the right to complain and most folks only get to complain to me only if they also come with a solution or how THEY can make it better (with that as my policy, I get surprisingly few complaints).

I remember a couple of comments I received after our Mo*Con III service. It ran along the lines of “the service was often insightful, but it needed a good editor.” I get that, we were trying to cram a lot into that one service. However, it got me thinking about church services in general.

Every now and then, we’re prone to being over-produced or are guilty of trying too hard. With the ease of multi-media technology at our fingertips, it’s easy to inflict sensory overload on a group. This can lead to the exact opposite of what we want: creating an atmosphere of chaos, leaving participants unable to retain anything because so much was going on.

I like the wisdom and perspective Kelli Dunlap provided (NOTE: the words “wisdom”, “perspective”, and “Kelli” were all used in the same sentence). She suggested that when we get a lot of newcomers to the church, we ought to do a beginner’s service. A sort of intro to the philosophy of our church, one that explores the idea of what we try to be and why we do what we do. Then she compared church services to cover letters. They should include:

Title – the theme of the day
Word count – how well we met the guidelines
Valid/relevant publications – how we live out the mission/the core message

They should not be an academic resume that goes on and on. Just something to keep in mind. I know I will. What do you think?

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