Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Nelson's Go to Another Church

Last weekend, my wife and I worshiped at a different church. We went to Elmbrook Church (Brookfield, WI). Elmbrook is #66 on 100 Largest U.S. Churches of 2006 and is #15 on America's 25 Top Multiplying Churches (according to Outreach.com). What was our experience like? Here are some of my notes...

  • The worship space seats 1,800
  • The facility is 90,000 sq.feet
  • They had enormous flat screens in lobby (put they were off?)
  • They used clear, large, simple, and graphically unified signage
  • Message theme was "knowing the Lord of jubilee"
  • The bulletin/program cover themed with series, had limited info (featured info only), and was designed for first time guests in mind
  • The worship band (bass, acoustic, acoustic drums, piano/keybrds, four vox (pno,guitar, plus 2 vox)/, auxillary perc)
  • They opened with singing a "performance" song of "Majesty" five-minutes before the actual start time, lyrics were displayed on two large screens at this time, few worshippers in the house sang during this time, there was no welcome before this, the worship leader invited us to stand and sing on 2nd chorus of the song (I kinda liked the slow 'ease' start)
  • There was a 10-5 second transition btwn first two songs
  • Second song was "Come, Thou Fount" traditional lyrics with a different middle chorus, "sing praises to the lamb, who for my peace was slain, sing praises to the Great I Am" (enjoyed the variety, ancient/future feel)
  • All graphics on song lyric projection fit the semon theme
  • Hip-hop praise kids dance troup was introduced with a disclaimer, claiming to redeem this style of music/dance, dancing was appropriate, they wore jeans and purple T's, although this element didn't seem to fit the theme of the worship gathering
  • The middle school pastor came up immediately to seque to a welcome to to the "Brook" (nick-name for the church), he featured a kick-off to ministry called Tuesday Night Live Sept 11, announcement for everyone (men, women, children), followed up with a table and booth in lobby after worship, total time was 3 minutes
  • They used IMAG (image magnification during worship, but not during songs), used shadow behind text, used a font other than Times New Roman or Arial, was easily readable
  • After announcement, the worship band went immediately into next song, no invite to sing right away, but then did invite to sing on 2nd chorus (again, nice way to ease into the song), "Here Am I" song "take my voice and let me sing, always only for thee," invited to stand at second chorus
  • No jeans on stage (except for hip-hop element), all khaki pants, all untucked shirts
  • Song by Fernando Ortega "...when the morning falls on the farthest hill, when dark trials come and my heart is filled" (nicely done, performance element)
  • Worship leader setup a audio/video report from the Senior Pastor in Nirobee, stage was setup with message illustration objects for drama during this video (good time to do it)
  • Followed with prayer by middle school pastor immediately after video, "let's pray" is all he said, it's all that was needed at that point
  • Worship leader asked ushers to come forward immediately following prayer and began the next song "let my words be few"
  • Worship leader began almost...each song as a solo
  • Worship leader simply said "you may be seated" following the song (I liked the limited 'gabber' following the songs and introducing them)
  • The audio EQ wasn't set right on pastor giving the message, however it was corrected in the first 1 minute to be better, volume was always fine, just EQ
  • The pastor began with a common story about "duel citizenship"
  • Following the common story scripture read
  • They used a video lowered third when reading scripture --- "Luke 20:20-40, page 744 pew Bible"
  • Prayer after scripture reading
  • The pastor used illustration objects on stage (telescope/future, golf clubs/hobbies, crib/family, wedding cake/marriage, drinking fountain/work, school desk/school, piggybank/finances)
  • When the pastor prayed, the video screens went to a blank graphic screen with message themed graphics
  • He told a riveting story about an usher who found a seat at a tent meeting for a young Billy Grahm, who then turned his heart to Christ that evening, this usher is an unknown kindgom builder, so who influenced the lives of millions (Billy or the usher, or God?)
  • Worship leader followed message with "I Surrender, All to You" copyrighted by worshiptogether.com
  • The word (solo) was displayed on screen when it was just one person singing from the front and the worshipers listened
  • The Senior Pastor came back up and closed the worship gathering, he gave a special welcome to guests, featured a special evangelistic event on Sept 14, Lee Strobel, he deemed it an evangelistic event for co-workers/friends, brochures available in in the lobby following, he then featured (for a second time) if you want more info on Tues Night Live to hit the table in the lobby
  • Pastor invited people to stand, and he closed in prayer- band played final chorus instrumentally of final song
  • I met the worship leader following the worship gathering. His name is Matt DePreist, one of 5 on their music staff. They used CCLI Song Select leadsheets. Matt said they have a variety of music each week and that I'd want to come for a month to catch the real Elmbrook music culture.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:53 AM

    pretty please. the next time you're in the area..please visit my church and let me know how it is. the staff there have read your blog and wished you'd visit and offer your insights :)

    alliance bible church - oconomowoc, WI