What the DG conference was for straight-up quality theology, DRIVE was for the practical how-to side of church organization, structure, and production. Stanley and crew were basically hosting the conference on this premise – “We don’t have it all figured it out, but for our church in this area, here is how we got where we are.”
Here are just a couple things I took away from the conference and will be thinking about:
- God works through organized systems. NPCC and other churches with a high emphasis on production, structure and strategy are often accused of being “too corporate” because they utilize “secular business strategies” in reaching people. Andy made a great point, though (my paraphrase) - “Corporations like McDonald’s and Coke have reached their ‘great commission’ - they’re everywhere. …The multiplication table is not in the Bible. That does not mean it is not true, not useful, or ‘secular.’” Their leadership structure is clear and straightforward. Everyone knows exactly who they report to, what is expected of them, and what their specific role is as it pertains to the whole. This type of organizational leadership structure is an admited weak point for my own church. It was refreshing to see it in action.
- Don’t underestimate the value of relevant production. These guys utilize media production better than any church I’ve ever seen. I personally like videos, lighting, visuals, graphics and such used in worship services. On a much smaller level, I use them in my own ministry, and would like to use them more. But I’ve definitely seen them used and overused in ways that are distracting and self-defeating (and probably done so myself). These guys put a lot of time, effort and money into creating a solid production - an immersive environment - from beginning to end, and from what I saw, every single element pointed to and supported the message or teaching for each particular session. It wasn’t just a big show; by the time you got to the message, you were completely drawn in. My paraphrase of Andy on this point – “In this area, our church is competing with golf courses and movie theaters. We place a high value on excellent production because by doing so, we give the type of people we are trying to reach a reason to listen to our message.”
Those are just a couple things I found particularly interesting and thoughtworthy. For a more complete review of DRIVE '06, head over to TonyMorganLive - he has five posts of smart things Andy said.