This summer we’re revisiting some of the most popular posts from the first half of this year. This one was surprisingly talked about.
There’s a reason your church isn’t more creative.
It’s not just that your pastor and worship arts director aren’t creative or visionary or forward-thinking. I’m sure that’s true in some cases, but most churches are boring because of The Olive Garden Problem.
But First a Story
A friend of mine who preaches for a fairly traditional Church of Christ recently ran headlong into a problem he hadn’t anticipated. For the uninitiated, Church of Christ worship services are typically a cappella and tend to adhere to a fairly predictable form. There’s not a lot appreciation for difference or, quite frankly, room, to explore, change, or interject creative elements into the worship service – even if those elements are historically Christian. For some, worship elements need to be historically Church of Christ (my Baptist friends tell me they have the same issue).
Anyway, my friend’s congregation went through an expensive and lengthy evaluation process and, long story short, “Inspiring Worship” ranked the lowest of all the areas evaluated. He wasn’t devastated, but he was upset. I get that.
The problem is that he’s hamstrung. Locked-in. Cornered.
Due to his particular church’s practices (some borne of belief, others borne of tradition, and still others borne out of a nonsensical allegiance to things that don’t matter), there’s nothing he could change to make his church’s worship better. There is no element of worship his church could add or take away without causing a firestorm. And as you know, upsetting people is the unforgivable sin (sarcasm mine).
That’s the Olive Garden Problem.