Teaching the Campus to Be a Campus

disconnected-400x250When you launch a multi-site video campus a fair number of individuals may transition from the live campus.  Additionally, when you launch you will have visitors that are not used to video teaching.  This means that you, as a campus leader/pastor, need to help teach the campus, how to be a campus.

For example eight weeks into our launch of our video campus the teaching pastor (on video) invited everyone with a specific issue to stand up during the message.  At the live campus this worked beautifully and connected perfectly in the message, yet at the video campus no one stood up during that prompt.  It created an awkward moment in the room and there was a feeling of being disconnected.  This had nothing to do with the technology, or how poor the video quality was, or what camera shot we were using – we spent a lot on the technology.  The disconnect related to the campus not interacting with the teaching.

There are two approaches to fixing this type of disconnection.  First we could have implemented a “no teaching pastor can call out an action in the room” which can create a sterile message and minimizes campus interaction during the message, which is not ideal.  Alternatively the campus pastor can help facilitate that interaction.  The campus pastor normally is watching what is going on in the room and could jump in, while the teaching occurs, and underscore who at the video campus should be standing.  Additionally the campus pastor could let a few individuals know beforehand that there is a callout to stand for a particular opportunity and encourage those to stand if they feel led to.

Anything the campus pastor can do to interact within the campus with the video teaching can help support the interaction during the message and help eliminate the disconnect feeling.  Interactions like clapping when the teaching pastor welcomes the campus, or laughing during jokes during the message help model how the campus attendees can feel included.

Our first permanent video campus took around six months to feel like the campus knew how to interact with the video message and no longer needs as many prompts or reminders.  Once the campus feels comfortable with that interaction newcomers see the behavior modeled and disconnects become less noticeable.

Perhaps the Lord – Giving God Room

YmQFmoTjAfter hearing a great message in the fall and while praying about some major initiatives recently I have become more aware of the importance of giving God room to move.  While God can certainly move any direction He wants in any situation, what I believe He has shown me is that our prayers and our expectations of what He can do are woefully inadequate.  If we believe God can provide the BEST answer, are we asking Him for things that are miles too short of what he could provide?

In 2Samuel 14:6, Jonathan leads his armor bearer to an interesting journey and says to his young armor bearer  “Perhaps the Lord will act on our behalf.”  Are we leaning in to situations and giving God room to show up?  Are we praying prayers that, if He answered, would ONLY give glory to Him because it would be impossible to accomplish in your own strength?  Are we trying to get a glimpse of what God may want to happen, stepping in to that and asking Perhaps the Lord….?

This has substantially changed my prayer life and I now encourage:

  • Pray instead of act toward my desired outcome – There are times that I act first to get the outcome that I desire, hoping or assuming that God will agree with me.  I’m learning to pray and give God room to move.  I’ve seen more answer to prayer because I’m giving God space where I used to jump out of my own effort.
  • Pray and ask for a timeframe – I don’t do this to test God, but perhaps the Lord will answer my prayer instead of putting an open ended ask.  It builds expectation.
  • Pray the crazy prayers – When we were looking for a new church property for a campus we prayed some crazy wild prayers.  Looking back it allowed us to see God in the process more clearly.  We saw things that only God could have done in response to those prayers.
  • Pray with expectation that it will be answered – If you are going to pray it, then test it.  If you pray for healing, check it out right away.  If you want an answer to a question, have paper and pencil in hand expecting an answer.

Perhaps the Lord…..