Get Rid of the Red Tape

February 12th, 2012
Image © Dept for Communities and Local Govt | Flickr | Used under Creative Commons License

I have a theory.  It’s not a proven theory, but it is one that I really believe in.

I think that crowd dynamics have a lot to do with how people feel when they are in worship.

You have to have enough people in a room to feel cozy but not so many people that you feel suffocated.

Not theology. Just an opinion.

I also have another opinion. I hate to preach to empty rows of chairs.

Certainly not theology. Just an opinion.

So we try to set up just enough chairs but not too many so that the room will feel good and I will get my way and not have to preach to empty rows. It’s the small things, I know. We also tape off, with red tape (Freedom Church colors) the back few rows and encourage people to sit in the front. Seemed like a good idea to me. It just never works.

People move the tape. People play limbo with the tape. People step over the tape. People do all kinds of things with the tape, but the only thing that they don’t do is obey the tape and sit on the front rows. I was frustrated by the tape.

So I buckled down and told my staff: Enforce the tape, gently, but enforce the tape.  I know it sounds stupid, but it was a moment.

Then finally, after a few people said, “We should get rid of the tape," “We hate the tape,” or “We have tape?” I asked my wife.

Here is her exact quote,

“Oh, I hate the tape. I think it sends the wrong message.  I just figured you were Mr. Church Planter so you probably knew better."

I am getting rid of the red tape and how fitting a reminder it is to make sure we don’t put any red tape in the way of people connecting to God.

I am practicing this week by preaching to empty rows since that is how the front row will look at Freedom Church this week.

Oh, and I am also making a list of things I need to ask my wife about!

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