Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Different Isn't Always Bad

My Daughter and Son-in-Law
Celebrating an Anniversary...Not so good.
I see a number of negative comments on social media concerning the way things are being done differently in light of COVID-19. I’m noticing, however, that different isn’t always bad. 

In fact, for those creative minds, different is seen as an opportunity to improve.

I’ve seen many churches scrambling to hold services via YouTube, Zoom, or by streaming live. Some are adhering to the way they’ve always done things. Some follow the same order of worship and so forth. That is probably comforting for church members missing the routine.

But at least one church in Cincinnati has pursued a different route. Crossroads, one of Cincinnati’s mega churches has already made the decision to not re-enter their physical sites until next year. They view this time as an opportunity to reach more people. Here’s a quote from a recent letter:

“God is using us, and He’s doing so without the normal things we’ve used in the past. It’s fresh, exciting, and lives are being impacted for eternity.”  
And in another quote from the pastor, Brian Tome: 

“We’re having breakthroughs as a church in the digital space that I don’t want to cut short. In fact, Crossroads was just recognized by the Harvard Business Review for creating first in class digital worship experiences.”

This particular church is thinking outside the proverbial box.

Different isn’t always bad.

This week I finally went to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) to renew my driver’s license. Yes, technically it expired in May, but our governor extended the period of grace until the end of the year. The office is usually packed, the workers and patrons impatient to get the task completed. It’s usually a rather unpleasant experience.  I assembled all the items I needed for the new compliant license. I gathered them in March.

I set a reminder on my phone for this week… a reminder to see if the BMV was open and available. Once I checked the website I not only found they were open, but I could schedule a “save a place in line” right then. I clicked and my place in line was confirmed. I grabbed my envelope of documents and raced out the door. Upon arrival I checked in. The woman at the kiosk looked over my papers to see I had everything I needed before I was advanced to the next station. In and out in thirty minutes. That was a first. Moreover, by streamlining the process, setting up specific stations, and allowing online “save a place in line,” the mood in the building itself was light. Patrons were patient. Workers were pleasant. There was no drama. 

The woman at the picture station told me I could smile if I wanted. Another first. “I remember when smiles were forbidden,” I said. 

“These days we need all the smiles we can get,” she answered. 

I mentioned I was impressed with the speed and efficiency of the whole process. The woman from the check-in kiosk said, “Change for the better.”  And it was.

Because….different isn’t always bad.

If you are interested in seeing a very different sort of church opportunity, CLICK HERE to view a recent Crossroads message.

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