Apple TV

I’ll give an in-depth review later, but I got an Apple TV today and it is really, really, really cool.

More tomorrow.

First impressions: Lifechurch.tv

Two Sundays ago, we visited Lifechurch.tv’s Ft. Worth campus to see what they had going on. This is the first time I’ve been a visitor at a church in years, and I’ve got to admit, it was great.

Parking: There wasn’t a full lot, or any need for someone to help with parking, but they had it anyway. I was impressed they had a greeter as we pulled into the lot. Being a marketing/design guy, I was really impressed that he was wearing a t-shirt with the church’s latest series on it.

The Band: Before we were even out of the car, I could hear the band inside, and they were good. I mean really good. When we were walking up, we could hear a song by the David Crowder Band blaring from inside. I really thought they were just playing a CD. Once we got inside we realized it was their amazing praise and worship band playing.

Connecting: Being the guy at NBCF who’s always reaching out to new people, I was really on the look out for how they welcomed new visitors. I noticed Lifechurch volunteers everywhere. Everyone was quick with a smile and handshake, but never any real conversations. In fact, I only had one chance to introduce myself to another person. I’m not sure if this is an attempt to make new visitors feel welcome without invading their space, but I was looking for more.

Sermon on video: I was really curious to see what it was like watching a sermon on video at church. I’ve watched Lifechurch video podcasts before. It was very interesting and given time, I think I could get used to sermons this way. I was very interested in how everyone else reacted. They all seemed used to it and interacted with the video when prompted. I also notice how focused people were on it. There weren’t people talking or laughing. They were more polite to the video than most people are to live preachers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to come off the stage and smack someone in the head because they keep talking during the sermon.

The invitation: I’ve seen how they do the invitations on the podcast and I thought it would be really awkward in person. Pastor Craig started the invitation on the video, and it slowly faded out, the lights came up and the campus pastor finished the invitation locally. I it came off really well.

Overall: I was really impressed with Lifechurch and how they did things. It was a really great experience just going to church and not having to worry about how it all came off. If you live near a Lifechurch campus, I’d recommend you give them a try.

I call this little feature first impressions because it’s hard to know a church just from visiting on Sundays. Church is about people. It’s not about what happens on Sunday morning, it’s about connecting with fellow Christians and working together to spread Jesus’ message. These are just first impressions from a brief Sunday visit.

Back in action

After four of the most stressful days I’ve ever had, I’m back to what will hopefully be a regular schedule.  My work load is still huge today but it’s such a downshift from the past few days that it’s like a working vacation. I should be back to blogging on a regular basis again. I’ve still got my thoughts on Lifechurch.tv to post as well as plea for help.

See you then.

You do too much

I know I said no blogging today but I had to write about this.

In Seth’s post, he talks about businesses stretching themselves into too many areas and how that can water down people’s expectations and emotional response. By doing this, you also water down your brand. He lists AOL as an example, and I think it’s a perfect one for me.

AOL was my first window into the internet. It was the way into this brave new virtual world and for me, AOL was the only way into that world. Chat rooms, e-mail, message boards, websites. It was all so new and there was so much information out there. AOL made internet access easy, reliable and affordable.

Then competition began to spring up. AOL’s answer seemed to be to branch out into as many internet related things as possible. Soon they weren’t doing anything well. The brand slowly began to sour for me as I discovered there were cheaper, and faster alternatives. What I wanted from my internet company was access. That’s it. AOL became more about ads and trying to be everything to everyone than it did about simple, affordable and reliable access. Because of this, my expectations dropped, and my emotional response soured.

Now, I’m not sure what AOL is like. However, I have a company that gives me fast, reliable and affordable access so the odds of me ever trying AOL again are between slim and none.

So the question becomes have you over extended your business? Would you make more money if you focused on being truly great to a few people or being mediocre to a lot of people?

What about your church? I think many churches suffer because they try to be everything to everyone. You need to set up a core set of things you do with excellence and acknowledge that you won’t be the church everyone needs.

Coming up

I have a huge deadline tomorrow so there will be no blogging to be had around these parts.

I’ll be back Wednesday with some thoughts on Lifechurch.tv. We visited their Ft. Worth campus this weekend and it was very interesting. I haven’t visited a new church in so long I forgot what it was like to be a visitor.

The tall-people hotel

We’re staying at a new Best Western this weekend and I freakin’ love it. The heated in-door pool is why we’re here, but imagine my surprise when I come in and find a shower head that is taller than me.

Generally, hotel shower heads are made for someone roughly four-and-a-half feet tall. Being six foot two, the shower stream usually hits me in the stomach. I always feel like Bill Murray at the Japanese hotel in Lost in Translation.

Not here, though. I think we’re going to stay at Best Western for all our future excursions.

Outta’ here

We are headed out for a relaxing weekend away from Stephenville. My cell phone is officially “broken” for the next two days so don’t event try reaching me.

Becca and I are headed here Sunday morning to see what they’re doing.

Everyone have a great weekend.

The double roll

I want to pose a deep theological question to everyone.

What is the point of toilet paper in the “double roll” size?

Is it just to use half as many cardboard tubes? Because I’m going to be honest with you, I value the environment as much as the next guy, but I really like the small sense of satisfaction that comes with having a cabinet full of toilet paper versus a cabinet half-full of double rolls.

Maybe it’s just me.

Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s just me.

Not for hire

I saw a tow truck driving down the road today with the words “not for hire” printed on the side.

Not being in the towing business, I don’t really know what it’s like, but is it really so busy that you pay someone to put something on the side of the vehicle to turn business away?

How many of our businesses have that same thing painted on it?

No one?

Are you sure?

What happens when a customer walks in the door and your employees make it obvious they don’t want to be helping them? You might was well have a sign up that says “not for hire,” or worse yet, “we don’t want you.”

The new math challenge

Absinthetics put up a challenge to throw out five movies we liked and he would recommend a few we hadn’t seen and would probably like.

Today he responded to my list here.

I’ve seen, love and own two of the movies on his recommendation list, but the third, Twilight Samurai, I’ve wanted to see for a while. It’s sitting at the top of my Netflix queue right now just waiting for the mail man to do his thing. I’ll post my impressions here.

The slow down

Today along with Monday and Tuesday of next week are going to be shockingly busy. In between we are getting out of town for the weekend, so my musings here may be few and far between for the next five days or so.

Talk amongst yourselves.