At Compass Point, the Sunday morning service is just another part of the overall pie. It is not the "end all be all" of who we are. We do not put all of our eggs in that basket, nor do we spend the entire week trying to figure out how to make it an "event". In fact, Sunday morning services are not even in the top three things we do at Compass Point each week. Why? Because we are trying to reach young 20-somethings. With that in mind, our top three goals are always:
a. Developing relationships.
b. Building community.
c. Serving others.
Don’t get me wrong, Sunday is an important piece of the puzzle for Compass Point…it just isn’t the biggest piece. That doesn’t mean that other churches who put all of their efforts into Sunday mornings are wrong. It just means they have an older (30+) target market than Compass Point. I love what North Point does on Sunday mornings. However, it would never work for Compass Point…and vice-versa.
Young 20-somethings crave community. They love to meet new folks with new ideas and new dreams. They love to get creative in a smaller settings and they describe anything remotely "modern church" as cheesy. While they like to worship, they are moved by building relationships and serving others. Because of that, the staff of Compass Point also works hard to achieve those things.
The Compass Point staff and I knew that…if we put all of our eggs into the Sunday morning basket…that we would constantly be tied up in strategy, planning or creative meetings with…other staff. It would limit our time and ability to develop friendships with unchurched people. For that reason, we declined to make Sunday a top priority. If our people are moved by community and service, then that is where we…as a staff…needed to focus our attention. All week strategy sessions to discuss which video clip would work best with which Bon Jovi song played by the praise band during the Sunday light show would defeat the goals of Compass Point. So we don’t do that.
Jonathan – our worship pastor – and I meet for an hour (yeah, we keep it to that time frame on purpose) on Monday evenings at a downtown sports pub to discuss Sundays. Sometimes we include some other Compass Point folks that have the gift of brutal honesty. We sit at the outside tables so we can visit with folks walking by and visually see the people we are trying to reach at Compass Point. We talk about the previous Sunday and honestly critique everything. We then finalize the upcoming week, before discussing future services. Other than the one meeting each week, the Compass Point staff is usually hanging out in public places meeting new folks and developing new relationships.
Please also keep in mind that we are never more than 8 weeks ahead with sermons ideas or series. God is moving at Compass Point at such a break neck pace that we can’t possibly see more than a few months out. We tried long range sermon series planning and it just never worked. God would move, our people would need to be led in a different direction than planned and we’d have to scrap all of our sermon series plans. Besides, I never want us to be tied down to some mass production that has to be planned months in advance in order to construct and implement. For Compass Point that is just way too complicated and limiting to God’s moving for our vision.
As a simple church, we also keep our Sunday mornings pretty simple. We praise, we pray we preach. Sometimes we’ll throw in a special photographic or video montage that one of our artists put together. We also feature different bands that attend Compass Point as special music (bluegrass, blues, techno…anything that is different that our normal praise band). When we do Outside The Box, one of those bands normally plays Compass Point on the following Sunday morning. Other than that, it’s pretty stripped down at our church on Sundays.
I know that what I shared here is quite different from what other churches are doing today. Consequently, that is the reason I’m blogging about it. This is probably the area that seems most foreign to folks that ask me about Compass Point. The idea that sound, lighting, video and high-energy rock music is not a top priority to our leaders throws people. That is okay. As I said before, Compass Point is an experiment. Right now it seems to be working, but only God knows what tomorrow brings. Most of what we do at Compass Point won’t work at other churches. At the same time, most of what other churches are doing won’t work at Compass Point. That is the beauty of the Kingdom of God…He never calls us to be the same!!!