weekend at Renegade Church I messed up. It was not the first and I can assure
you it won’t be the last.
One of the things I love about the Renegade Church is that this group of people gives us the freedom to push the envelope and try new things. One of the things we like doing is showing video that demonstrate absurdity by being absurd. Humor can take a tense subject and disarm people so they actually listen to what you have to say. Sometimes it works, sometimes the reaction is mixed, and sometimes it completely bombs.
Right now we
are in the middle of our “Relationship Rx” series talking about God's prescription for dealing with the people in our lives. The crux of the
series is we tend look for the easy way out in our relationships, but there is
no quick fix, no magic pill you can take to solve your problems or elixir you
can spray on people that will make them behave how you want.
This past week we looked at parenting. The main theme was that most people before having children have an “idealistic” view of what it is like to be a parent. Most of us found out after having kids that we were nowhere near as prepared for parenthood as we thought we were. Kids are messy, complain, throw tantrums, ask questions, push boundaries and are can feel like a 25/8 job (yes 25 hours a day 8 days a week.) Today too many parents give up and just ignore their kids, letting them run wild because they don’t know what to do. When some do look for a solution it is usually of the quick fix variety, like out right drugging the kids, or other drastic measures. Some are so desperate they will try just about anything to make the kids “behave”, and if it seems to work they think it’s great but the sloution winds up in the long run doing more harm than good. They just can't see it until it's too late.
morning I was presented with a comedy video that on quick viewing seemed to illustrate those main points perfectly, and in a humorous way. It was run on the main
screen while the band was still milling around and warming up and I made a snap
decision to use it. Below is the video.
The reaction needless to say was mixed. Some thought it was hilarious and completely got the "So desporate we will try anyting" tie in to the message. Others
were indifferent, seeing the tie or the humor but not both. Some thought it was
great but not for church. Some thought some parts were great but others went
too far. And some were offended by parts of it for reasons I had not thought of
or caught the first time I watched the video.
In hindsight I clearly see my mistakes. While it was a comic parody of a TV Product commercial the actors were very good and it was a little “too realistic” in some places. Also we put it in the wrong place in the service, during the worship set and too much time passed between the showing and the start of the message. And, where the main failure happened, I violated one of my rules of watching and processing something before I include it in a service. There were things I caught when I watched the video at home Monday afternoon that made me cringe. I know if I had first viewed the video on Wednesday or Thursday I would have had time to process it and either would have had our video guy edit out several parts (which we do all the time), or killed the video all together.
Straight up, I made a mistake in running the video, it was my call, my fault, no one else’s, and for those who were offended by it I ask you to please forgive me. Our goal at Renegade is to be better today than yesterday and better tomorrow than today. We will defiantly be better next week than we were last week.
I would like to thank those who came to me and the staff personally with a good heart, great intentions and in a loving way expressed your concerns sharing what you were feeling. It is amazing to have a church body that thinks the best and handles things properly instead of assuming the worst and talks to everyone else before bringing it to us.
We want Renegade Churchto continue to be a safe place where people can hear a dangerous, life changing message. The message never changes, but the way we present it must constantly be adapted and tailored to reach each generation. I am glad to have a church that is a safe place for Renegade Pastors to step outside the “normal” church box and try new things. Some will work, others… not so much, but in the process Renegade will continue to fulfill its mission of helping ordinary people have extraordinary lives by following an extraordinary savior.