Learning Experience?

Posted: February 25, 2008 in Church Leadership, Random

Every church planter, not matter how thorough they are in their preparation, nor how many meetings they schedule before their launch can avoid every pitfall.  Some of the pitfalls are avoidable others make you scratch your head and say, “Yeah, I can see why that was a dumb idea.”  We pulled that this Sunday even though we provided a disclaimer and tried our best to explain that it was just comic relief.

In a nutshell we showed a video only because it was funny and it related to our theme, Apple’s domination.   We wrote a disclaimer and specifically stated that it wasn’t a shot at anyone, a political statement, or anything other then comic relief.  Despite our best attempt to avoid offending anyone or taking sides in hotly debated topic we managed to have a guy walk out complaining that we were insensitive and wrong for showing the video.  Will, our Creative Arts Pastor, said, “anything the church shows they endorse.”  I don’t necessarily agree, but I can see how some would make that conclusion.

Click here to see the video and tell me what you think.

  1. I think I agree with Will. You guys messed up. You learn from it. You move on. Honestly, it sounds a lot like the kind of mistake I would make. A lot. Thanks for posting up about it and being honest. I appreciate it. Hopefully this will keep me from making the same kind of mistake.

  2. mattshultz says:

    Re-posted from Michael’s site:

    I am a veteran of the Marine Corps myself and I appreciate the apology and the sensitivity to the fact that it may have caused some to be uncomfortable. I was not personally offended but I did not agree obviously with the premise of the skit. I think you could also have viewed that skit and come away thinking that the media is a big problem in Iraq right now. The bottom line is I know where your heart is and the heart of the church. While it is important to understand that people have died and given a lot for our cause in Iraq we also have to keep our sense of humor about things. Some of the most irreverent people I have ever met in my life on almost ever topic where the Marines I served with and i loved them for it. Don’t beat yourself up to much!

    Semper Fi!

  3. will says:

    Just to clarify, what we allow to go into one of our services, people will assume we endorse. Why else would we show it? Comic relief is not an excuse unless it applies to the specific purpose we are trying to accomplish through our mission. And the video really had nothing to do with Apple.

  4. agratto says:

    The video was funny, plain and simple, which is why 4.4 million people downloaded it. In addition, the vast majority of the 4500 comments were positive.

    We should not have shown it because we cannot control people’s assumptions and it’s insensitive to those with loved ones in the war, which none of us would have known unless we were veterans. Bottom line people assuming that OLC is anti-war in Iraq, George Bush, or government is silly.

    We really just need to understand our influence and recognize that we have the power to influence in a negative way as much as a positive one.

    A video with all of the Apple products and Steve Jobs is more about Apple then anything else. That’s why it’s called a parody.

  5. Michael says:

    this blog is a parody of my blog. which is why anthony steals all of my ideas.

  6. Josh says:

    I have to agree with Will: If it makes the program at OLC, it’s endorsed by OLC in the minds of people who see it. Since the disclaimer ran before the video, which was played before the service, most people caught the tail end of the video without any context. But even if they saw the disclaimer, they would (reasonably) have to wonder why the video was played at all if OLC doesn’t agree with it’s viewpoint. To a lesser extent, i think anything on the website or pastor blogs has the impramatur of OLC to most people. Fair or not, disclaiming endorsement is a lot tougher than just saying, “this doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of _____” in most cases.

    The fact that it’s a parody doesn’t mean it doesn’t make a point. If we ran a movie mocking a particular race, and said, “we don’t necessarily agree with this,” people would still be understandably offended. The video had a very definite set of targets, only one of which was (marginally) Apple. It attempted to make a strong point about a subject lots of people are really passionate about.

    I think it’s great that you and Michael are willing to make public mea culpa’s about it, though. No one intended to offend anyone, I’m sure, so hopefully anyone who was offended will see it for what it was. I do have to hand it to you and Michael, though. You guys like to do things big. I generally put my foot in my mouth three or four times a week, but not often in front of 150 people 🙂

    Also, the contents of this comment do not necessarily reflect my own viewpoints or the viewpoints of anyone I know.

  7. Milan Ford says:

    Although I thought the video was funny…I can see how it could make people who support the war a little uncomfortable. It reminds me of a video I helped create once to promote a youth conference I was coordinating. I secured John Morgan, a renown George Bush impersonator, to do a monologue for the video commercial promoting the conference.

    Most of the youth (that I was targeting) loved it; however when we showed it on TBN, there were a few calls asking why did we do it.

    Just goes to show you that regardless of what you do – there will always be other viewpoints. However, although we should indeed try to avoid as many pitfalls as possible, there will be times when pits need to be jumped.

    Offense is often the companion of results.

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