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Distracted worshipper

The past two weeks I have spent at CIY Move, a high school conference designed to engage teens in a deeper walk with Christ. There have been some truly inspiring messages, worship moments, and devotional times and many teens have made commitments to Christ throughout both of these weeks. I love to be a part of things and learn what is "popular" among teen worship services and also to glean ideas from CIY. As I sit back and try to procure ideas, I find myself critiquing what they do more than I ought to. I have found that CIY does a great job at two things in particular:

1) Putting on a show.
Technically speaking, these guys pull out all the stops. It is a rock concert gone Jesus! Smart light fixtures, moving color washes, triplewide environmental projection, on stage props, and IMAG up-tight camera shots.

2) Not putting on a show.
All of the worship leaders do a great job of deflecting the cheers towards God after songs, speakers remain humble, and they make sure to put the emphasis on God rather than the activity.

However, I don't worship very well with all the distractions, big noises (100db), bright moving lights, hazers, etc. Personally, I feel like no one can really worship in that environment--you can't hear yourself sing, much less talk to the person beside you. And right about then, I realized that that is exactly why they do the "big show."

They make the music loud enough that kids aren't self-conscious of the way they sound, or distracted by conversations around them, and they use moving lights with changes every verse to keep the attention fixed on what they are trying to accomplish. CIY has figured out how to harness today's attention span of teens. Since the invention of the smartphone and swype text and more, CIY has remained able to keep people engaged in their goals for the worship set.

Granted, you would eventually like to see the kids invested in the worship service without all of those handicaps/attention boosters, and that is the goal ultimately, but in the meantime, CIY is definitely on to something...


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