When I get real with myself, the thought of how much grace I need is overwhelming. Every careless thought, word, and action screams against me. It’s difficult to believe that God can forgive the harsh words I’ve said to my wife and kids, the evil thoughts I’ve had, and the selfish tendencies that plague me. It’s hard to receive grace for things like yelling at your wife on vacation in Hawaii or getting angry with your sweet adopted boys because they didn’t obey quickly enough. It’s the things in which I should “know better” that hurt the most. How could I be so selfish/stupid/mean/heartless? There is so much that I do sinfully that I need God’s grace for…
Do you know why we do what we do? Why we put in all the hours for rehearsals and making sure that all of our ducks are in their figurative rows. Why we double-check to make sure all of our microphones are battery’d and powered up. Why each of our audio and video recordings have triple redundancy. Why we meticulously pour over every single detail of our services.
To view the full case study, click the image above.
For a few years now, the Sandals Church look and feel has been grounded in the Industrial Revolution. We thought that the grit of movements like the Bolshevik Revolution and De Stijl were perfect for our vision, “Real with Ourselves, God & Others”. We built a robust visual language that used type and texture to communicate ideas of authenticity and craftsmanship. It was a deep system that communicated the idea of our vision through visual application.
As we enter our 20th year, we realized that it was time to take an inventory of our visual identity. What had our voice become and was it still effective in communicating our vision of being real?
To answer that question, we have begun the transition into the debrand of Sandals Church. You can learn more about the thought behind this debrand and view the full case study here.
As people, we’re a mixture of many things, most of them seemingly at odds with one another. We’re happy for our engaged friend, but sad that we’re single. We’re hurting for our friends’ struggle, but can see the hope that it can change. We’re excited to see our kids grow up and learn to do more, but miss the way they used to need us.
I heard a story once about an elephant in a circus. It was a cruel circus, one where the elephant was chained up every night, taught a certain routine and performed it in exchange for a prize. At the end of every show, the elephant would bow then be locked up again for the toil of another day. The elephant strived and tried to earn favor, making a tireless effort to please the various ringmasters who continued asking for and exploiting every applause and piece of silver from the audience. Continually paying pretentious compliments to the elephant in front of others, the ringmaster quickly cast the creature aside after each show.
When a piece of your past comes back around it can be an opportunity to either shrink back from that pain or stand tall remembering the growth that has occurred. Things like bumping into an ex, hearing a certain song or seeing an old picture are moments that measure that growth, just to name a few. Or in my case, like having to get a police report from a past offense so you can move forward in the foster/adoption process.
Somewhere along the way I stopped dreaming. Not the kind of dream that happens when you drift off to sleep, but belief in the extraordinary kind. The fountain from which these dreams once flowed effortlessly had dried up. Unfulfilled hopes alongside unmet expectations that were entangled with sacrifices that didn’t pay off had certainly contributed to my newfound impoverished ambition. I can’t quite remember when the drought began, but I could feel something in me changing.
Happy New Year!
It seems like just yesterday that we were wrapping up holiday services in our new sanctuary and catching our breath from installing a new location in East Valley. Flash forward a year and we’re wrapping up holiday services and catching our breath as we prepare for 2017.
Along the way, we’ve developed new processes and procedures for everything from how people get scheduled, how people stay connected and how people get onboard. We’ve got new voices, players and production techs. We’ve got new gear, new computers and new and new and new and new… but for a moment, I’d like to pause and think about the past.