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September 29, 2013

Good day all! This is Mr Wash Man once again.

Being a man of Faith, and a strong believer of being involved in Faith-based community settings, I have come to appreciate a lot of strengths within these community settings. For the sake of time and space though, I will keep this to three main key points. I believe that technology, when used correctly, can be a strength. I believe that ministers, who keep to a few basic principles, can be a strength. I also believe that congregations that can afford to pay a pastor or leader to particularly lead them in worship (singing) can be a strength as well. Now there can be more strengths obviously but these are three that I have come to appreciate and love in recent weeks.

I. Technology

Being someone in the Information Technology field, I have come to appreciate the use of Microsoft PowerPoint or other computer programs used to output songs, sermons, and bulletin points to congregations. I have had a chance to be involved in this facet directly for ten years. Now having been outside of it for several years, I have come to analyse, critique and appreciate different churches approaches to this. Where I was involved for ten years, I saw things evolve from yellow print on black backgrounds to white print on picture backgrounds. Since being away from this now, I find myself having my deepest appreciation for the mdidle ground. I find that I appreciate white background and black backgrounds. Yellow font has its place but it is a bit harsh on the eyes. Black font on white background is even harsher on the eyes because of how bright the white background feels. White font and black background gives you the words in an easy to read format without causing your eyes to focus on something more than the words you are reading. This thus allows you to better follow in the moment(s) of worship that a leader or pastor is leading you through.

II. Ministers

I have been taught through my bible college days that structure and time are two key things to a sermon. If a minister or pastor makes too many points in their sermon, the congregation will have a hard time remembering them all. Also if a minister or pastor preaches too long in length, they will lose the attention of their audience, and thus just speaking for their own benefit. While I don't find time so much of an issue anymore, I do find structure still critical.

The biggest thing that I value from a minister or pastor now is this: When they are behind the pulpit, do they use the Bible and then share their opinion? or do they read the Bible and get to the 'meat and potatoes' of the original intention? While the prior has merit and has its place, preaching needs to be predominantly the latter. There needs to be more preaching from the Bible and support for what the original authors had intended. Then when that is complete, see where the congregation could apply it to their own lives. That is the best way to preach in today's day-and-age.

III. Worship Leaders

I have had the opportunity now to be involved in churches with and without paid worship leaders/pastors. I am personally seeing a value in paying someone to lead your congregation in worship. There can sometimes be a sharp contrast in styles between one worship group and another in a church where there is no paid staff member who brings consistency and an 'ear' to the congregation's needs on a weekly basis. I personally have come to appreciate paid worship staff.

IV. Conclusion

All in all, I have come to appreciate some of the diversity that comes from being involved in multiple churches in my short lifetime thus far. Diversity has brought seeing and being involved in multiple ways to essentially do the same thing -- honor and worship our Lord and Savior. It has brought me through seeing how different types of technology and technological approaches can benefit a Faith community. It has brought me through hearing many different preachers from many different denominations. It has also brought me through listening and involving myself in worshiping through the leadership of a worship leader or worship pastor. If you ever have the chance when on holidays, or if life has thrown scenarios to you that have caused you to move through multiple churches, take the opportunity to bear witness to the diversity that comes from how others go about doing 'church'. It will enhance your view of churches and each's strengths and weaknesses.

- Mr Wash Man