Sunday, July 24, 2005
Suggestions For the New Lakeview
I'm sure that by now most of you have either read a news account or watched one on television about Lakeview Church, the Houston megachurch with 30,000 members which bills itself as "the largest and fastest growing congregation in America."
Lakeview just moved into its new home, a large multipurpose arena that used to be called The Summit, and most recently Compaq Center. It was home to the Houston Rockets (basketball), the Houston Aeros (ice hockey) and any number of special events, including rock concerts and circuses (was there ever much difference?) The newly renovated facility can hold 16,000 church members at a time for a service.
I can remember going to The Summit for a number of events, including at least one concert by ZZ Top, and taking my kids to Compaq Center a few years ago for "Disney on Ice."
Mrs. Muley and I watched a bit of Lakeview's inaugual service in their new facility on television, and the sheer size and technical sophistication of the worship center was impressive. My imagination got frisky, as it is wont to do, and I started thinking about how Lakeview could keep a few old traditions from the Summit and Compaq Center days while at the same time conduct proper church services. Here's some ideas I came up with.
1. Distribute foam fingers with "Jesus #1" to members as they enter.
2. Have special services where the first 5,000 members in the door get bobblehead dolls of the Apostles and other biblical figures.
3. Before the service gets rolling, have restless audience members do "the wave."
4. During breaks in the service, instead of having audience members try to sink three -point shots for prizes, ask them Bible knowledge questions instead, with restaurant coupons as prizes.
5. No need for candles during candlelight services -- members will hold up lighters instead.
6. Water in the large baptistry can be frozen and smoothed over with Zamboni for use by church hockey teams.
7. During sports and music events, vendors used to roam the aisles with boxes slung around their necks offering popcorn and drinks. Those same boxes can now be used by deacons to distribute communion materials.
8. Scalpers, as usual, will try to sell unauthorized T-shirts in the parking garage, but this time, the shirts will have slogans about Jesus or photos of pastor Joel Osteen on them instead of "Led Zeppelin Rules."