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Monday, June 22, 2009

Aggregates and Gateways (The Cue philosophy Part I)

Often times, we are asked about our philosophy of ministry when it comes to The Cue—our weekend gathering at Westwinds. For those who are new to church, the atmosphere may not be what they expected but they are usually pleasantly surprised. For those who grew up in a traditional evangelical or mainline denomination, the atmosphere is familiar in some ways and titanically different and in some case opposed to what they are used to.

At The Cue, our aim is to facilitate an environment—celebratory, liberating, engaging, full of hope and expectation, affirming, restoring, free of distractions, thought provoking, and reflective—where individuals can meet with God (though it will not always be all of those things at once). Our goal is not to get people to worship corporately. Though certainly, that happens in our environment. We cannot manipulate it if we tried by nature of worship being an act of an individual’s own will. We can influence and create space conducive for it.

Verbiage such as, “let’s begin our time of worship” though not inappropriate has led people to defining worship in a narrow and localized way. Language like this leads people to believe worship is an act associated with being in a “worship service” or at a church building. Unfortunately, this has also been perpetuated by the naming and designation of “praise and worship” music. In many cases, the corporate time of worship is gauged solely by the music and the music is often referred to as the “worship.”

But worship—biblically speaking—is a responsive way of living. It is more fabric and global than simply an act or strictly about music or any interactive vehicle we may design. Typically, church nomenclature has minimized and contextualized worship into acts largely revolving around music as well as other acts within the “worship service.”

Furthermore, our desire is to create an environment that has multiple layers that emerge and connect. We want some overlap at the seams of the layers so The Cue feels congruent, but enough independence to the layers that there are multiple themes people can grab (not inert ideas and exercises).

So then, as opposed to many models of corporate church gatherings, our goal is not simply one clear theme we are trying to drive home. A video for a story of a spiritual journey, a Top 40 song, or aesthetic design may or may not bring about a dovetailed thematic link but the experience, fresh perspective, and collision with authentic life experience(s) make it all legitimate.

It is a time of aggregates and gateways.

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