I’m in the Thursday evening service of Nazarene General Assembly. Once again I’m impressed by the facility, especially the video technology. There are, not one or two, but nine huge screens providing close ups of what is happening on the stage. In addition there’s another screen of the same size behind the pulpit area. It has different pictures, etc. to match the moment in the service. Then, there’s a “triple wide” screen to the right of it. It also has different stills on it.
Then, tonight, there’s a 26 foot tall wooden cross in front of the pulpit. It is a wide cross — suggesting strength. Since the center aisle is around 15 feet wide, the cross isn’t in anyone’s way (except the camera’s — I wonder if they thought that through). A few years ago the NYI had a huge video cross that served as the center piece of NYC. Now, the General Assembly picks up the theme, but this time with wood and not high tech. It makes a powerful statement.
The friendliness of the Nazarenes impacts people. I was here on Tuesday when things first opened. The workers were friendly but detached. Professional. Now, it’s Thursday and when you pass one of them they look at you because they expect you to be like everyone else they’ve met — they expect you to smile or even say something to them. I’ve experienced it with everyone from the lady at the parking toll booth to the security people at the doors. Last night a security guy commented to me that they were told to prepare for 40,000 people on Sunday morning (I really doubt it will be that many) but he added, “I’ve never heard of this church, but it must be a big one.”
So the Nazarenes are in Orlando. The “One heart…” program has gotten the attention of the local media too. Supposedly there’s a nice feature of it and on the General Assembly on a local TV station tonight.