10 Lessons from the Olympic Opening Ceremony

Friday night over 1 billion of us around the world sat in awe watching the opening ceremony in London. Quite ironic that an event celebrating athletes has us all sitting on the couch for 4+ hours. I think there were some important lessons that church leaders could take away from the night. Here are 10 things that I noticed.
  • It was social: From the first moment, NBC invited is to be a part of a story that was unfolding before our eyes. My viewing experience was made better by the global conversation. The was a collision of the offline and the online. The highlight was when all of America simultaneously tweeted in shock that Al Gore did not invent the internet.
  • It was incredibly Innovative: From the sod on the field, to a hill with a tree atop straight out of middle earth,  to the cutting edge of projection, and turning the entire stadium into a LED wall. From the live feed on the field to mashed up cinematography. There were moments that it felt like a dream from the future was coming to life. The whole night felt unexpected. The only rules they followed was there was a flame and athletes came in the arena
  • It was multi-generational: By my guess, the youngest person taking part in the ceremony was 5 and I think the queen is 138. Seriously though, what a great picture that every age could be involved. Every age was involved in the music from the children’s choirs to Sir Paul leading “Hey Jude” like a worship leader leading the world in song. Not only was everyone present, everyone was involved
    • It embraced the child within: The whole night embraced the simple wide eyed wonder of a child. Maybe its the fact that they actually made dreams come to life. From Mary Poppins to Mr. Bean.
    • It had pyrotechnics: I have no point to make here except for it just seemed like Ron Luce and Skillet would want me to mention this.
    • It used humor: I did not think it was even possible for British people to not take themselves seriously but it happened. Even the queen turned out to have a sense of humor.
    • It celebrated the past: The story they chose to tell (although overly political – lets not do that) celebrated the history of their country and generations past.
    • It looked towards the future: The most powerful moving moment for me is when the biggest moment of the night was given to the future. Such a powerful picture of what the church should look like. There was not one legit or a name you knew just those with the chance to make history, I think they did!
    • They played U2: Its just the right thing to do. (and no band tried to sounds like them, sorry every worship band in america) The Beatles was a nice touch too…
    • It celebrated diversity: Bob Costes called it “an incredible spectrum of humanity.” Most of our churches are sadly a celebration of people who are just like us. Each petal of the cauldron coming together representing each country.  The 500 construction workers who built the stadium welcomed the flame into the stadium and also some of the most powerful people in the world in the stands.

Bottom line…they celebrated the story they had to tell. How much more do we have to celebrate as the people of God telling the story of God. I’m blessed enough to be a part of of a church that hits 9 out of 10 of these on a regular basis. Gonna have to get the creative team to work on the pyrotechnics….

So my question for you is how do you take these lessons and apply them to your ministry?

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