Craig Groeschel touches on something in his book, It, that's been on my mind quite a bit lately. It has to do with finding the balance between doing things with "excellence" and still keeping things feeling raw, authentic, and real.
Over this past year at The Orchard we have added some pretty significant elements to our weekend gatherings in terms of media and technology. Yet as we've taken those steps, we've also worked hard at being very intentional about not coming across "over produced" or inauthentic in any way.
And honestly, it helps that most of us involved in the creative process hates anything that feels too produced or plasticky. So our radars are always up when it comes to things feeling too canned.
So anyway... This got me thinking about some of the things we try to be intentional about in order to keep things feeling fresh and authentic. Here are a few off the top of my head:
We are very careful not to over-hype everything we do. What's great about this is that when we do show excitement or buzz about something, people really do believe and expect that something unique is getting ready to occur. Avoiding over-hyping everything builds excitement equity with people. I intentionally shy away from overusing words like "awesome", "off the hook", "amazing", etc... because using these types of words too liberally cheapens them, and over time, causes them to lose effect. (Plus, the phrase "off the hook" just bothers the crap out of me.)
We don't try to hide or overcompensate for production mistakes. Not that we encourage them, but we do play them off pretty well! We've learned to laugh and make light about slip-ups during our gatherings.
Our style of music lends itself to feeling raw. Don't get me wrong, it sounds and feels AMAZING, but it doesn't sound like an overproduced band like this one. (Ok, that was a horrible example! That's not over-produced, that's just downright FRIGHTENING!)
We stay away from anything that looks, feel, or sounds scripted or canned. We try to say things in a way that feels fresh every time.
Moving video backgrounds and cool lights are fun, but they need to be used strategically. Same thing with lights and video pieces. Too much motion can get old FAST!
We are intentional about dressing in a way that communicates to people, "Hey! We're normal! Just like you!" And then after a few weeks, everyone realizes that there's nothing normal about us whatsoever! :)
So I'm curious.... Is this a challenge for you? If so, what types of things do you do to help keep things feeling real and authentic?