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In a world of rapid cultural and technological change, how do we faithfully worship and share the good news of Jesus Christ?

The global pandemic brought online worship of thousands of congregations to homes and people for the first time. To build on the incredible momentum, we cannot go backwards, says my guest and friend Jason Moore. Instead, we must dream about what the next iteration of worship and online ministry looks like in a post pandemic world.

I was so lucky to talk at length with Jason. Everything he says is loaded with practical advice and wisdom. He has trained tens of thousands of church leaders in recent months, and his latest book BOTH/AND has been at #1 and a top seller in multiple categories on Amazon. And on this podcast, he just freely gives away his nuggets of wisdom. You really should take advantage of it.

I also mention that Jason loves Star Wars and Back to the Future. Check out these photos he shared with me! He clearly loves good stories, and goes all in with his fan-dom!

You can get his book BOTH/AND here at Invite Resources. 



This is computer generated. Expect a few errors.

An Interview with Jason Moore – S01E04

Speaker  Transcript
Rob Thank you for listening. And today, I have an interview with an old friend of mine named Jason Moore. This is Episode Four of the Story That Writes Us. Jason Moore is a fascinating guy. He’s one of the best thinkers and and really creative executer, I guess you could say about worship And so we’re going to talk today about worship as storytelling.
Rob Jason comes from a background in art and figured out how he could use that in the church. And now even recently, he’s been using this to help the church tell the story online. But I don’t want to tell the story. I want to have Jason tell it. So my mic picks out just a little bit. I hope you get used to it.
Rob I’ll do better next time. Here’s the interview with Jason Moore. Jason, thank you, Bud. Welcome to the podcast. It’s really good to see you.
Jason Rob, it is great to be with you and to see you on Zoom. At the moment.
Rob That’s right. You can’t hear if you’re listening in your car, but Jason and I are zooming, gazing into each other’s eyes like old lovers.
Jason I did my hair and makeup for this. You mean, just know what you’re going to see.
Rob You know he’s going to be wasted. All your efforts are wasted on me, I’m afraid, Jason. But it is it is it is great to hang with you and visit with you and Jason. I go way back. We first met, I think it was 25 years ago or something like that. And and we’ve both of our lives have gone in multiple directions, but the things that Jason is involved with now are super, super interesting to me.
Rob And so, Jason, I was talking to you earlier about this podcast, and it’s about storytelling. And you are such an incredible storyteller in so many different ways. You started out working at Ginzberg United Methodist Church as a storyteller there. You wrote a book that came out of that experience talking about storytelling. But I’m just going to ask you, just tell me what you’ve learned over the years of doing this and talk a little bit about that in your in your context.
Jason Sure. Well, you know, when I was I mean, I’m going to go way back for a second. When I was in third grade, I discovered that I had the ability to draw in a way that other kids maybe couldn’t. And everyone wanted me to draw pictures for them, which I think is a form of storytelling. And so, I mean, it was like third grade on I knew I wanted to be an artist when I grew up.
Jason I didn’t know exactly what that meant. I didn’t know if that meant I was going to be drawing cartoons or making movies or whatever. And when I was in, I guess it was between my freshman and sophomore year, I believe I went on a retreat called Chrysalis, and it was as close as I’ve ever heard. The audible voice of God say, I want you to go into ministry.
Jason And I didn’t understand that because I thought, I’m an artist. There’s no artists in ministry. I thought I’d have to be, you know, a youth pastor that designed T-shirts on the side or. Right. Right. It didn’t make any sense to me. And my dream was to go to Hollywood because I want to make movies and, you know, be a storyteller in that way.
Jason And and when I was in art school, I was playing in a band with some guys, Christian band. And that summer, I decided to take a job working for my youth group part time and work on freelance. And I had, like, one or two big freelance projects, and then it all dried up, and I’m like, one night at band practice, guys, things are bad.
Jason I should have taken my job at the Parks Department, but I wanted to work for the youth group, and they were like, Hey, we go to Galesburg Church, and they use graphics people all the time. Maybe you could. And I thought, Yeah, right. A church that’s using a graphic artist. And I didn’t didn’t even give it another thought.
Rob Yeah, there wasn’t really a framework to even consider that, right?
Jason Not at all. So the next morning, one of the guys in the band called The Church on my behalf. There was a message on my answering machine, Go the church. Today you’ve got a meeting with Mike Lyons who’s the communications director. Take your portfolio. I’ll be there at 1:00 and I’m like, Oh, my God. And so I showed up, showed my portfolio, and wow.
Jason I mean, it was like the rest just unfolded in a way I never could have expected. Started an intern, became a full time member of the staff there on the worship design team, and they created a new position for me called Animator Illustrator, which I got to help write the job description for. But our goal was to kind of create worship that every week was a new story, a new narrative.
Jason We didn’t even do series back then, so it was like we wanted to create something that grabbed people when they came in and all the pieces were connected and that when people walked out, they were so moved by that story that it would come back to them again and again. So I kind of gave up my dreams of Hollywood to go work in the church world funding thing later in life.
Jason I have gotten to dabble a little bit. I’ve got to do a little little here and there in the Hollywood world. But but yeah, I mean, that’s sort of what my my story has been.
Rob So as we talk about storytelling, I’d love to hear your thoughts because I think you discovered something that I did, too, when I first first started working at a church that had never really done sermon series or thinking through how do we kind of brand it, I guess. And so I came in and so when I got into photography, I got tired of looking for stock photos.
Rob I’m like, if I could just have my own camera. So as very pragmatic to say, Hey, I need to photograph something for a bulletin cover because we’re doing a series and about this. But we started doing things there and you said something I wanted as soon as people walked in the building to know the intro to the story that we were talking about.
Rob So our signage, we had set pieces on stage. We we thought about we’ve got an hour of people’s time here. So how do we tell a story in that hour? And I don’t know that people often think of a worship service telling a story, but it but it really is.
Jason Yeah. You know, I know that we are a people of ritual and tradition, and some people find a lot of meaning in those various movements of worship. But sometimes our worship feels extreme we templated like we let the bulletin or the worship order plan the worship itself. And there’s not a lot of unfolding or narrative that plays out in the course of worship and so a lot of the work I’ve done over the last 20 something years is to try and help churches think about the worship experience as a narrative.
Jason And what is that story in and you know, I love the thought that they experience it when they walk in the building, but I’ve even been a part of worship where they encountered in the parking lot. And so even before they’ve come into the building, there’s like what’s happening today? Like, I remember doing a thing one time with metaphor of a pit crew and we got somehow we got a little race car to put out in front of the building.
Jason And so you pull into the parking lot and you’re like, Wow, what is going on today? I mean, you start to feel it. There’s a sense of intrigue, and I feel like intrigue is a word, a word that should be related to worship. But so often there’s no sense of intrigue or mystery related to the worship we do because we know when we show up, you know, there’s going to be a depending on your worship tradition, you know, a prelude, an opening song, and then someone’s going to do a welcome and there’s going to be, you know, three announcements and a well, you know, whatever.
Jason And there’s a temple and there’s no sense of like what’s going to happen today. It’s like, you know, in fact, for me, sometimes I don’t like having the bulletin in front of me. It feels like I’m sitting in the movie with the script in my hand, and I want to experience the story. I don’t want to read the script so interesting.
Rob But yeah.
Jason You know, I don’t even want to be able to look ahead, you know? I mean, I want to now I know that we’re all a little different. So I’ve been doing this new training, a couple new trainings over the course of the pandemic. The first one I did sort of related to the topic of your show, which was called Telling the Old Story in a New Time.
Jason And this came on the heels of the world shutting down in March of 2020. I had done a secret work for consultation for a pastor in 2019.
Rob Tell us whatever it is real quick. If people don’t know.
Jason It’s sort of like secret shopping but I’m not there to buy anything. I take extensive notes from a visit to the website through the parking lot in the building. I look at signage, I look at hospitality, I check out children’s ministry. You know, it’s, it’s really just giving someone outsider eyes and then saying, here’s what you’re doing really well.
Jason Here’s some things that as an outsider I didn’t understand, some of these rituals didn’t make sense, you know, affirming a whole lot, but also giving some prescriptions on how to make this worship more meaningful. To the outsider. So I got to I don’t know if it was a panicked call, but it was certainly a concerned call from this pastor who said, Jason, they just shut us down.
Jason And everything that we implemented that you taught us, which has worked really well for us, doesn’t exactly work when you’re not in the building. So how can we could you secret worship our online experience? Because we’ve got to figure out how we’re going to, you know, help people connect.
Rob Oh, so when you said they just shut us down, you’re talking about the COVID shut down. OK, I thought you meant like the church closed, like, oh, no, they would no longer viable. OK, so they shut down because of COVID as the right. Yeah. Yeah, OK.
Jason So they like like so many churches, they were forced online for the very first time. And so I took two pages worth of notes and shared them with this pastor. And afterwards, recognizing that so many churches had gone online for the first time, I thought, gosh, there’s a lot here that every church needs to hear right and so I said, Hey, do you mind if I turn this into a little article?
Jason And he’s like, No, go ahead. That’s fine. And I made him anonymous and I posted I think it was like five ways to improve your stream before next Sunday. And this was like week two of the pandemic. And that kind of went viral. And I started like having conferences, United Methodist Church organized in these regions called conferences. And there are like around 50 all over 50 of them in the country.
Jason One of them called me the very next day after I wrote the article and said, Hey, can you turn that into a webinar? I was like, I don’t know, I’ve never done a webinar. And I said, Give me a few days. The next day, another conference at West Virginia called said, Could you could you turn that into a training for us?
Jason And I’m like, I’m working on it. And five days passed, and I had 14 annual conferences all over the country, asked me to in five.
Rob Days.
Jason And five days because everyone.
Rob Holy cow, you scratch an itch.
Jason Matt.
Rob Seriously, talk about the right man at the right time with the right message. I mean, that’s incredible.
Jason Well, you know, I mean, that’s part of my story is that God has equipped me all throughout life to have these certain set of circumstances that all kind of added up to this, you know, inciting incident, you know, that’s right. This moment. And so anyway, I thought, how am I going to help people navigate? Easter was coming, if you remember you know, March and Easter was just a couple of weeks, few weeks out, and everyone had to figure out how are we going to do worship online when we can’t be in our buildings for Easter?
Jason And so really the premise of the webinar, that original webinar that I did was that we have to learn how to tell our story in a whole new way. For online. We cannot simply just put cameras in the back of the room and go about business as usual and the foundation or the way that I frame the conversation was that there are lessons that we can learn when we take books and make them into films.
Jason You have to do a lot of work to tell that story in a new way, and so you have to consolidate the story, you have to adapt the story, you have to embrace the limits of the new medium that you’re telling that story in. And there are opportunities to build community as a result of story. You know, I mean, think about Comic-Con there’s lots of community that is built out of story and so on.
Jason And so a new training grew out of it. As we started to go back in person, I got to do I don’t know, 35 of those in 20, 20, the telling the old story. But as fall came, you know, things started to get people started to return to in-person worship. And I thought, what are we going to do when people are in the room?
Jason Because we just spent a good part of the year talking to the camera we can’t keep talking to the camera when we have people in the room because we’ll turn them into the studio audience. I didn’t think that was going to happen. I thought what was going to happen is we get people back in the room and we will turn away from the camera and look at the room and the people at home who have been awoken to what it feels like to be talked to will now feel like observers or spectators of the experience the people in the room are having.
Jason And so I was having this conversation with one of my former hosts, somebody that hosted this training, and they said, how are your telling the old story trainings going? And I said, well, they’re going great, but I’m so worried about what happens when we come back because I really think we’ve got to figure out how we’re going to do worship in a way that is sort of like how both and for people both in the room and at home.
Jason And I shared about four ideas that I had around this. And he said, I want to I want you to do a training on that. Would you be willing to book two of them right now for November? I’m like, Absolutely. And then I had to figure out exactly what that meant.
Rob The answer’s yes and then figure it out.
Jason So in, in January of 20, 22. Now I have done I think 69 of those trainings since December of 20 and one of the biggest pieces of of that training was helping people think about worship as a narrative. I really believe that since we have folks worshiping with us online, we can no longer plan worship like it’s a pageant and I mean that not in a derogatory way, but I mean in a descriptive way in some of our worship it’s like everyone gets up to do their act and none of the acts are related to each other.
Jason So somebody might get up and there might be an opening song and it has nothing to do with the spoken word introduction and then someone might get up and pray and you don’t hear anything in that prayer that references what was in the spoken word or in that song. And then we have a little time of singing, whether it’s hymns or it’s contemporary music.
Jason Or what people call contemporary. Most of the time it’s not really contemporary. And then maybe we have a children’s sermon, and that children’s sermon has nothing at all to do with any of the music or the spoken word, and nothing to do with the adult sermon that we’re about to hear in just a minute. It’s like a random thing.
Jason And then we might read scripture, and then we have the sermon. And believe it or not, I’ve even been to worship where the sermon had nothing to do with the Scripture that was read because they read the revised Common Lectionary text that day. But the pastor’s not preaching on that. And so you end up having like five or six disparate moments throughout worship.
Jason Now, I think you can kind of get away with that in the room because you have a captive audience. They’re not going to get up and leave if one thing doesn’t relate to the next, to the next and so on. But online leaving is just clicking a button. I can turn it off with a click of a mouse if this thing doesn’t make any sense to you related to this thing and this thing and this thing.
Jason And so I’ve been making a pitch to folks to think about worship online in a more narrative fashion.
Rob Well, and it works. You know, we’re so good in this space, too. I mean, it’s just better worship. You know, you’ve got the the the issue of people maybe just clicking off and they can’t, like you said, stand up and just leave in the middle of the worship service. But it’s just inherently a better way to do it in the first place anyway, to not do it is a missed opportunity when you’re able to do it in a negative way.
Rob It’s just it’s just better agreed.
Jason You know it when all of the pieces connect you know what to do with it when you go home. The problem is that when we throw, it’s like we throw spaghetti at the wall and see if anything will stick. Sometimes with the worship that we do but I sometimes kind of jokingly talk about the show, The Love Boat from the eighties.
Jason Every episode of The Love Boat had, you know, three different couples or three different stories that were playing out. And those stories didn’t relate in any way. You know, Gopher would take drinks from one table to the next, and you’d follow their story until the commercial break. And, you know, the only time you saw those people together was when they were getting on the ship and when they were coming off the ship.
Jason I mean, they were all on the same ship, but none of their stories were related in any way. And I say to people, don’t plan love boat worship, where you’ve got all these little individual things that are happening. They’re all in the same service, but none of them relate to each other. And so I’ve been encouraging people to ask like four questions, to think about how to create a more narrative experience.
Jason The first of them is what is your driving scripture? And what is the big idea that it presents? And how can you capture that idea in the music and the spoken word and the children’s sermon and the adult sermon? And I even make a pitch for how do you find that scripture in the announcements, too? Because I think you can give words to your announcements, you know, so today we’re talking about being reshaped in Jesus.
Jason Our scripture for today is about Jeremiah going to the Potter’s House and finding that we are like clay in the hands of the Potter friends. Here are three opportunities to reshape the world this week. Number one, we have a Bible study on Monday night. A lot of relationship reshaping happens in Bible study. And so we would encourage you to be a part of that.
Jason Number two, we’re doing a bake sale next week for the kids to go to camp. We’re going to take the money and raise money to send the kids to camp and a lot of faith formation and reshaping happens. And we’re at camp, you know, so just giving those things language that ties to what you’re talking about in the sermon then makes it feel like it’s part of the narrative.
Jason So what’s the scripture driving scripture? Big idea. Second question, and I know you will be familiar with this one from all the work you’ve done, but what is the felt need that we’re trying to address in the service? And when you know the felt need, it will help you kind of filter what you’re saying there’s a difference between preaching principles of tithing and thinking about what someone who’s lived through a pandemic and lost their job because they worked at a movie theater or a restaurant when things were closed down.
Jason You can preach, give 10% of your income, and if you don’t think about the felt need of somebody, it’s like, I can’t even make ends meet. You think of their felt need. You’re going to preach a different sermon. You’re going to plan a different service. The third thing that I’m and you know, you know me well enough to know this is always going to be on a list.
Jason But what is the metaphor or the tactile image or the I like to say the modern day mustard seed that’s going to help people carry that idea with them. You know, when Jesus picked up that mustard seed, he assigned new truth to it. And you can bet that anybody from that day forward that saw mustard seed remembered the lesson on faith that he taught to it.
Jason I mean, that was the story, is that this this starts off this little seed and becomes this great tree. Your faith is like this. It can move the mountains. And so rather than just having a catchy title what is that tactile image that inherently understood symbol that someone actually might encounter again when worship is over and we encounter the gospel.
Jason And then the last question I always like to ask is what is sort of the goal or the desired outcome of the worship that you do? Like what? Where do you want this story to get people at the end of the day when they get in their car or they turn off the stream or whatever they’re going to ask, so what?
Jason So what does this have to do with my life? And if they can’t answer that question, you probably didn’t give enough thought to what story you are telling and where you wanted that story to get them.
Rob Yeah, those are great questions. And thank you for giving away some of your content. It seriously, just to give a little teaser of I know some of the things that you address in your in your webinars and I’ve, I’ve sat in on, on them to our church. Our staff participated in one and it was such great practical content like that.
Rob And sometimes we just fall into these patterns of how we think about worship, how we plan worship, the different steps that we do, we fall into these patterns. And so to have a chance to really pull back and say, hey, in light of this pandemic, in light of the fact that people are experiencing worship in a different way now, but like I said, with the both and even even if you’re live in the room, how can we tell the story better?
Rob So it really has merit to both of these ideas really, really well. And you’ve got a new book. They just came out, right?
Jason I do. The book dropped on February 14th, and it’s called Both and Maximizing Hybrid Worship for In-person and Online Engagement. And so it gets into all of the things I just talked about and a whole lot more.
Rob Trying to play devil’s advocate a little bit here with something. So I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. So you you talked about the metaphor of if you convert a book to a movie and most people would say the book is better every now and then, a movie might might be better than the book. But but usually people like yeah, but but the book was better and I wonder for churches, you know, Neil Postman wrote a book amusing ourselves to death.
Rob And in that book, he really talks about how some mediums are just insufficient for communicating different things. And he said this he wrote it back in the eighties when Cheers was a great TV show that was on. And he said, TV is great for Cheers, but it’s terrible for the nightly news because, you know, in 2 minutes they’re going to try to summarize a very complicated thing and then followed by a Coke commercial.
Rob And, you know, it’s just like it just it’s just an improper medium to communicate deeper ideas and think about teachers in the classroom. And they were forced to go virtual. The principal of our kid’s school, she said, you know, this would have been a year and a half of training for us. And now in two weeks, we’ve got to figure this out.
Rob And everyone did. But as soon as kids could go back to school, for most kids and teachers, it was better. It was just better. It’s just a challenge.
Jason Yep.
Rob And I wonder to what degree, as we think about now, we have to do worship online. I think because worship is a huge part of what we do. This church and it needs to be excellent. But at the same time, are we fighting an uphill battle where ultimately it’s really hard to hold hands and sing a hymn together online?
Rob There’s some things that just can’t you can’t replicate. Now, I know you have an Oculus headset and maybe in ten years I really do think maybe we will be able to experience online worship as though we’re actually in this space. I don’t think we’re there yet. And so is it an uphill battle?
Jason I think different mediums have different strengths and weaknesses. You know, as Postman States, I think part of the deal here is that people didn’t even recognize that they have to adapt the story so online worship, if we just put a camera in the room, does not doesn’t reimagine the story at all, and then it really doesn’t work if I’m just watching it you’re absolutely right.
Jason In fact, I ask this question in most of my seminars How many of you like the book burn the film? And almost everybody says always or almost always there are a few rare exceptions. In fact, when I was writing the book, I did a little research and found that, like, you know, Forrest Gump apparently was a terrible book, but it was a really good movie.
Jason Oftentimes people say Jurassic Park was a better movie than it was a book. I don’t know, maybe a Michael Crichton fan. May or may have a problem with that, but I don’t the reason I call the book and the training both end and not either or is that I don’t think that online worship should replace in-person worship. I also think that we cannot deny what the Holy Spirit is doing through this worship that I believe can be very transcendent.
Jason I’ve heard so many stories in the work I’m doing about how people are moved. Some folks have actually joined churches that are not in their area. They’ve supported ministries financially from other states. They’re making connections and doing Bible study. One church I’m working with told me that every and every metric, they are up their attendance online and in person.
Jason Now they’re not doing as many in person, but when you add online and in person, they’re reaching more people than they’ve ever reached. They’ve got more people participating in Bible study because they’re doing hybrid Bible study. Now, they’re their food pantries, better stocked than it’s ever been, and people are participating in missional things more than they did pre-pandemic so this church is creating a transcendent experience of of worship.
Jason I keep reminding folks also that hybrid worship is just a return to the roots of our faith. I want you to consider that Paul conducted hybrid ministry. You know, all throughout acts. He’s preaching to people in person, and then he finds himself in prison and he’s writing these letters, these epistles. Right. And he is leading the early church through letters.
Jason They’re not physically in the same space. And when you read Paul’s writings, actually, he says over and over, I wish we were together. I long to be with you. I wish we were in the same place. Nobody says, Well, these shouldn’t count. These aren’t real, because he wrote them as letters, not as a name. He didn’t deliver this in person.
Jason So it’s less than right. Right now. Again, I spent 20 plus years teaching churches how to do in-person worship, and it will always be my favorite form. I would much rather ride a real rollercoaster than one on my virtual reality headset I don’t feel any G-forces. I don’t get any butterflies going up the hill. And in fact, December of 20, 20, my wife told Santa Claus I wanted one for Christmas and I got it.
Jason And my, my siblings and I went together, bought my dad one as well. And my dad called me, I don’t know, a week or two after Christmas. He’s like, Hey, I want you to download this roller coaster. Let’s ride it together. And, you know, it was the most, most death defying coaster I’ve ever been on, you know, highest, fastest whatever.
Jason But like I said, I didn’t feel anything when I was riding except that I felt connected to my dad, who was laughing his head off as we were on this coaster together. That was the real part. So I don’t even like the word virtual worship to describe worship. It’s there’s it’s not virtual. It’s actual worship. It’s not simulated.
Jason It’s not fake worship. But still, I would much rather ride a real roller coaster with my dad than I would like to ride a virtual roller coaster with with him. So there is something to be said about the in-person versus online. My daughter last night with her school got to go watch Hamilton live. There was a performance here in Dayton, Ohio.
Jason Of course, she’s watched Hamilton, you know, a ton of different times. She’s a huge Hamilton fan, has watched it countless times on Disney Plus. But there’s nothing like going to see the show in person and experiencing it with other people. I’ll just share one final idea and you can cut any of these that you want to.
Rob But I wouldn’t dream of it just seeing it.
Jason I’m a big I’m a well, I was a fan of the original Matrix you know, they started to go downhill. Matrix two and three were, you know, I guess I liked them at the time. But when I heard the New Matrix film was coming out, I was you know, I was cautiously optimistic that it might be a cool thing.
Jason I have AT&T, and because of my plan, I get HBO Max for free. I mean, if it’s included and I could I could have watched that the day it came out, but I chose not to watch it. I actually went and bought a ticket to watch it in the theater because I wanted to experience it with other people with my popcorn in my hand, you know, sitting in with the sound that is better than what comes out of my TV and all those things.
Jason There’s just something about that communal experience that’s different. So I don’t think one is necessarily maybe I do think in-person might be better than online.
Rob But it doesn’t discount that that the power of online to to really do something in people’s lives. And I appreciate what you said, the Holy Spirit and that’s really where the power comes from can be very active in that.
Jason Yeah. I mean, we’ve got to remember that on Pentecost, the Spirit came to reside within us. We didn’t have to go to the temple anymore to go find God in a place, but God is everywhere. God is in us now. And I think we we have to lean into that a bit. And I’ve had people say things about, well, if it’s not embodied worship where you’re in the space, it’s not really worship, but you need your fingers to press the keyboard.
Jason You need your ears to hear, you need your eyes to see. And I read one article from a Catholic Liturgies Professor who said that for her, what she loves about online worship is that she can dance during the Gloria Patri, she said, Oh my God, they would put me in a white jacket that zips in the back if if I did that in our Catholic mass.
Jason So she said, I get to engage in worship in a different way through through online.
Rob I love that. That is hilarious.
Jason We are making real connections with real people through online worship, I think because we can’t see them and we don’t know how to quantify the numbers they don’t feel real to us. But, you know, the truth is, Rob, I would much rather be hanging out with you in the Dallas area right now in person and go to dinner and you know all that.
Jason But we’re we’re having this conversation digitally. And, you know, recently I took a trip to Disney, and I know your wife helps people book excellent Disney vacations. And you were giving me some tips. And, you know, we were exchanging private messages and, you know, you were invested in what was happening in my world and vice versa. And those are real connections.
Jason Yeah. I think what I’ve been saying is that in 20, 22, every church needs to start thinking about online engagement and relationship building.
Rob I’m say, for those of you who don’t know Jason as I do, he is an uber fan of both Star Wars and Back to the Future. We’re talking like dressing up as Marty McFly. We’re talking movie props. I mean, it’s just incredible. His level of fandom there for those for those stories and when you were in Disney World, Jason, I was praying that you would get on the Rise of the Resistance Ride, which is such an immersive, incredible experience.
Rob And I thought if anybody needs to ride this, it’s Jason Moore. And that’s great storytelling and a ride. You know, it is.
Jason You don’t feel like you’re on a ride, but thank you for the prayers because I, I felt like I almost went to Disney. Just, just a ride. Rise of the Resistance. I was going to be so bummed if I didn’t make it, but we made it was awesome. To to other just quick, quick stories. One is I had a pastor tell me that he’s got a he’s leading a largely retirement age community.
Jason So when they went online, it was really hard because they didn’t know how to use technology. So he kind of put word out one night, he said one Sunday, I think he said in worship, hey, who among you feels comfortable with technology? Meet me Tuesday night at the church. I will provide pizza or something, you know? So he said I had four people show up he said we spent that evening thinking about what the three or four steps it took to lead some.
Jason I didn’t know anything about how to get on Zoom, which is where they were conducting worship. So they created these little laminated cards, put them together, and then they created a sign up, which they couldn’t do digitally because no one knew how to use it, but they actually let people sign up and then they went to their homes and messed up and socially just, you know, very careful, gave them these cards, showed them exactly what they had to do, you know, maybe even put up startup items on their computers that would come right up and all that.
Jason And the pastor said, My people have never felt so cared for as they did when we went into their home. So we went to them and help them learn. They’re not techno whizzes now, but they know how to get online and worship with us. So I thought that was pretty cool. That is cool. The other one that I really thought was cool is there was a church in Indiana that asked me to seek out worship this summer, and at the beginning of worship they said We want to welcome you here if you’re in the room with us this morning and if you’re worshiping online and we want to say a special welcome to our friends
Jason at Heartland Nursing Home who are worshiping with us this morning and afterwards I said, that was pretty cool that you called them. And I said, Oh, let me tell you about what we did. We raised the money to buy them a large flat screen TV and since we broadcast on YouTube, our worship is available on a smart TV just by turning it to, you know, HDMI two or whatever, following the instructions so we went and set everything up.
Jason And now in their common area, every Sunday, a large group from that nursing home come and worship together and we almost consider them a second campus, so we took worship to them. I also heard about a church that did sort of the same idea and a prison where they bought a television for inmates. And they even included a time at the end of their worship where people, when worship finished, could approach a mic and offer well-wishes to their friends or family that are inmates.
Jason And it actually brought more people to their church because they’re like, I would love to go not only to worship, but then get to say, We love you, daddy. We’re thinking.
Rob Oh my gosh.
Jason Yeah.
Rob So, oh, my gosh, what a gift That kind of hit me emotionally. They’re like, What a gift to be able to be able to address your loved ones in that kind of a way. What a gift.
Jason Yeah. So, you know, there are so many new ways to tell our story, and the very first passage in the book is The Great Commission. I really do believe we’re living in a great commission moment. We’ve got to figure out the whole baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That’s a little harder to do online.
Jason But we cannot deny what the Holy Spirit is doing. Through hybrid worship. I know it’s a repeat, but I think it’s important enough to say a second time.
Rob Yeah, well, you’ve you’ve been a servant to the to the church in these past couple of years in so many ways. And like I said, your experience as a storyteller and being comfortable digitally, I’m grateful to you and on behalf of all the churches and in groups that have taken part in your in your seminars, your content is just top notch.
Rob And I know that you’ve helped a lot of churches who didn’t know how to do any of this. Move the needle. And so I’m grateful for that. And I hope you have a lot of success with your book. I can vouch for the content in it. It is terrific stuff, and it’s available at Invite Resources dot com. Yes.
Rob And so that’s a great place on Amazon, too, I assume in other places as well.
Jason Yeah, I believe it’s in all the places.
Rob Well, thank you. Thank you for visiting with me today. Jason. I appreciate your friendship, bro.
Jason Hey, Rob, it’s been fun chatting and hey, I wish you nothing but success on the podcast.
Rob Thanks, buddy. I really appreciate that.
Rob So there’s more if you go to the story that writes is dot com, I’ve got links there to Jason’s book to some other resources, including pictures of Jason’s office, which is been redecorated in Star Wars style. And if Jason lets me, there might even be some pictures of him dressed in Back to the Future garb to when I said he’s an uber fan.
Rob I really meant it. The guy loves the stories. Thanks for tuning in. I hope you listen to the next episode. It’s going to be a good one by the story that writes us as a part of the discipleship ministries of Custer Road United Methodist Church in Plano, Texas.