Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Valparaiso is a military town. Today I watched an airshow over my office. Tomorrow I'll probably do it again. With two fighter wings based here, a test wing, and Duke field nearby, we get to see almost every airplane in the inventory, and every now and then some from foreign nations.
It's not unusual on Wednesday night to have someone show up in their BDU's (soon to be ACU's). Lots of retired military lost of contractors. Okaloosa County is politically the most conservative county in the nation.
I've been rereading Ed Stetzer's work "Breaking the Missional Code". I've also been reading Redeemer Presbyterians' Church Planting Manual. My hope in doing that was to gather some insight into the best way to connect with the unchurched here. Sunday night the theme in worship was "Sent To Serve" and I tried to make the point that Jesus was seen with the worst kinds of people. We on the other hand are concerned with getting people like us.
One of the things we did as we transitioned was to relax the dress code here. It started the week after VBS when I kept wearing my khakis and Hawaiian shirts. That was 4 years ago. I'm wondering though if we didn't go just a little bit too far. If we had shirts with logos on them then possibly we could project a more "disciplined" image in a culture that might put that on their list of unspoken values.
Then too, we might need to project that as a "first impression". Giving greeters either vests or shirts might help as well.
The military influence is very strong. Maybe we've missed a chance to sync up and be more effective in drawing them in and keeping them.