by Kristin Baker, Director of Story

Years ago, I’d get in trouble for laughing in church. Now I get to write things to try to make everyone else laugh in church. Don’t tell me Jesus doesn’t love irony. Here at GCC, our leaders and arts team truly believe in the power of comedy to connect people, ease tension on tough topics and, most importantly, open up hearts and minds so they’re ready to receive the truth of the gospel. Here are seven quick tips and examples that might help you get that combover-sporting, easily offended, scowl-wearing elder to loosen up and let that potluck potbelly shake like God intended.

1.) Hyperbole – Exaggerated characters make it safe to call attention to behaviors that are outside the character of Christ. Sample: Our leaders wanted to call attention to how our culture is tribal and has made sports and entertainment our new religion. They longed to help our people move from just a “fan” of Jesus to a fully committed follower. So in the fall at the height of college football (we live in Notre Dame-ville), we developed a series called “Not a Fan”. This piece “Fansanonymous” was written with exaggerated characters to illustrate some of the concepts in the series.

2.) Fish Out of Water – Place a character in a scene where he is out of his comfort zone and trying to figure out his place. This is a common comedy technique you’ve seen in several films like “Mr. Mom”, “Big”, “Elf” etc. Everyone chooses a character to “ego-identify” with in a scene. This is a vehicle for helping people discover the truth of what the speaking pastor is trying to deliver. In this sample, we were doing a family series and were aware that single people often feel left out when we address topics on marriage and parenting. One of our teaching pastors is single and wanted to devote a weekend to letting single people know that they are valued, that the church is their home, and that family comes in many forms. He also wanted to help married people understand that singleness is not a state to be corrected or looked down upon. Thus—“The Single Guy.”

Continue reading on the GCC Creative Arts Blog...

Heads up! We’ve added several new videos to the store at Now there are more resources to pull from to help plan and execute your next series. Here are a few of the latest videos:

  • Henriette’s Story – Henriette recalls the genocide against the Tutsi people of Rwanda, and the role faith played in her family’s survival.
  • Name Calling – This poem explores the reasons behind the abuse of Christ’s name by people who go by the name “Christian.”
  • Things I Wish Jesus Never Said Trailer – Turn the other cheek. Don’t judge. Don’t worry. Those are all things that are easier said than done. But guess what? Jesus said them. By the way, this video is so new, the series it’s promoting kicks off this weekend at Granger.

Grab these and many more at And to see all the newest additions to the store, browse the “What’s New” section.

by Kem Meyer, Communications Director

I first became aware of your work back in 2007, just after Granger made headlines for the “PureSex” series promotion, which included some suggestive billboards around town. Some people said you went too far with that. How do you know when to go big, to push the envelope; and when to keep things a little more subtle?

There’s no simple answer for this question—and I get this question a lot. Speaking the language of our culture is always going to take us into places of uncomfortable tension because we have the burden of knowledge and desire for purity. And, like every topic under the sun, there will be liberal and conservative debates about it. But, I think it’s worth the risk and you have to find where your own personal conviction lies. It’s different for every church and maybe even different for each pastor on staff at the same church.

Last year, we did a series called “Sex for Sale” and we were fine with it. No moral conflict whatsoever. Ironically enough, the series won us hate mail and phone calls from people who called us evil and corrupt and reported us to the Attorney General and Better Business Bureau. (I kid you not.)

I don’t fear the wrath of what other church people think about the risks we take. Instead, I fear the thought of people who will live an eternity without experiencing Christ. Sometimes, we have to lower the bar so someone can accept the invitation to a higher bar. (I stole that line from John Burke.)

(Excerpt from Ministry Matters Interview | 4 in series of 6)

Our One-Day Workshops are happening this Friday and Saturday. These are intense and focused, interactive learning environments that your whole team can take advantage of. Get away for one day and join us at Granger Commons on Friday, April 25 to learn more about First Impressions, Communications and Kids’ Ministry. Then stay with your team for the Arts All-Access workshop on Saturday, April 26 where you’ll go behind the scenes and attend the Saturday night service.


From the GCC Creative Blog

On April 26th we’re pulling back the curtain and giving you an all-access pass to Creative Arts and Weekend Services at Granger Community Church. You’ll have opportunities to…

  • Learn strategies for crafting services
  • Hear from and ask questions of Granger Arts staff
  • Tour our auditorium and production spaces
  • See a behind-the-scenes look at our service prep on Saturdays
  • Sit with our production team during a service
  • Connect with arts leaders from other churches and discuss similar wins and challenges

Register and get more info on our April and July workshops as well as First Impressions, Communications and Kids’ Ministry One-Day Workshops. We hope you’ll plan to come learn with us.

Did you know WiredChurches hosts workshops twice a year, led by world-class leaders in a variety of fields? And did you know they are a quick, affordable way to strengthen and inspire entire teams of people in one day? And did you also know we have a fresh batch of them coming next month?

It’s true! Now you know. Here’s what we have coming up in April—click the thumbnails for more information on each one:

Learn how to make great first impressions with the guests (old and new)
who walk in the doors of your church.

Have your message be heard loud and clear in every deliverable—
through what people read, touch or click.

From birth through fifth grade, a healthy kids’ ministry can have an enormous
impact on the children and families in our communities.

Go behind the scenes with Granger’s creative and production arts teams
to experience a download of Granger’s creative process and structure.

The First Impressions, Communications and Kids’ Ministry Workshops are one-day events that run from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. on Fridays. The Arts All-Access is a Saturday workshop, from 10 a.m.–6:10 p.m. Lunch will be provided for all workshops. So come with your team on Friday and stay for Saturday’s All-Access event, which includes attending a Saturday evening service. All events are held on the Granger Community Church Campus at Granger Commons near South Bend, IN, just 90 miles east of Chicago and five miles east of the University of Notre Dame.

by Mark Beeson, Lead Pastor

My fast-paced Wednesday began with Granger’s “Manly Man Breakfast.” It ended with “Life Foundations,” where hundreds of people are learning to study the Bible. (Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods: 12 Ways You Can Unlock God’s Word is the great little tool we’re using as a guide. I recommend it.)

After wrapping up yesterday’s afternoon meetings I walked into The Granger Commons, ready for a great night with GCC.

I heard singing. The music was good; the voice was great. Jason was teaching Life Foundations and I supposed he had asked Ellie Holcomb to sing. That was a logical assumption because Jason is brilliant and he often leverages the arts for illustrative purposes. However, when I got closer, I realized Ellie wasn’t in the auditorium helping Jason. She was doing a full-blown concert in The Eatery (which was filled with people who were loving every minute of it).

There I was, face-to-face with a situation pastors either love or hate—two things were happening at once. While people were learning to study the Bible in one room, people were enjoying a concert in another.

Scheduling two things at once puzzled some; it disturbed others.

Continue reading on Mark’s Blog...

We’ve all been there. You’re short on time, fresh ideas—and room in the budget. The weekends are rolling forward, whether or not you have these valuable assets available to you. If it feels like you’re pulling from the bottom of the barrel, and your pockets aren’t lined with pure gold, look no further. Here are just a few of the free resources available right now at

We hope these help. Take them. Use them. Enjoy!

What is art and the Gospel for the people you’re reaching? This year at ReInnovate we’re giving four churches a unique chance to answer. They’ll have the same amount of time to brainstorm and program their own artistic expression of the same topic. Anything goes as long as they use only staff and volunteers from their church—no contracted professionals are invited. One of the key ingredients to innovation—regardless of ministry size, shape or style—is new perspectives on the same topic. Prepare for the unexpected.

Want to take the challenge? Apply to be part of the Arts ReMix at ReInnovate.

To ’ReInnovate’ is the new normal for all of us. Rebuilding. Reproducing. Realigning. Constantly innovating. That’s the norm. This September 18-19, you’ll find strategic and practical ways to explore how this is implemented across the life of the church – in every ministry area.