By now, most of America has heard about the challenges that the 89th Annual Academy Awards (Oscars) Program had last night. If you haven’t read THIS before you read the rest of this blog.
More specifically, two specific very public mistakes that they made:
One not-so-obvious mistake to a set of virgin eyes was the use of the wrong picture in the ‘In Memoriam’ section. The Oscars were looking to honor Janet Patterson and instead of using the appropriate picture of her, they used a picture of Jan Chapman. Who is VERY much alive and well! She had this to say about the error.
The second mistake was obvious to everyone! When announcing the winner of the Best Picture, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced the wrong winner. Some are saying that it was another Steve Harvey moment.
When watching the video there is a lot to speculate about and I’m not sure that there’s great clarity (to the general public) on why it actually happened. The firm that handles the voting issued a STATEMENT. I think that will be about all that we hear about it from those on the inside.
As I speculated on the moment and watched a few hundred responses on my social media timeline, I couldn’t help but immediately think – The church has a LIVE Oscar celebration every single week! It’s called Sunday Worship.
Although I have had a microphone in my hand for many years, I can authentically say that I have probably CONSISTENTLY had a microphone in my hand every Sunday since late 2000/early 2001. That’s a lot of public face time to make mistakes. And boy have I made them. It’s easy to do. And any Pastor, Minister, Worship Leader that serves in a church can tell you – mistakes are going to happen.
Because of all of the mistakes – on the microphone – that I’ve made, I actually have some compassion on everyone involved.
A post by Jon Acuff gave me even more perspective. See it HERE.
So, with this perspective, compassion (empathy), and reflection, I came up with a pretty brief list of 5 things that the church can learn from the Oscar Awards Ceremony.
- Details matter
One of the large looming questions was how did the wrong envelope get in the right hands at the wrong time? Again, there’s lots of speculation there, but what we can agree on is that somewhere those major details got overlooked. When we consider the mishap of the picture in the Memoriam segment of the show, again, we see where someone either overlooked those details or it didn’t get checked. What’s the solution? Not only should there be folks on your team and within your organization that have an eye for details, but it doesn’t hurt for things to be double-checked and proofed before its put on display for public consumption. Who views your announcements before they are given? Who proofs your bulletin before it’s printed? Who edits your letters before they are mailed? Who walks your campus to ensure that it’s as clean as it needs (and should) to be? Who walks through the administrative details of your processes to ensure efficiency and excellence? Details matter!
- Mistakes will happen
As I shared a bit earlier, anytime there are human beings involved, you can rest assured that some mistakes will happen. As one mentor of mine would always say, “It’s not if a mistake will happen, it is when the mistake happens…” Mistakes are such a part of life that even cartoons have been completed to prepare kids for the reality that – mistakes are going to happen.
- How you handle mistakes matter more than the mistakes
So, once we come to terms with the fact that mistakes are going to happen, we have to be human and humble enough to acknowledge that a mistake actually took place. Acting as if it didn’t happen or passing the blame to others is a sign of poor leadership and undeveloped integrity. Maturity and wisdom compels us to not only acknowledge it, but admit it and face it head on. Mistakes don’t mean that the end of the world has taken place (although it can feel that way sometimes…), it does mean that there is a problem and we need a solution.
I have seen so many Pastor and Ministry Leaders allow their pride or charisma to push them to skip over the mistake. That is more disastrous than the mistake itself. The thing that I find interesting within most organizations is most people already know when the mistake has taken place. They are patiently waiting for the leader to acknowledge it. When mistakes happen, the response and integrity of the leader either builds momentum for the organization or diminishes it.
- Social media is relentless
On my social media timeline, I saw every approach, accusation, and thought process that you can imagine. I saw posts saying that it was staged for marketing, I saw it dubbed as having racial undertones, it was a diversity issue, it was…it was…and then that… People pointed the finger and concocted huge conspiracy theories. It was brutal.
If I were on the committee or within the leadership of the Academy, it would have been a very bad idea to have been on social media the night of the show.
In every sphere of society, social media has changed how we operate. We can try to ignore it or even not utilize it personally, but it is here.
Our churches have to become wiser in how we honor this reality. I use the word honor strategically because a church and its leadership can choose not to participate in social media, but I believe they’ll be hard pressed to convince their followers and community not to engage in it.
Someone in your church is going to tweet a statement, someone is going to check in when they arrive, someone is going to take a picture of something that happened in the service, and someone is going to live stream portions of what’s happening.
If this presence isn’t considered appropriately, leaders will make statements that will later blindside them and their organizations. Churches will consider the implications of its marketing or advertising to outsiders who are driven by the sound byte. And most importantly, the influence of the gospel message through that local church will be impacted negatively.
We have to think through how we operate in a social media driven world.
- Mature people always win
After the mishaps last night, a number of live reporters and broadcasters were seething for a “story”. You could hear the desperateness in their voices and the leading of their questions. You could see the speculation happening live. What I was impressed with was the integrity of both the Producers of the two movies involved and how they handled the error. There wasn’t any grandstanding or finger pointing or “throwing shade” or even calling anyone’s character into question. If it happened, it didn’t happen while the cameras were rolling or the writers were writing. I saw people rising to another level. And with all of the social, political and religious divisive talk that we’ve experienced over the past twelve months – it was refreshing.
Where does this leave us? The world desperately needs leaders who are emotionally, mentally, and spiritually mature. Leaders who will not be driven by agendas and egos. The world is thirsty for leaders who are not caught up with the platform or the personalities of those around them. But leaders who have a moral compass that is built on scripture, culturally relevant, and supernaturally impactful. We have allowed our political platforms to drive our biblical engagement. That’s backwards. We are Christians first. If we get this right, we can have healthy discussions about everything else that comes up. It is impossible for us to speak certain ways, react or respond to those who disagree with us in unhealthy ways, and dismiss the realities of our issues when we are led by the Spirit of God (not the spirit of a donkey, elephant or the winds of social acceptance) (See Romans 8:14).
I hope this quick post got you to thinking on multiple levels about your church and ministry.
It’s worth the consideration since your own event will come every six or seven days.
By the way, here’s a LIST OF ALL THE WINNERS.