Well it did not take me long to find this guy. His name is Joshua J Wulf and he is a devout Hare Krishna. He went to Buckhead Church a few weeks ago and documented better than Dateline could, his thoughts, impressions, and judgments of the church. This would be the EXACT guy Buckhead Church’s philosphy would desire to reach. I wish I could have gotten him to come to Sandals before I left.
I was prepared for anything.
And I was blown away as to his experience with my soon to be teammates.
This article makes the move across the country all the more easy.
This is taken from his blog… http://www.atmayogi.com
This is Part One…
First of all I visited Buckhead Church, one of three campuses lead by senior pastor Andy Stanley of Northpoint Ministries.
I went to the 9 am session. It lasts for one hour, and was lightly
attended. As I was leaving a whole lot of people were arriving for the
11 am session. There is a third session at 6 pm.
Buckhead Church was two blocks away from my hotel. The first thing that
I saw as I approached were traffic direction signs that let me know I
was on the right path. The next thing were orange vest clad volunteers
who direct vehicle and foot traffic, and greet people arriving. They
are part of the Host Services team. I spent some time later in the day
with the leader of this team, Erin, who showed me around the facilities.
Volunteers on the greeting team guide foot traffic and greet arrivals.
Off-duty Atlanta police are paid to direct the traffic. The Buckhead Loop turns into a major traffic jam on Sundays.
Buckhead Church has 60 full time staff, and over a thousand
volunteers on the various teams. Between the three campuses, Buckhead,
Northpoint, and Browns Point, there are 270 staff. On Mondays they have
a combined staff meeting out at Northpoint with Andy Stanley. Buckhead
Church started five years ago, and in May of this year moved into the
new facility. When Erin joined the staff four years ago there were 25
people on staff.
the church I went up an escalator to the first floor and approached the
information desk. There I asked if I could take some photos, and I was
nicely attended by Kristy, who gave me a first-time visitor CD, and a
number of other information brochures, including the order of service.
The staff were really friendly and helpful.
The information desk is staffed by friendly volunteers.
I went into the auditorium, which seats 3000 people in a two tier
seating area. At the door I was greeted by Owen, who shook my hand,
spent a few minutes talking with me, and gave me the handout for the
current series, “Legacy”, given by Voddie Baucham, a black American
preacher from Texas. The handout also included the Order of Service. 9
am – 10 am, perfectly programmed, and running like clockwork.
The main auditorium is a state-of-the-art hall just like any venue
in a modern city used for speakers and musical performances. It has two
large video screens flanking a large stage with a drum kit, keyboard,
guitar and bass set up. There is a full lighting rig (and as I later
saw, dry ice smoke machines), two cameras mounted on tripods toward the
back, and the mother of all sound and lighting control desks, manned by
volunteers and staff. The sound rig is controlled by Protools and all
the sound processing is done in real time using software. There is no
rack of effects. The speakers were using the high-end Countryman earset
microphone (sold by Shure as the Shure WCE6T). Afterwards I talked with
Chris and Ryan, the guys manning the sound desk, about using this, and
Ryan explained that they have to profile each speaker before the event
to get the right EQ to stop it from feeding back.
These first two videos are of the inside of the Buckhead Church
auditorium. It has a mezzanine balcony and seats 3000. It was dark
inside, as there are no windows, inspite of it being 9 am on a sunny
Sunday morning, so it was a little hard to capture, but you get some
This next one shows you the sound desk.
I sat down and watched the ads streaming on the video screens,
promoting various upcoming events, and ongoing “environments” at
Buckhead Church. Andy Stanley and his team use the metaphor of
“environments” for their programs, because their overriding paradigm is
one of intentional relationships, and they view everything in that
Check out the “ads” that play before the service.
At this point one of the staff came up to me and told me that I
couldn’t video during the service, due to copyright issues. The music
that the band plays is copyrighted and they have some special license
to perform it, but cannot reproduce it. You can see the copyright
information in the ads video above.
So I didn’t video any of the service. You can check out this video,
from the Buckhead Church website, which shows you the band, which
rocked out, with Moxy leading the worship. Moxy lead the morning I was
After three songs there was a collection (they pass around buckets
and you put your offering in), and then the sermon began. As I
mentioned previously, Voddie Baucham spoke.
Voddie Baucham and family.
Voddie wasn’t there in person. His sermon was taped live in another
campus on another day, and a huge video screen came down that covered
the entire stage, and he appeared on there, as well as on the two side
screens. Live speakers do a circuit around the campuses, so that
everyone gets some live speakers, some recorded sermons.
Voddie’s sermon was on “Multigeneration Legacy”, and spoke to the
value of family, based on scripture. It was a powerful sermon and I
took a lot of realizations away from it, and a few notes. I also
purchased a copy of his book “Family-Driven Faith” afterwards in the
One thing is this: We will not see the world become completely
Krishna Conscious in this lifetime. Therefore we must contribute our
energies to structures and systems that will last on beyond this
lifetime and continue to gather momentum and fulfill the mission.
Family is one of those.
I took some notes on Voddie’s presentation, including the content
and the structure. He has a doctorate of divinity, and his preaching
style shows it. Tony Evans, Rick Warren, Andy Stanley, and now Voddie
Baucham are all personal favorites of mine.
Voddie developed his message through three distinct phases, and did
it in way that kept the attention engaged. I will write another post
about his sermon. I have it CD, so I’ll listen to it again, and review
my notes before writing that one.
At the end of about 40 minutes Voddie said: “You are dismissed”, and everyone got up and filed out.
After this I spent some time in the bookshop picking up DVDs, small
group study guides, books, and audio books. Then I took a break at the
hotel, and returned to tour the facility with Erin. She showed me
through the four floors of facilities that they have for children.
That will be another post, so that you don’t get too overloaded.
…Begin Carlos’ thoughts
WOW. I am SO pumped about his experience. Big Ups to Erin and the host team for showing this guy Authenticity and Realness and allowing him to feel freedom while maintaining the integrity of the vision to allow EVERYONE an opportunity to hear the Truth of the Gospel from where they sit.
There are 2 more parts to his post. I will load them later.
If I remember correctly, he pulled this off a lot better than I tried to down the street.
Here’s to undercover Hare Krishna’s feeling the love.