Tim Stevens shared a great post recently about “The New Normal Project” at Granger Community Church. It was a post written about what used to be known as stewardship campaigns. You should check out the full article.
This is the quote that grabbed my attention:
“We had very few extra events (i.e. banquets, home meetings) and focused everything we could around the weekend services. People are very busy with very good things—and most of them can only give us one shot a week. That doesn’t mean they are unspiritual or don’t love Jesus or the church. It just means they are living their lives, investing in their families and contributing to society.”
Tim was writing about their specific project, but I think we as church leaders need to be challenged by Granger’s learning. Generally, churches are very event-driven. We are a one-trick pony.
If we want people to take a next step, we try to gather them at a specific time at a specific location and we teach them. Then, when people don’t show up to our events, we assume they are either unspiritual or uncommitted.
Do you know why we do events? Let me give you a few reasons…
The reality is that your “successful” event could actually be doing quite a bit of harm. If you keep people busy at your events, you may be preventing them from investing in their marriage, their children and their relationships with other people, including people outside the faith. You may be preventing them from fulfilling their calling. They think they’re becoming more Christlike by going to church, when you could actually be pulling them away from what God has called them to do.
The next time you try to play the event card, ask this question: “If we can’t do an event, then how might we help people take their next steps toward Christ?”
There may be instances when an event is the right call. My concern is that we seem to overplay that tactic. Here’s my guess. If we get aggressive about eliminating events on our church calendars, the alternatives for helping people take their next steps are going to look a lot like the discipleship relationships we see modeled in the Bible.
Interested in some of my other non-traditional thoughts on ministry strategy? You may want to check out my new eBook.
Tony Morgan is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of TonyMorganLive.com. He’s a consultant, leadership coach and writer who helps churches get unstuck and have a bigger impact. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). With Tim Stevens, Tony has co-authored Simply Strategic Stuff, Simply Strategic Volunteers and Simply Strategic Growth—each of which offers valuable, practical solutions for different aspects of church ministry. His book, Killing Cockroaches (B&H Publishing) challenges leaders to focus on the priorities in life and ministry.
For the original article, visit TonyMorganLive.com.