If you are thinking about introducing something new into your church, then before you do, ask the question “Can we keep this up week after week, through the winter and into the summer over the next few years.” You see, often we rush ahead with a great idea and either we do something as a big one off for one week or we attempt something different that fizzles out over time.
The result of this is that if we do the big event to draw people in, when they return the following week, they discover that the church is nothing like their initial experience. I think it’s worse still when we attempt to do something that’s meant to be the new normal but then it drops by the wayside. It gives people a feeling of lost momentum and lost interest. It suggests to them that we don’t have staying power and commitment. It also creates an environment where people experience feast and famine. For example, if the plan is to have a music group playing contemporary songs you might have a full band with different instruments on week 1, a guitar, keyboard and drum for a few weeks and then just the keyboard for a few months before someone puts in some effort again and brings the band back together. Better to commit to having a couple of instruments each week and make sure you do that consistently.
The other problem is that when we function like this, we tend to forget that it’s the small things that matter. We focus on our big ideas to get people in but we forget to keep focused on the small things.
- Are there enough seats out?
- Is there someone welcoming?
- Are there enough helpers in the children’s group?
- Is the heating set to the right temperature?
And of course, the biggest need for consistency in church is around the very thing we are meant to do, that people are coming for. It would be no use having all kinds of occasional attractions to draw people into your restaurant if you forgot that the objective of the venue was to serve food and if people couldn’t guarantee that if they turned up for a meal that there would be enough of it and that it would be edible.
Whatever you do, make sure that you are consistently feeding people well with God’s Word.