To get 3 churches to be excellent together–we have to simplify just about everything.
So much church programming is a mile wide & an inch deep.
It comes from an understanding that the more choices, the more options you give people, the more entry options there are, the more likely people will come to, and join, your church.
Except, that understanding is wrong. The New York Times story on how too many choices actually reduces commitment or buying, is here.
It turns out that more choices don’t actually help– attract or keep people. For one thing, it makes a church lose focus– because newcomers can’t tell what’s really important.
Let’s see– yoga class, New U, adult discussion group, or a congregational meeting. I guess since they’re all getting equal space, they’re all equal.
No wonder newcomers are confused. And this is an epidemic among our churches. From the smallest fellowship to the largest churches– if you check their newsletter– so many programs, and not enough time.
And, when we’re spread too thin– excellence is unlikely. We have less coherence, we confuse newcomers, we won’t list a hierarchy of importance of what we do at church– we– frankly– fail to lead.
Larry Osborne, in his classic book, Sticky Church, says we can really only ask our people to go to two things for church.
If one of them is Sunday Worship, then what is that 2nd thing you want people to go to? (for us, it’s Growth Groups).
So, the general idea is to do fewer things, but go deeper. Needless to say, this frequently creates a political problem, which is one of the reasons it is so hard to implement,.
Our sermon series concentrates our programming. Sunday worksheets help us focus. And Growth Groups give the Sunday experience more depth.
What do you think about the idea of having 10 or fewer programs / ministries at your church?
And. While we’re at it– let’s not divorce the sanctuary service & religious education. Let’s make them the marriage they were meant to be.
Want to dig deeper into this concept? Check out this book.