Isn’t That Special?
By Chris Forbes
Has your church been in a slump? You know the signs. The routine starts grinding on your nerves and you find yourself repeatedly doing the same old things. The pizzazz that church once held for you isn’t there.
Remember, if you feel stuck in a rut, your congregation is likely feeling the same way. They are just waiting for you to demonstrate leadership. Renew some excitement by planning a special event.
Doing something new or planning a special emphasis can stir up interest. Whether you schedule a special dinner, design a new outreach program or promote an attention-getting sermon series, there are many tools that can help draw new people. The possibilities are endless.
If you haven’t already done so, why not schedule a “40 Days of Purpose” campaign, based on Rick Warren’s bestseller, The Purpose-Driven Life? The book is so popular (more than 25 million copies sold) it generated Purpose Driven Ministries. This office will supply sermon outlines, flyers and other promotional items to turn this into a community-wide evangelistic emphasis.
For example, numerous churches have sponsored weekly home groups to discuss the material so members can invite unsaved neighbors and friends. Earlier this year in Orlando, Florida a Christian businessman led the enlistment of thousands of lay leaders to offer the study to residents throughout the metropolitan area.
Other ideas include inviting a well-known speaker who will attract guests, hosting a citywide event, or sponsoring a night of clean comedy featuring a Christian performer. The latter idea is becoming increasingly popular around the nation. What you chose depends on the personality of your church and leadership.
Give them a reason
A special event gives members a reason to invite friends and family members to a church event—which doesn’t necessarily have to be held at your building. It also encourages them to reach out and start talking about their church with neighbors and co-workers.
Another point to remember is that special events don’t have to coincide with a holiday. They can pack churches throughout the year. Such attractions can be timed for the kickoff of a popular sports season in your community, an annual, citywide activity or the county fair.
Getting your folks involved in the life of your community will spread the word about your ministry. So will taking steps to bless others from outside the church.
Don’t overdo it, though. You must limit such events to give them the feel of something extraordinary. In other words, you have to be strategic. If you plan semi-weekly attractions and bill each one as “special,” members will soon stop believing in the “specialness.”
Instead, make these times when you break away from the routine and do something different. The emphasis will generate new energy in your church. When you do this, people will tell their friends and invite them. It can’t be business as usual. But then, why would you want it to be?
Look at your calendar and determine a good time when you can schedule an “out of the box” event. Think of something different and unique that will excite your congregation, stimulate interest in your ministry and – most importantly – introduce others to Christ.
This article “Isn’t That Special?” by Chris Forbes is excerpted from www.ministrymarketingcoach.com, December 2007