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Grace News & Good Ideas
January 27, 2010
why not everything for everybody?

Not long ago, someone was expressing some appreciation for a program that our church was offering and I jokingly said, "That's what we try to be...a full service church." But it wasn't true. We really don't try to be and, for most churches it isn't a great goal to have anyway. Somewhere along the way we got the idea that to be a great church we needed to provide a ministry or program for every request that came in. In other words, the goal was to become a spiritual shopping mall. And when we look at mega-churches and see all of the services that they provide, it is easy to be jealous and think that their many services are WHY they are a big church.

 

But there is an error in that thinking. In some recent research it was found that the favorite size of a congregation is 200 (give or take),  BUT with the program offerings that would take a church of at least 2000 to provide. In other words, there is a constant potential for discontent, based on the discrepancy between our desire for programs and services and what we can actually offer. But the ability to offer multiple programs is not really the goal, is it?

 

 Instead, since we are in the life transformation business, we are better off first getting really clear about why we are here and what our mission is. Once that is not only clear but compelling and embraced by the church, we can plan activities that will help us pursue that goal, allowing God the room and environment to work. We don't have to provide everything to everybody. We DO have to align all our efforts in connecting people to God.

good ideas:
1.  Have your leadership summarize what they believe your church MUST be doing (this may or may not reflect your written mission statement).
 
2.  Evaluate your list of programming and evaluate with a "yes" or "no" as to whether each item advances the cause of your MUST. 
 
3.  On the "yes" items, shoot for excellence.
Michelle Jenks, Grace Institute
2770 Montgomery Rd, Aurora, IL 60504
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