This week we've been talking about the Sunday morning experience. As pastors and church leaders, we have a desire for our gatherings to be special and meaningful, full of impact and energy. But the reality never quite lives up to the fantasy for 200churches, and unfortunately many of us hold ourselves up to standards that truly are impossible based on our facilities, our congregations, and, realistically, our budgets. How much does a fog machine cost?!
While Jeff (who wrote Monday's post) was away to visit his daughter, I was taking a group of students on a service trip to Des Moines. While there, we attended my old church which meets in a school, has a very different style of worship than our church, and reaches a very different demographic than our congregation.
And that's the point.
Every church is culturally situated. Every congregation, every building or meeting place, every Sunday morning service (or Saturday night, or Friday afternoon, or whatever group meeting time you might have) exists in a particular time and place, and has the ability to reach particular people because of that situation. Jeff's daughter's church is different than ours, but both can be healthy and vibrant communities. Neither is better than the other, each is simply suited better for its environment.
So when we set out to create an amazing Sunday morning experience, what model are we using? Are we just trying to import what we saw at the latest conference or live-stream of our favorite mega-church pastor, or are we preparing for Sunday mornings that connect with our people and our specific community? Your church is boring. Probably to the majority of the people in the world. But to the people that God has given you to guide, and the people in your surrounding community, your church can be exactly what they want and need. That looks different for all of us, but it's our responsibility as pastors and leaders to discover what our community needs.
No matter what our service looks like, the three areas we talked about Wednesday are still indispensable:
Put these three principles at the center of your Sunday morning experience, and it will have an impact on people. Church isn't meant to be boring, at least not for the people who faithfully attend yours!
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