Today, we introduce you to Amy Anderson, another of our fantastic new consultants on the Unstuck Team. Amy has 10 years of leadership experience in the corporate world and 12 years of experience developing artists, building and developing weekend planning systems and helping lead Eagle Brook Church, a large multi-site church in Minneapolis, MN, as a member of its Executive Team.
We asked Amy to share a little about how she found her passion for helping churches get unstuck, as well as some very practical tips for churches who want to improve their weekend services.
TIFFANY: At what point in your experience working in ministry did you realize you wanted to help more churches?
AMY: I often had requests from other church leaders to meet and talk through challenges they were facing. These meetings were my favorite calendar appointments! After spending an hour or so together, creative solutions were emerging, problems were being solved, and their passion to lead was returning.
I remember one lead pastor who, after our time together, took the bold step to invite input into his sermon writing. That was a pivotal shift in his writing process that brought his messages from good to great. You can bet I smiled every time he let me know how his church was growing and reaching people for Christ. He didn’t need a major overhaul; he just needed to adjust the dials a little bit on his process. And, that’s what I love helping churches do.
TIFFANY: What are some of the simplest changes a church can make to improve its weekend service experience?
AMY: These are changes any church, no matter the size, can start doing right away:
- Give your Lead Pastor time to write, prepare and develop the weekend message. Find ways to offload tasks and responsibilities that someone else can do so that the Lead Pastor can do what only the Lead Pastor can do. Giving more time to your communicator to read, think, write and prepare will instantly improve your weekend experience.
- Invite feedback. Give some trusted people permission to tell you what’s working and what’s not in your weekend service. Let them help identify the blind spots that you don’t see. This is especially important for anyone on your platform! Pastors who teach and worship leaders who lead do not have a full perspective on the effectiveness of their message or worship time.
- Assign someone to represent “the average new person.” Give someone the responsibility to take in the weekend service through the eyes of a new person. Better yet, have this person go to church with a new person. I guarantee they will see things they’ve never paid attention to before. All of a sudden it matters how long the announcements are, how good the music is, and how applicable the message is. And then…
- Commit to making the tough calls. Not everyone gets to be on the platform. Not every activity gets to be announced. Not every singer gets a solo. Excellence and effectiveness are in the details. Making the right, often tough, calls is what will move your weekend services from good to great.
TIFFANY: Last question. In your opinion, what’s the single most important creative element churches should be investing in to connect with the next generation?
AMY: When you ask what is the the most important creative element, my answer is video. And to be more specific, it’s video for the primary purpose of telling stories. Story is king with the next generation. Real stories of transformation, hope and healing.