There are usually a few common denominators that make churches successful…
How are you avoiding dull spots in your church?
Your perspective, voice, and leadership in your church matter.
Prairie Lakes Church in Iowa is unique. Across the state, they have six campuses, a mix of suburban and rural congregations they’ve launched as a part of a strategy to put a Prairie Lakes campus within 30 minutes of every Iowan. For them, embarking on a multisite strategy has been the right answer for reaching more people while staying true to the local culture. A 3,000-seat auditorium? That just didn’t feel like the natural fit to address their expansion needs.
I was recently asked how church leaders can communicate to their congregation the significance and importance of inviting people to their church.
Maybe you can think of ways your church has done this well in the past, or maybe you’ve been trying things, and they’re not working. I don’t know that there’s a one-size-fits-all answer to “inviting,” but I can tell you from experience that sometimes going back to the basics is a good place to start.
Starting a Creative Arts team means different things to different churches.
The term “arts” covers music, print, web, media, dance, drama, etc. So, if you are just starting to build an arts ministry, here are four tips to make it successful:
1) Define the primary purpose of the arts team.
Is it creative message support? Is it music support? Is it graphics and video? Is it creative support for the weekend or is it for all of the ministries? Having a defined focus for the team’s deliverables will provide clarity and allows the team to prioritize and get the most important things accomplished.
2) Choose the right leader.
The leader of the arts team needs to be fully aligned with the mission and vision of the church and with the lead pastor. The right leader can provide an environment where the artists can dream, create, concept and design, but also provide leadership and structure so that projects get accomplished on time, and meet the expectations of leadership. This doesn’t have to be a full-time staff member, but if it is a volunteer, they need to have a contact on the lead team who helps provide accountability and a pipeline to the information a creative team will inherently need to get.
3) Choose excellence.
Focus the scope of what the arts team will spend their time working on. This will allow them to be great with a few things. This links back to tip #1 – defining the primary purpose of the team. Too many arts teams get too many projects piled on them with too little time, and in the end, everything a becomes mediocre. And nobody wants mediocre.
4) Tell stories.
Just as Jesus used parables to communicate truth, use your arts team to tell stories! This includes telling God’s story, telling the stories in your church, telling the stories of your church, and bringing stories/illustrations to life within your lead pastor’s teachings. Nothing is more compelling than to hear the stories of how God is at work in the lives of your people.
Here at The Unstuck Group, almost every church we work with has questions about reaching millennials. The research, and our personal experience, suggests music in the church is important to them, but do most churches really know what millennials are after? We took time this week to ask some young adults for their thoughts on this topic.
As churches grow, so does the need to add services outside of the traditional Sunday morning optimal times. Growing churches are trying new service times on Saturday and Sunday nights with great success. However, with the addition of more services, comes the temptation to add not just another service, but another venue. In other words, instead of just adding a service at a new time, or in a new space, churches are creating a new type of service, often differentiated by a different music style (think “edgier,” “softer,” or “acoustic café”). And while venues with different music styles can be strategic, having one style of music – at all services – is also strategic. Maybe more. Why?
1) More choices. For the attenders of your church and the friends they want to invite, every weekend schedule can look a little different. Schedules are often clogged with kid’s sporting activities, family commitments, work schedules, etc. No weekend looks the same from week to week. With one style of music at all of your services, you actually give your attenders more choices. They can attend any of your weekend services – giving them multiple options.
Contrast that with a multi-venue weekend offering. Multiple venues actually create less choice for people. For example, let’s say we offer three different music styles:
- 9am: Traditional worship
- 11am: Contemporary worship
- 6pm: Acoustic worship
…then they really only have one choice – the time their preferred music style is offered.
2) Excellence. Another benefit of offering one music style at all services is an increase in the overall service quality. With limited time and resources, it’s hard to implement 2-3 music venues with excellence. More leaders, more musicians, more management and more leadership is needed to pull it off. But, having one style allows you to pool your hiring, recruiting, training and rehearsal efforts. This results in a stronger, higher quality experience because you are maximizing and focusing your resources.
3) Consistency. Lastly, by implementing one music style, you will have clarity around your church’s brand. No matter what service someone attends, they will find an experience that is consistent across all of your services. It also makes for an easier invite. Instead of having to explain what is offered when, and which service you think someone should try, you can just invite someone to come anytime it fits their schedule.
Offering one style provides more choices, increased quality, and a more consistent weekend experience.