December 29, 2011 Tony Morgan

#1 in 2011: Are events killing the Church?

My guess is you are doing lots of events at your church, but you’re concerned those events may not be helping people take their next steps toward Christ. Why do I guess that? Because this post resonated with you. You made this the #1 most popular article in 2011. For the record, I don’t care how many people show up to your event, but I do want you to have more and more people becoming fully-devoted followers of Christ.

Are events killing the Church?

Tim shared a great post last week about “The New Normal Project” at Granger Community Church. It was a post written about what used to be known as stewardship campaigns. You should check out the full article.

This is the quote that grabbed my attention:

“We had very few extra events (i.e. banquets, home meetings) and focused everything we could around the weekend services. People are very busy with very good things–and most of them can only give us one shot a week. That doesn’t mean they are unspiritual or don’t love Jesus or the church. It just means they are living their lives, investing in their families, and contributing to society.”

Tim was writing about their specific project, but I think we as church leaders need to be challenged by Granger’s learning. Generally, churches are very event-driven. We are a one-trick pony. If we want people to take a next step, we try to gather them at a specific time at a specific location and we teach them. Then, when people don’t show up to our events, we assume they are either unspiritual or uncommitted.

Do you know why we do events? Let me give you a few reasons…

  • We do events because churches have always done events. It doesn’t matter if the event actually helps people or not, we do the event because we’re supposed to do the event.
  • We do events because they’re easy to measure. If more people show up, we assume the event was successful and helpful.
  • We do events because we’re lazy. It’s a lot easier to just throw events on the calendar than it is to think about how we might effectively help people take their next steps…especially if that involves engaging people in relationships.
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Tony Morgan

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group, theunstuckgroup.com. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com.
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