August 20, 2019 Tony Morgan

Why Events are Killing Your Church, and Some Signs That You Need to Stop

You may assume based on things I’ve written before that I’m not a big fan of events.

If so, you would be right.

I think events can be effective, but generally speaking, I think events are killing the church.

 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.
  • We do events because they justify staff positions. Staff members feel obligated to do events to prove the need for their positions.
  • We do events because we have egos. It feels good to get up in front of a group of people and teach them. We feel fulfilled.
  • We do events because we’re afraid to say no. Many times we don’t know when to say no because we haven’t established a clear vision and strategy.
I think events are killing the church. Here are a few reasons why—@tonymorganlive Click To Tweet

That said, I do believe there’s a place for events if they’re done right. Here’s a chart to help you consider what distinguishes a healthy event from an unhealthy one.

If you haven’t before, consider listing every event your church offers in a given calendar year. Then, as a team, assess whether or not it’s healthy. If you haven’t before, consider listing every event your church offers in a given calendar year. Then, as a team, assess whether or not it’s healthy. @tonymorganlive Click To Tweet

Use this as an opportunity to either get the unhealthy events in the healthy column. Or, if that’s not possible, maybe it’s time you stopped offering the unhealthy events.

Then, the next time you try to play the event card, ask this question: “If we can’t do an event, then how might we help people take their next steps toward Christ?”

There may be instances when an event is the right call. But my concern is that we seem to overplay that tactic.

If we get aggressive about eliminating events on our church calendars, the alternatives for helping people take their next steps are going to look a lot like the discipleship relationships we see modeled in the Bible. If we get aggressive about eliminating events on our church calendars, the alternatives for helping people take their next steps are going to look a lot like the discipleship relationships we see modeled in the Bible. Click To Tweet

Whatever you do, don’t continue scheduling the event because you’ve always done it. That’s one of the reasons why events are killing the church.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
,
Tony Morgan

Tony Morgan

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group. 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.