What do the following three sentences have in common?
- My 14 year old son has grown about 6 inches in the last 6 months.
- My good friend R.B. completed his first college degree in less than two years.
- The weeds in the back lot of the ministry headquarters have grown what seems like 2 feet in the last few weeks.
The obvious answer is “spurts”. Spurts is a simple term used to define a rapid and highly visual growth or advancement. It is found in nature. It is found in humanity and relationships. And…it is even found in church work. Most church growth is in spurts. Back up and take a look and you will see. Growth seems to trigger growth. One family comes and soon, here comes another. One move-in, then another. That’s that way it seems to be.
But maybe you are saying, “NO”. I haven’t seen that. I have not seen the jumps in growth in my church, my youth group, my Sunday school class. I haven’t seen the “spurts”. But I sure would like to!
Well, here is a little lesson I learned from a football coach. I saw an NFL game a few years back where one team just got “lucky” at the end and won the game. The interviewer was asking the head coach about the lucky bounce that resulted in the winning play. The head coach just calmly said his team won because their “preparedness” had just met with “opportunity”. He was in no way surprised at the results because he had worked so hard to be prepared.
I think there is a lesson for us church leaders in that thought process. Are we ready for a spurt? Are we working hard on “preparedness”?
Would you like some of that “spurt” in your ministry? Would it be nice to see a few new faces, have some more kids in the Sunday schools, or even have an overflow in the nursery? I’m for that and I am sure you wouldn’t mind it either. So here are a few areas where we can all work on preparedness.
- Clean Up the Presentations- When the last time you listened to an entire Sunday morning service of yourself on tape? Welcome, announcement, preaching, etc…? How many “ums” and “uhs” could you eliminate? Could there be better clarity in the announcements? Was the closing of the message as sharp as it could have been?
- Meet and Greet- Are you really prepared for and waiting for new guests each Sunday? How could you improve the “first impression”? How long since you have trained folks in Sunday morning hospitality?
- Advertising and Signage- Can folks find your church easily? Online as well as physically? Does your community know where you are and what you are all about?
- Demographics and Geographics- Do you have an intentional and focused plan to reach specific segments of your community? Are you using the scatter gun approach or are you being rifle-like specific in your evangelistic programs?
- Core Vibrations- Does your congregation and regulars know inside-out and upside-down what are the core values of your church? Is the purpose of your church clear in a practical sense, not just a theological sense?
- Comfort the Afflicted-Are you ready (prepared) for new young families to walk in the door this Sunday? Have you done everything in your power to make them informed, comfortable and welcomed?
I believe opportunity spurts are coming your way and my way. I feel it is important that we do all we can to be trained and ready. We have no idea which way the “ball may bounce”, but if it comes near me, I am going to grab it and run!
I hope you are ready to run as well!
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