Dumb Things I’ve Done

At the first big church that I served at, we had what we thought was a great idea… “Let’s ask our people to review our services,” we said to ourselves. “It’ll help us to know what’s impacting them in a positive way and what’s not working as well.” It looked great on paper. So we actually did put it on paper. We created a two-sided sheet asking folks to rate every element of the service, from the arrival in the parking lot through the child check-in procedure through the worship music through the message. In detail. “Rate each of these 1-5,” we said, and provided plenty of space for extra comments. Then we choose random people each week and handed them out, 10 or so per service.
The problem? We were unintentionally asking people to change from what they were – people engaging with our services – into something far, far less valuable (especially for them) – people judging our services. Instead of thinking “Could this incredible Hope possibly be true?,” they started thinking “Was that delivered well?” Instead of being floored by person after person expressing their love for God through baptism, they started thinking “Was the lighting on the baptism tank good?” That’s a major biff on my part, and the sad thing is, I find myself being tempted to do it (in various ways) again and again….

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