Stability isn’t always a good thing. As humans, it’s natural to find something that works and stick with it. The same is true with churches. We do something, it works, and we do it again. We organize a department in a certain way because it worked to organize a different department that way… 

Eventually, something doesn’t work. It’s time to change. Change is the usually the only way to grow [in every sense of the word]. But we can’t. It’s hard to get out of the pattern that we’ve established so strongly. A tool has become a driver. A way of doing something has now become more ingrained – even more important – than the thing itself. It’s like riding a bike on a muddy trail – if you ride in the exact same place, every pass just makes the rut deeper. 

The cure? Variety. Mix things up a bit. For instance, in a weekend service, there are many ways to break out of a rut: 

Do a “reverse” worship set, starting quietly and consistently building and ending with high energy. Start a worship set with a time of corporate confession. Open with a video. Insert an extended time of prayer mid-worship. Open with the message. Put the time of worship in the MIDDLE of the message. You get the idea… 

Now expand that across all of your different departments. Experiment with how you onboard new staff. Try a new location for the middle school retreat. Create a Christmas décor volunteer team [instead of dumping it last minute on the church secretary]. 

Ultimately, breaking routine is part of what makes us feel alive…  

P.S. You can only try new things if failures aren’t viewed as being “fatal.” Don’t get too bent out of shape if something doesn’t work the first time. How will you know unless you try?

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