When I was a church planter, I routinely said things like this:
- This is going to be a life-changing Sunday.
- I’m more excited about this weekend than any other weekend ever.
- If you’re going out of town this weekend, change your plans so you can be here. (yes, I really suggested people change their family vacation plans so they could hear me preach)
I look back on those statements (and many others) and regret making them. In reality…
- I had no idea if this Sunday would be life-changing because God’s in charge of that. And we toss around the phrase “life-changing” way too much anyway.
- My excitement doesn’t translate to someone else and saying it over and over again made me sound out of touch. It’s good to be excited but the hype doesn’t help.
- Like anyone is going to cancel family vacation and apologize to the kids so they could go to church.
Here’s an alternate approach. You don’t have to adopt it, but I hope you’ll consider it.
Instead of trying to make every week epic, off the chain or the best Sunday ever, just focus on being consistent.
This Sunday may not be the best Sunday in the history of your church. It might be average. It might be just okay, and that’s okay. Your message this week might be more like a single than a home run, but that’s alright. You might not have moving lights or a talented guitar player or a creative video, but God is still in charge.
Consistently offer people a smile when they walk through the doors. Consistently lift up the name of Jesus. Consistently preach the Word. Do this week after week and don’t worry about being epic.
When I was in high school, I was very involved in my youth group and in my church. We had a great youth ministry and I was blessed to have great youth pastors. When I look back on those years, I don’t remember many epic sermons or amazing weekends. But I do remember a youth pastor who consistently taught God’s Word and invested in people like me. It was consistency, not technology or creativity or seven degrees of awesome that made a difference.
I’m not giving you permission to be a slacker, but I’m telling you to take some of the pressure off. You don’t have out outdo yourself every week to make a difference. Just be consistent.
So What's Next?
Feel like your church should be growing, but it's not? From someone who used to be a pastor and church planter, I know it can be frustrating.
Ultimately, church growth is up to God. But are we doing everything we can to ensure our church is healthy? How do we overcome the barriers we feel are in front of us?
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