“If you have a sign with interchangeable letters . . . don’t advertise the start of worship services – drive them to your website for that. Advertise how God is at work within your church; advertise ministry success and ministry celebration. People interested in attending a service will find service times online or by calling the church.” – Scott Vaughn Communications, Church Consultant
Advertise how God is at work within your church…
In a nutshell, this is a key premise of how I look at ministry and church through the lens of In His Steps.
I was the visiting teacher/preacher this past weekend at a colleague’s Disciple congregation and taught this very concept. One of the leaders came up to me at a break and said back to me what he thought I had said. You want us to brag?
His question was not hurtful; he was genuinely searching to connect to the concept. As we continued to visit, it was clear he came from a generational perspective of those that believe service and giving should be done without notice and recognition, and from the standpoint of the server/giver I couldn’t agree more. We should not seek notice or title or recognition in how we serve, lead or give.
But the other and perhaps more important side of the coin is how do we invite or inform without telling others? Those searching for just such a place of encouraged participation as ours might not know we are that very launching place unless or until we tell, not in some look at us or we’re cool or correct and you’re not mentality, but instead offering a clear picture of what servanthood looks like in our ministry practice.
The congregation I visited has many fine ministries, but the one that blew me away was their coat closet. This congregation has an average worship attendance of just over 100 and they provided coats this winter for 800+ deserving elementary students. That comes out to 8 coats given for every worship participant.
I suggested they tell the world how they are that kind of church!
They had never thought of it that way and it never occurred to them that others seeking a church might be looking for significance in just such an active congregation…not measured in size of worship or campus square footage, but in effective and life changing connections.
How many in a significant was the question I asked of them. You could see the light begin to come on. Sometimes in the helping of someone else I am reminded of what I need to be preaching and teaching here at home. We need to be servants not seeking recognition but also telling other potential servants about the opportunities we successfully meet to be Christ’s agents…for some in Midland are looking for a church home like ours.
We are doing the servant part well…we need to continue to work on the telling.
How will they know if we don’t tell them?
(Original content published for FCC Midland, TX in November 2013)