In a writing groove today....only posting SOME of it. Bear with me.
I want to list a few obvious realities that are on my mind right now. Warning: They are obvious. Second Warning: If we pay attention to them, they could lead us to a transformational discovery. See if you can track with me here:
(Disclaimer: The following statements apply to most people, not all! If you are retired or single or have a really organized world, this may not apply to you. Think with me about the majority.)
- People are busy!
- Many of the people in our congregation work jobs that have them away from the home 10-12 hours a day (including the commute).
- For most, they have about 3-4 good hours a night to cook, eat, shop, run errands, spend time with kids, bond with spouse, get on computer, watch a show, clean, and whatever else they have to do! There is NO extra time.
- Most people in our church WANT to grow in Christ!
- Most people in our church WANT to form meaningful relationships with other believers.
- Most people in our church WANT to support and live according to the vision of the church.
- It is not an issue of desire. The demands are just too great.
- Saturdays are like GOLD!! Everything under the sun has to get shoved into Saturday because you know you cannot get in done during the week or on Sunday.
- But, Sunday! Sunday! Sunday, MOST people get dressed, leave their home, travel to 10411 Greenbelt Road and "go to church." 300-400 people vote with their feet every Sunday morning that they ARE able to dedicate that time. The demands are low enough on Sunday morning OR they ARE willing to say no to everything else on Sunday morning and BE AT CHURCH!
- But, we want people to come to large group AND small group, right?
Questions that follow these realities:
- Then why...when they have already traveled to the church on a Sunday morning, why don't we provide space for both? Why can't people go to Small Group and Large Group back to back? They are already there!
- Why is Walmart so successful? Maybe because it is a one stop shop? You can get everything that you need in one space and time. Is that appealing BECAUSE we are busy?
- Why did the old "Sunday School Hour" work? Would attendance have been anywhere near the same if Sunday School was on Tuesday night at 7pm at someone's house? I think not! Why? Because we were already at church anyway. Sunday School was a natural part of the Sunday morning experience.
- Now, let's think in business terms for a minute. Imagine that you have 2 products that you want to sell. Now imagine that ONE time per week, several hundred people were coming to your place of business to purchase just ONE of your products. Would you not want to market and sell the other one while you had the hundreds of customers there? Wouldn't you want them to buy both of your products instead of just one? Why would you miss the opportunity to sell the other half of your enterprise while hundreds of customers stand in front of you? It doesn't even start to make sense to me.
- Now apply to church...we want people in Large Group and Small Group gatherings, right? Why aren't we intentionally creating the environment for that to happen on Sundays when the largest amount of people already come?
What would happen if we dedicated 9:00am-10:30am as Small Group Time at CCF and had one Main Worship Service at 10:30am? Actually, people could do Small Group before or after the Large Gathering as well. Weeknights groups could continue at their normal time if they want. Other existing and new groups could begin meeting Sunday mornings at the church or in local coffee houses or breakfast shops. Then, we would all combine for worship at 10:30.
This is hounding me all week! I don't see other churches doing this....and that makes me like the idea even more.
I would LOVE to hear from you on this. In the thinking phase.