- We moved to small groups on Sunday night. We felt Sunday evenings were simply Jr. Church. Our small groups have not captured the hearts of everyone in the congregation. We do find them attended better than Jr. Church. And, the fruit of the small groups enhances the family atmosphere a church of 500 needs to assist in maintaining close relationships.
- We ended the Wednesday evening devotionals consisting of a prayer, a mini-sermon, and an invitation song. We were simply going through dullifying motion. A few balked at it's dismissal; not very many. It gives us fifteen more minutes for classes or an event we have every other quarter for adults called PowerSurge.
- The elders formed a finance committee comprised of accountants. No one in the church, on the staff, among the elders can spend money unless the finance committee okays it. The elders shed control over the money. They successfully empowered very capable people to handle this important role. It has been a powerful move.
- The elders ended their weekly and often agonizing meetings which went unnecessarily well into the night hours. They meet with the four male staff members every Monday morning from 6:30 to 8:00. No agenda. No old business. Just random talk which may cover old and new business. We get together for an informal time of listening to our hearts. It's a great part of my week.
- Four to six of us get together every Sunday morning at 7:30 for 45 minutes to an hour of prayer. I used to do this by myself. I don't recall how it shifted but others began to join me and now this "is" the best part of my week. We pray regularly for God to be honored an praised seeking His participation and leadership in our day, thanking God for those who are moving to Memorial who don't know we exist but are so burdened over finding out they have been transferred, for the next elder(s) He chooses to add to our guys in His timing, for the one(s) who will eventually replace me tomorrow or years from now, and for special needs we know of among the flock.
- We let everyone place membership. This changed things at Memorial. Membership isn't a Bible term. Someone made that up somewhere in our past. We have seen denominational friends as well as Catholic ones eventually be buried into Christ as He touched their hearts while being in friendship, workship, worship and fellowship with the small portion of His worldview body at this place. How we celebrate how God moves among us!
- We celebrate! Some raise their hands. Some don't. There are no rules. Some applaud. Others don't. There are no rules. Some stay an hour after services. Others race for the doors. There are no rules. Don't criticize. That is a biblical rule. We simply urge everyone to celebrate God....that is our goal.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
POSITIVE MOVES CHURCHES MIGHT CONSIDER
Over these 30 years at Memorial Drive I've seen a few things work well. Some didn't. I share ideas in hopes that some of them might shed possible light on encouraging/improving your work.