When we were together yesterday, we went over some strategy ideas for Franklin Christian Church to use to begin their transformative process from a small and drifting congregation to a vital and active one where lives are changed for Christ. Today, we will take a look at another area that will need some attention: What does FCC look like?
Have you ever gone into someone’s home and found that the occupants’ housekeeping was a little lax? Maybe you walked in and saw a big pile of old newspapers on the couch, and noticed that you could write your name in the dust on the coffee table, and were very impressed by the dirty dishes in the sink and the crumbs on the kitchen table when you sat down for a cup of coffee… In most cases, even if your own housekeeping is a little lax, you noticed it right away in someone else’s home… but do they notice it? Probably not, for it accumulated over a period of time, and they may not recognize it quite yet.
Thinking of this, I just ran my finger across my computer screen. Gee, I hadn’t noticed how dusty it is!
Church is the same way, few church leaders ever see what a visitor sees. They see only what they expect to see, and this is not a good thing. Everything that any given church may do on a Sunday morning can be done better, and why shouldn’t it? You are coming to gether to praise and worship Almighty God; take it seriously! Here are some examples of what I am referring to: If you have a bulletin, how does it look? Is it state of the art 1960? Do you start on time? Is the facility clean? Are guests greeted and made to feel welcome? Is the service organized and smooth, or is it disorderly and awkward? How is the quality of the music? Even if your church has traditional music, it needs to be done with excellence; again your singing God’s praise… KNOW THE SONG! Does the church have any audio or visual equipment? If so, is it being used properly without hissing and feedback? Are the sermons of high quality? Organized, understandable and delivered well? Remember, you might be used to it, but a visitor will notice problems immediately, and if you convey an impression to your guests that you don’t care… or are clueless, you will not see them again.
Now to be clear, I am NOT saying that your church, and certainly FCC, should suddenly make total, wholesale earth-shattering changes, but we all need to see what our guests see, perceive what they perceive and make corrections and improvement where necessary. Oh, by the way, if you take a look around and discover that everything you see is perfect and as good as it can be, you might want to look again, and if you still think that, find yourself a “secret shopper” who can tell you the truth, for you are kidding yourself.
Why would I recommend this to FCC? Simple!
Do you recall the Case Study post about leadership basics? Remember the part about leaders receiving permission to lead beyond their job description by showing results? Think about the perception of the congregation when broken things (not that I’m aware of any at FCC) are repaired, and not broken things are made better, smoother or more effective… results that people will notice: a good thing. This is an easy way to gain permission to lead further, and will help to get ready for the new people you are training your members to bring in. People will see that the church is serious, and they will like that… and remember, we aren’t making any real changes, just doing the old things better. Changes, if needed, will come later in the process.