All topics are not created equally. Know what I mean? Whether you’re talking about a weekend message series or small group curriculum, the topic you choose determines some things right away. If you think about it, you can see that certain topics would have great appeal to your church members but might repel their neighbors. Other topics might be very appealing to seekers but seem too simple for long-term believers. With me?
So the question is, “How do you determine what topic makes the most sense when you’re designing an alignment?” I’ve found what I call the Easy/Hard Continuum a good way to understand the challenge.
What’s it mean? A topic that belongs on the “easy” end is one that would be easy to invite my neighbor to talk about (whether it’s a weekend message series or a small group study). Think 40 Days of Purpose. At its peak it was easy to invite your neighbor because everyone had heard about the Purpose Driven Life. Right? Other topics on the easy end might be stress, relationships, marriage, etc. You get the idea.
What about the “hard” end? Do a six-week series on hell or judgment and see how easy it is to get your members inviting their friends. That is why it’s called the “hard” end of the continuum.
What can you learn? If you’re putting together an all-church alignment and you want your members to invite their friends…better choose from the “easy” end. You’re leaving a lot on the table if you don’t. For more on this see my post on exponential outreach. On the other hand, if you’re trying to deepen your members or lead them through a capital campaign…ok to go with a series that is a little harder. Let’s be clear though, it doesn’t make sense to overlook this important understanding.
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