How would you describe your church? How would you describe the collection of ministries of your church? Particularly your ministries and programs designed to meet the needs of adults?
I'm always looking for ways to better describe a phenomenon that occurs naturally in churches everywhere. I sometimes refer to this phenomenon as the Smörgåsbord of Destinations. Can you see already what I'm talking about? Or do you need a little help? See also, A "Plated" Meal Leads to a Church OF Groups.
A smörgåsbord of destinations occurs when ministries and programs are encouraged (or allowed) even though they aren't a step that leads anywhere you want people to go. For example, you have difficulty saying no so you make space available for a class that is an opportunity for adults to learn more about the Bible. Not bad unless the class becomes more like a club for sponges that never get squeezed out (i.e., no one is really applying what they're learning...they're just learning).
Or maybe you made space available for a marriage 101 class that over time became an opportunity for marriage groupies to hang out and study the latest marriage curriculum. Not really an opportunity to go out and share what they're learning. More about benefitting from than contributing to. And to top it off, it often comes at the expense of leading a group or being a member in a group.
A smörgåsbord of destinations.
Sequential and Tailored Next Steps
Contrast the smörgåsbord idea with a set of sequential and tailored next steps. They lead in the direction you want everyone to go. They lead only in the direction you want everyone to go.
These next steps are designed to pull unconnected people from the anonymity of the auditorium into a next step that is specifically tailored with them in mind. And, the objective of the careful design is to also provide another next step that is easy, obvious and strategic. See also, Create Connecting Steps that Are Easy, Obvious, and Strategic and How Would You Rate the First Steps Out of Your Auditorium?
A commitment to sequential and tailored next steps makes it necessary to say no to any activity or program that can't clearly articulate who it is for. It also makes it necessary to say no to any activity or program that can't identify its own next step.
A commitment to sequential and tailored next steps makes it necessary to say no to any activity or program that can't clearly articulate who it is for. It also makes it necessary to say no to any activity or program that can't identify its own… Click To Tweet
Need help making this happen? Consider taking my mini-course: How to Design NEXT Steps and FIRST Steps.
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