Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Are Churches Becoming too "Event Driven?"

You know the drill.  There’s something happening every night of the week.  Or there is a big pageant, cantata, banquet, special play, meetings, activities, membership drives, potlucks, special concerts, add infitim.  It all adds up to a bloated church calendar and burned out people.

Generally speaking, churches are event-driven or program-driven.  We plan an event, get people to sign up, and ask them to show up at a specific time.  Then, when they don’t show up to our event, we assume they are either unspiritual or uncommitted.  And those who do show up are often dead tired. 

Let’s be honest here.  Most people are already very busy with good things going on in their lives, such as work and family responsibilities.  Consequently they have a limited about of time they can donate towards church related activities.  As a rule of thumb, most people will participate in only one or two time slots a week.  This doesn’t mean they are unspiritual, don’t love Jesus, or don’t love the church.  It just means they are living their lives investing in their families, going to work, and contributing to society.

Why do churches become event driven?

·        We don’t know how to do ministry any other way

·        Events are easy to measure

·        We do events because we are afraid to say no

Yes, a certain number of programs and events are necessary in church ministry.  My only point is that there are usually too many of them and people get so busy propping up the program that they miss out on the relational aspect of Christianity. 

The Greek word for fellowship is Koinonia which means communion, and is used in the New Testament to describe Christian relationships in the early church.  This is the missing ingredient in event-driven churches today.  That is why we have narrowed our focus of ministry events at PCC to a few things only.  Beyond that, we want to be more “organic” and relational - just like we always have been.

I’m pondering a phrase - Organic Community - and I want this become part of PCC’s vocabulary and ministry philosophy.  You'll be hearing more about it soon.

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