It’s 73 sleeps until Christmas!!!
That means it is 49 sleeps until Advent.
Have you written your sermons yet? Planned your worship?
The thing is, for most churches worship is the central part of the week. It is hugely important.
So, how much do you plan ahead? I know that I’ve spent many a Saturday night writing a sermon but I’ve also been involved in planning worship months ahead.
I spent a day with some of my colleagues from Scotland, Northern and North Western Synods of the United Reformed Church thinking about how we can Think Ahead about how we can involve people in those times when people who don’t often come to church do come.
There are times like Christmas, Easter, Remembrance, Lent, Harvest, Sunday School Prize-Giving, Uniformed Organisation Services where people come to church. For many people these times of connection are important but they can be problematic for churches, particularly those leading worship.
Some worship leaders use the opportunity to berate people for not coming the rest of the year. If that’s you, please stop it. I’m prepared to stick my neck out and say that shouting at people doesn’t help them feel valued and included.
So, why not get together with some other churches months before a significant period and think about what you could do?
Worship is important. If our worship isn’t engaging, inspiring and coherent then people will assume that the rest of our church’s life is none of those things too.
These people who come don’t have a problem with church. It’s important to them.
How can we build on that opportunity? It’s not often that people come to us!
How can we be creative in worship to engage people in ways that aren’t threatening? People want to be included and engaged but not put on the spot or made to feel stupid.
How can we expand our activities around festivals and events? Are there things we can offer which would help people to engage? Food, space, quiet, taking the church to unusual places, debate, resources, creativity, music, film…
None of these ideas are new… but they might be for you. They just take a little bit of planning so that’s why it make sense to plan ahead.