“Have you heard what ABC Church is trying to do?” Seems like there’s always a buzz going among church leaders, as they learn from each other and are inspired by each other’s creativity and faith.
Yet have you ever wondered why one church becomes the go-to place and its pastor the speaker at every other pastor’s conference, while another church and its pastor are equally exciting and innovative — but no one has heard of it?
Here are a few possible reasons why. What are your thoughts?
1. The church is growing at a phenomenal rate, catching everyone’s attention. (Note: This means attendance, not “membership.”)
2. One or more major media have drawn attention to the church, especially in ways that rank it as “top” this or “fastest-growing” that.
3. The pastor is an excellent self-marketer, such as through a distinctive book, blog, or series of press releases.
4. The pastor has spoken at a major gathering for church leaders, and done well, being authentic, memorable and distinct.
5. The church offers a series of conferences to tell their story in a way that transcends denominational and ethnic lines.
6. The church has an informative and useful website in terms of resources and ideas of interest to other church leaders.
7. Both the congregation and the entire pastoral team see part of their calling as reaching out to serve and shape other churches.
How would you prioritize or expand this list? Why do you think some churches gain a quick buzz and other churches don’t make it on anyone’s radar?
Warren Bird, Ph.D., is Research Director at Leadership Network, and co-author of 19 books on various aspects of church health and innovation.