Here’s an idea for church leaders:
When it’s time to evaluate what’s working and what’s not, and what might need to change in your ministry…
Instead of asking which programs are “working” (which typically means the ones that are well-attended), try asking this instead: What practices are forming us into a community that can pay attention to and participate in God’s mission?
The difference between thinking in terms of “programs” and “practices” is more than semantic.
- We offer programs for people to consume (usually by simply “showing up”), but
- With practices, we invite people to, well, practice them!
A program is just something we can only really attend or support, and it doesn’t have much formative power. A practice is something we do together that shapes and forms us as a community.
What if every ministry at your church needed to be filtered through this lens of “practices that form us to pay attention to and participate in God’s kingdom”? If the ministry or church activity doesn’t lead us into that, we stop dong it.
It might change a lot of what you do. It could also change a lot about how you do what you do.