This is a SMALL CHURCH SHOUTOUT!
As small churches, we can sometimes get bogged down with feelings of inadequacy when we see big ‘successful’ churches doing their thing. I like to call this ‘Little Sister Syndrome’. You’ll see why.
Growing up, I was (and still am!) the youngest of five siblings. I couldn’t help but be jealous of the big, amazing things my older siblings were doing, and feeling like I didn’t measure up because I just wasn’t as successful as them.
I felt competitive, like I had to beat their grades, or get my drivers license first, or be involved in everything at school just to make up for the fact that I was little.
You know what I learnt? That was all a waste of time.
Because the best thing about being younger, or smaller, or just behind someone else, is that you get to learn from their mistakes without making them yourself.
Annnnd, it’s the same for churches.
See, we small churches can choose to look at those big churches and say, ‘Oh, we’ll never get there’, OR we can choose to learn from everything they’ve done, the good, and the bad, and then select from that what will work best for our own churches.
So, while large churches might have control rooms that look like NASA’s, and they can afford to bring in big-name speakers, give free t-shirts to everyone who walks through the door and have more than one person on staff, we get to sit back and watch our older siblings figure it out.
Now, I just want to pause here and say that I am by no means against big churches or their ministry, or anything like that. I believe they do amazing work and are really working to bring people to know Jesus, just like we are.
I am simply saying, make the most of the fact that you have some big siblings to look to for inspiration, which leads me to my next point:
Pick a church for some stylespiration
When I started actually trying to dress nicely in university, every article I read on fashion suggested finding a celebrity who had a similar body-type to me, and similar taste in clothes, so that I could then go and emulate her fashion.
You can definitely do the same with your church.
The great thing about this strategy is:
There are thousands of churches all across the world, and Google will give you access to all of them
You can’t copy exactly what they’re doing (copyright issues do exist in churches too), but you can get inspiration on everything from the colours in their website, to the events they’re running, or the types of posts they’re putting on social media
It helps when you’ve got creativity block and just need to get those ideas a’flowin’!
Where do I find a church for inspiration?
1. Think of 3 key words that best describe your church, or who your church aims to attract.
(TIP: Try to steer away from common Christian-ese - ‘sharing the gospel’ or ‘embodying Christ’s love’ won’t help you in the next step. Think more along the lines of ‘families’ or ‘welcoming’.
2. Type the word ‘church’ along with the words you came up with in step one into a Google search. You may find that it helps you to also add the name of the country you live in.
3. Voila! You should have a list of churches that you can pick from that are heading in a similar direction to your church, that you can then study, and take inspiration from.
4. Pick a church, sign up for their emails, follow them on social media; whatever you can do to keep in touch with what they’re doing will give you little boosts of inspiration when you need it.
If you really want to learn more from the big churches, then maybe you’d like to attend a conference. I’ve always been a little bit skeptical of conferences because the word conjures up images in my mind of travel expenses, eating alone, listening to a mix of good and bad speakers, ear bleeding and mind reeling with information overloads.
One thing I’ve discovered recently though is that conferences offer live recordings that you can watch online, in the comfort of your own home! That means, you get a cheaper conference price, you can hear from the big names in church communications, you can stay in your pyjamas and you can soak in all of the content at your own pace! I loove it!
That Church Conference
If you’re reading this before September 2016 then the biggest church communications conference that I know of, That Church Conference, is coming up so soon. I’ve never been before, but I’m super keen to learn more from the best in the biz, and take away some new strategies for my own church communications, and maybe, just maybe share some ideas here!
That Church Conference is $99USD to stream live, and you can find out more info here (*affiliate link).
Soo, I hope that blog post has helped you to clear up some of your little sister syndrome! Rather than feeling downtrodden by our size, we can use it as a strength and strategise for the future by learning from others’ mistakes. Now go and spread the Word!
I make a small commission if you sign up for That Church Conference using this link. I’m very picky about the services I recommend, so rest assured I genuinely believe this conference will be of value to you. If you don’t want to use my link click here. *