This is an excerpt from my latest book: Naked Man Running: 100 IDEAS that work in a small church. More excerpts coming! Get all 100 ideas here.
Catagory: Church Health, Chapter 64: How to have an effective small church
Smaller churches lack the resources of larger churches. This does not mean they will not be able to provide meaningful ministry to their members and community, but it does mean they will have to be more selective in what they offer.
In 1948 the first In-N-Out Burger was founded by Harry and Esther Snyder in Baldwin Park, California. Harry’s idea of a drive-thru hamburger stand where customers could order through a two-way speaker box was unique. In that era, it was common to see car hops serving those who wanted to order food from their car. Harry’s idea caught on, and California’s first drive-thru hamburger stand was born.
The Snyder’s business philosophy was simple: “Give customers the freshest, highest quality foods you can buy and provide them with friendly service in a sparkling clean environment.” These principles have worked so well over the years that they are still the company’s fundamental philosophy.
In-N-Out Burger has three items on their menus: burgers, fries, and drinks. There are no salads, no burritos, no chicken sandwiches. Think of the huge variety most other fast food chains offer. You would think In-N-Out made a mistake in limiting what they offer, but they continue to be one of the most popular food chains in California, Nevada, and Arizona.
I think smaller churches need to follow the example of In-N-Out…do a few things well and, “Give customers the freshest, highest quality foods you can buy and provide them with friendly service in a sparkling clean environment.”
What do you have the resources to do? By adding more ministries prematurely are you running the risk of providing a poor product, and equally as bad, burned out workers? It would be better to do a few things well than a bunch of things half-baked that wear your volunteers out.
If you can’t do multimedia well, don’t do multi-media.
If you don’t have the human resources to do a full-on children’s ministry program, don’t do one.
If there are no resources and interest for doing small groups, let it go and wait until the time is right.
You get the point.
99 more ideas are waiting for you here.