How to Grow Expectation in Your Church

Using Creativity, Momentum & Language

I can’t wait to get to church!

If you have never led worship at a conference – wow! People don’t need warming up, they turn up hot!

By the times we’re at the second song people are encountering God like never before, being set free and tears are flowing at the awesomeness of Almighty God!

The weekend after I’m at church, same song set, same band and… nothing, diddly squat, zilch. Instead of taking off, the choruses crash to the ground with a heavy thud. What’s the difference?

In a word: expectation (faith)

Can you imagine if we could take the life-changing conference experience and transfer it to our Sunday morning services?

Growing expectation (faith) in your church is vital to it’s growth and success.

Higher levels of expectation equals higher levels of anointing, higher numbers of lives changed, higher impact level and success of your church.

Then He (Jesus) touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.” Matthew 9:29

There are 3 ways you can increase the expectation level of your church: Creativity, Momentum and Language…

Creativity

You increase expectation doing what people don’t expect. Creativity means to be consistently inconsistent, predictably unpredictable, comfortably uncomfortable and breaking the rules.

They try to create these 4 different elements into your service:

  1. Beauty/Awe
  2. Wow!
  3. Humour
  4. Intimacy/Worship

God is very, very creative and you’re made in his image. I believe that your church should be a hothouse of creativity!

Don’t replicate cheap imitations of the world’s creativity, instead tap into your Creator’s creativity.

How we run Sunday services, how we reach out to the lost, how we design church websites, how we follow up on first time visitors should all be creative.

A creative leader sees solutions to overcome where others don’t, they turn what could have been a disastrous disadvantage into their greatest advantage.

For more on creativity, you can read ‘How to Grow Your Church Attendance – Keep People Guessing

 Momentum

Momentum can be a pastor’s best friend or worst enemy.

When you have positive momentum you always look better than you really are.

When you have negative momentum you always look worse than you really are.

There are two components of momentum: 

1. Something New – New, by definition triggers momentum. It doesn’t guarantee sustained momentum but it’s a trigger. Momentum in your church can be triggered by new leadership, a new direction or vision or a new product or program.

2. Something Improved – Continuous improvement allows momentum to be sustained. Significant improvement may be expensive but doing nothing is even more so. How can you get better at doing what you’re doing? Keep your eye on the ball, once you’ve got ‘there’ don’t stop, keep improving.

Enemies of momentum are:

  • Disengaged leadership
  • Distracted leadership
  • Complexity (Simple is always good! Fight for simplicity – this is why Google has 95% of search engine traffic)
  • Overactive management
  • Breach of integrity or lack of trust in a leader (See 3 Qualities of a Good Pastor)
A Case Study: Kodak vs. Apple

kodak_vs_apple

Let’s think about momentum in light of business for a second just to illustrate how new triggers and improved sustains momentum.

Kodak refused to change; instead of adapting and adapting to the new digital camera technology they said “Let’s be number 1 at film photography“.

As a result they lost their mark share and soon became obsolete. Don’t listen to the people in your church who say “We’ll do a better job at singing the old hymns!”

Apple on the other hand used creativity and innovation to launch a new product lines such as iPods, iPads, iMacs, iTunes and iPhones.

This instantly triggered positive momentum for their organisation and they have sustained it by continuously improving. They don’t just release an iPhone and stop do they? Instead there’s iPod Nano, iPod touch, iPhone 6 and so on…

It’s the same with Colgate toothpaste: Why don’t they just have one type of toothpaste and have done with it?

They have created momentum by creating and releasing new types of toothpaste and then always improving. Today we have Colgate Total, Advanced Whitening, MaxFresh Mouthwash Beads and on and on it goes.

You may think I’m odd to talk about different types of toothpaste in relation to growing your church but I hope you can see the power of positive, forward momentum in your church and ministry!

Recently, in my own church in the UK, we decided to take the step of moving from our own building where we had been comfortably for 12 years to a new rented hotel in the city centre strategically located next to the main station.

Yes it means we need to set up and set down every week but the new location instantly triggered forward momentum and now we have to keep fighting to sustain that to take our people forward.

Language

Our language is the final tool in our creativity toolbox. God spoke the heavens into being with words, words are powerful and we live in a voice-activated world.

Words kill, words give life;
    they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.” Proverbs 18:21

Words can create momentum in our ministries if we use them right in casting the church’s vision, preaching the life-giving Word of God, bringing correction or encouraging a leader.

A few, select, accurate phrases can make important one on one conversations have more of an impact.

Bill Hybels said something so true: “Leaders rise and fall by the language they use.” The right words, at the right time can make a vision take flight. Churches die or thrive  on the basis of the words the leaders chooses.

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” Proverbs 25:11

For more the the power of language I recommend you make Leadership Axioms by Pastor Bill Hybels your next read.

Summary

We’ve covered a lot of ground in just a few paragraphs…

maybe I should have written and expanded these three in individual posts but I hope these help all the same!

I hope you leverage these three things to increase people’s faith levels and expectation in your church and generate forward momentum in your ministry.

Can you see how doing something new, something better, mixing it up and being creative and using the right words can be powerful in creating an expectant culture in your church?

Would you say your church has forward momentum at the moment? If not, what can you do to in your local setting to trigger a step in the right direction? Share your comments with us below.

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