Churches are always competing with society. We’re in a battle for the hearts and minds of the families around us. In many things, society will always have an edge:
- The church can sing. But can it ever fully compete with American Idol and the Billboard Top 40? As good as the quality of church singing is, society will always be better.
- The church can preach. Preachers like me fill a pulpit every week. As hard as we train, it’s hard to compete with the incredible storytellers of Hollywood that fill the airwaves every week.
- The church can do children’s ministry. As fun and as exciting as we try and make children’s ministry, it can be a tough sell compared to a Wiggles concert or something as experiential as Chuck E. Cheese.
- The church can worship corporately. We beg and cajole people to show up an hour a week, free of charge, to experience something together. We know we’re losing when people miss our free services to pay hundreds of dollars to enjoy the corporate experience of a NASCAR race, college football game, or music concert.
That’s the modern church’s secret weapon, the one thing we offer that society can never fully replicate: community. A loving, welcoming family where you have a deep sense of belonging. That’s why small groups are so vital to a church’s long-term health. If people are connected to community in a church, the church has given them something that society can never fully reproduce. As a church, learn how to lean into building authentic and lasting community. That’s your ace in the hole.