I’ve been sneaking around the different North Point Community Church campuses & learning what the secret sauce is behind this great church. In my adventures, I wanted to look past the amazing preaching of Andy Stanley & dig deeper into what we can learn about organization health. (I personally believe Andy’s preaching is some of the best in the world but I believe the organizational health is just as impressive.)
This week, I wanted to focus on the church I attend, Browns Bridge Community Church. My family has attended Browns Bridge for about four years & this morning I went to the church building with a different set of lenses on. I went in looking for a distinctive, something that churches could learn from to help them be successful. We LOVE a lot about Browns Bridge Community Church but there is one thing that keeps sticking out to me week after week.
Clay Scroggins, our Lead Pastor, is super clear & concise about why we are there & what our next steps should be.
That may sound like something that is dumb & fuzzy but I promise it’s powerful.
Think about this…
Most people don’t come to church every weekend. Most “good” church attenders average 2-3 times a month. So in reality, you only have about 2.5 hours a month to communicate with people. What Clay does as well as any pastor I’ve seen is consistently connect the dots for the crowd.
Why does this matter?
In Patrick Lencioni’s recent book The Advantage, he mentions that employees don’t believe what leaders say until they have said it seven times! If employees don’t believe what leaders say until seven times, casual church attenders probably rarely believe what the pastor says! In the book he also says that the role of the leader is to be the Chief Reminding Officer. Reminding people why they come to church & what their next steps are, is HUGE! I want to share with you three things I hear Clay say each Sunday that you could learn from.
The cost to do this is $0 but will be priceless over the long haul for your church.
1. “If it’s your first time here…”
Clay connects early & often with first time guest. This is important because it communicates to the first time guest, “we were expecting you.” It also communicates to me & other believers, “it’s your role to bring someone for the first time.” Clay will spend time talking about what the first time guest might be feeling or thinking as well. He spends time making the first time guest feel welcome & at home.
Action Item: Every week, connect with first time guests early & often. Expect guests to be in the room & welcome them like you would to your home!
2. “The reason our church exists is to…”
Clay always reminds us why the church exists. He says, “We exist to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.” He usually spends a sentence or two talking about what this means or doesn’t mean. Often he will add some humor around his statements & really connect the dots to different stations in life. He will say stuff like, “If you’re a single mom this might mean…” “If you are a married couple…” Clay connects the reason the church exists to why we are there.
An Exercise for You…
This matters because it creates clarity. A clear mission will attract the right people & repel the wrong people. Here is my thinking on this… I dare you to go into your next church staff meeting and ask this question, “Why do we exist?” Tell people there are no consequence to a different answer & see if everyone has clarity around why you exist. Let them write their answers on a sheet of paper & share them one at a time. You will be shocked at why people think your church exists 🙂
Action Step: Read The Advantage as a team & work through the book together. If you do have clarity, start saying it every weekend & connect the dots to why it matters to each person attending!
3. “Your next step today is…”
I’ve never not known what to do next at Browns Bridge. Clay does an amazing job of giving us direction on what we need to do. This matters because people are coming to church to be LED! Clay makes the application specific for different crowds. The application for a long time attender is different from a first time guest.
Today, I attended with the mind of a first time guest & Clay told me that my next step was “right after the service for a few minutes & right outside those doors there is an environment called Next. It makes a bigger church feel like a small church.” He not only told me what to do & where to go, he told me WHY I should. People don’t like big crowds, leaders do. People like small churches for a reason. He painted a picture in one sentence about a place I could figure out how to get connected. Amazing clarity with concise words!
So, what you say each weekend really matters. You can learn from Clay Scroggins about the power of saying the same things over & over.
What other things should a pastor say each weekend?