here's the bottom line the average church service hasn't changed much in the last 10 years even though the world around us has fundamentally shifted so what does that mean for you well it's about time we adjust how we plan our services and so in this video you'll learn how to plan better services to accomplish your church's mission in the midst of massive cultural changes well hey there and welcome to pro church tools the show where in ten minutes or less you're gonna get a dose of tips and tactics to help your church share the message of Jesus while we navigate the biggest communication shift in 500 years I'm your host Alex Mills joined as always by the bossman Brady Shearer one of my favorite people in the church communication world alex phil battle the creative arts pastor at West Ridge Church in Atlanta has just published his very first book it's called rethinking communication you know a lot of people will often ask me Brady what are you gonna write a book and I say I do not want Phil's writing them for me because this book basically takes everything we talked about seize the 167 biggest communications into 500 years puts it together into a book gives you a ton of history a ton of forward thinking and then actual actionable steps for what your church can do to take the message of Jesus a timeless message and share it through timely mediums and some of the themes that came through to me in Phil's book had to do with kind of reframing how we plan our church's services in the understanding of how much the world has changed when it comes to communication so we want to present to you inspired by Phil's book and we highly encourage you to pick it up again rethinking communication by Phil bout I want to share with you kind of a new framework for planning a church service and the foundation for this happening and this comes directly from Phil's book I'll quote it here it says attendance habits have shifted and for many people you only have 810 times per year to communicate with them in person how does this affect the way you plan a service and obviously this will vary per Church Phil serves in a larger Church which i think is more prone to variance of how often people are in hand but people are not attending church every single week the way that they used to and so this should probably change the way that we play in our service right and we talk a lot about the hours that we don't have people in church right those 167 other hours and how to use social as ministry to to reach people where they're at on Tuesday evening but we don't talk often a lot about Sunday morning or Sunday evening whenever you meet as a church and and honestly thank God for Phil for writing this book because that the stats are there you know people aren't attending church as often as they used to and it's crazy to think that you only have eight ten twelve opportunities with any given person to meet with them face to face on a Sunday and so what are we gonna do with that time with that one hour that we have what are we gonna do with it let's talk about it the first thing you need to do to plan an effective service is to make sure that the service you're hosting the service you're planning will in some way move the needle forward on your church's overall mission and this is a fundamental shift I think for most churches because why do we do services well because sunday is three days away right because Sunday is tomorrow because Sunday seven days away and that's what we do as a church when we need to get a little bit more focused a little more granular with this what are you trying to accomplish as a church for us we always say it's all about more next steps we want the people in our churches to be moving forward towards Jesus and they can't just do that by being passive spectators they need to be active participants which means taking next steps more next steps equals more life change so we actually have a church growth calculator that really you know put some flesh on that bone of an idea and so we'll have that linked in the show notes there are 17 different next steps that almost every single church can track and measure you may have even more than that in fact you likely will but almost every church has these 17 and we think that every service that you have should point towards one of these next steps it should be leading people towards a next step exactly and these these elements of this church growth calculator show you how your people are growing right from the inside out how they're growing individually and that gives you an idea of how your church is going not just by counting how many people find themselves in the seats on any given Sunday so you know your mission as a church you understand what you're trying to accomplish when you're planning the service first question you need to ask yourself is what is the one thing we want to communicate what is that one next step but it can come from an idea as well well get to the next step later you know we did church last week the big idea for that week could have been I am a child of God let's say that's the central theme you know we want people to come in and we want them to leave knowing I am a child of God and take a next step towards what that means in the life of a church so how can we actually weave this theme through the entire service let's talk about the three elements of service we've got the worship we've got the announcements we've got the message so with the worship let's say you've got four different songs not every single song has to do with this idea but I would recommend that the climactic song the the place where you end worship where you're leading everyone in the congregation that one probably should be your best candidate anyway for being centralized on the central theme of I am a child of God so you could sing who you say I am yeah by Hillsong worship yeah you could sing you say by Loren Daniel you could sing no longer slaves yeah was that by Bethel Beth all the Health sirs wrote it yeah that's a good one so yeah any of these could be perfect hey what about a medley what about all you say by lauren dangle and then just chat tag on no longer slave you can leave it if you want me at your church I am not accepting invitations nor would I receive any so that's how you could do it in worship let's skip the announcements for a moment and go to the message the great thing about planning a centralized theme within your service with a single next step at the end of it it doesn't have to be restrictive I think probably a lot of people are hearing this and they're like it's gonna be way too narrow how am I gonna get my worship leader and my worship team on board with the message you know we plan things in advance the series is we're straight how are we gonna make this all work the great thing about something like a centralized theme of child of God is that it doesn't need to be restrictive you could do a message has to do with identity can do something that has to do with purpose something has to do with parenting if you're doing like a really practical summer series or something like that the important thing is not to be restrictive but to plan ahead yeah to get everyone on board because if the pastor goes up like if you're preaching and you can speak to this if you knowing that I am a child of God is the central theme pretty much no matter what your preaching on you can find a way to bring it to a crescendo moment we had that idea yeah a lot of these themes that were suggesting you know having having a central theme for your whole service are not restrictive and they're not exclusive to to very many things right like they're they're these general themes of things that we believe about the gospel that can be woven into you know many different songs woven into many different subjects of a sermon woven into many different small group opportunities which we're going to talk about in a second and so it's not about having having restrictions or putting our services in a box but it's just about the intention with which we we plan these things because your planning services whether you like it or not right like sure you're a great point yeah you're planning services in one way or another and and you know you and I both kind of come from Pentecostal circles that's what we grew up in and so a lot of our pastors will talk about like Oh being sensitive to the the Holy Spirit and and I you know don't wanna put God in a box just want to go where he's going you can still do that you know but still chasing after a theme for the sake of the people who find themselves in your church on Sunday they wanna you know you don't want to be talking about three four or five different subjects in worship and in the message and and call-to-action all that stuff have it set up focused and and centralized so you're pointing people towards taking a step in one direction let's talk about that next step we have mentioned worship we have mentioned the message whether you do announcements at the beginning of service mid service at the end we recommend only having one or two announcements each week I know Phil does the same thing at his church they're a massive Church if they can do it so can you Phil talks about that in his book so let's say you wanted to follow the 50 percent rule of church announcements which means if the announcement does not apply to more than 50% of the congregation does it not warrant an announcement from stage well what would warrant a staged announcement something like small groups and that would fit perfectly with the central singular theme of I am a child of God and that's because pretty much any theme you choose can fit with anything that's because the church is a holistic experience and all of these things weave together if you're mindful to do so there's nothing wrong with having like five different things that you're talking about all the time but it won't be as poignant you can go one thing per service it's gonna be s'more sticky with the people that you're trying to minister to they're more likely to take a next step in with your small groups announcement you could have a mid service announcement where after worship before the message you talked about look I am a child of God you lead with that you're just sang about it one way to be a child of God is to make sure you're meeting regularly outside of this auditorium with your church family and here's where you can sign up small groups and then because you've planned this the pastor after he's done speaking can point and do a callback to that announcement yes he or she can conclude their message pointing to that exact same thing and now because you've already spoken about it once your congregation has an understanding of what that announcement and next step entails and because the service is ending right now they're all leaving they can take that next step right now none of this could happen though if you didn't plan it and so we want to show you now the planning calendar that Westridge uses fill includes this in his book and this is a spreadsheet you can create it for free inside of Google sheets feel free to copy their framework it's one thing to get really excited during this episode I'm so excited but the truth is with all things in life we don't rise to our motivations we fall to our systems you need a spreadsheet like this so the whole team can collaborate and get on the same page how to plan a service think of the singular theme pick it before head and then weave it through each of the elements doesn't need to be too narrow or restrictive this all weaves together but it's much more poignant and powerful to have a single theme it's true and have five themes that are true yeah all those things are true but the more that you include the more messy it becomes the less likely someone is to take action and to really be involved at that message resonate with them pick up Phil's book yes it's awesome Bill's awesome Phil and I first spoke together in the conference like four years ago really very memorable and we spoke at it again next year Phil's a big basketball guy Phil of Seinfeld Phil's amazing Phil knows communication probably most importantly to our listeners pro church nation that is true rethinking communication by phil battle really the most timely book on communications we have for your church go pick it up and that'll do it for this episode of pro church tools we'll see you next time [Music] [Applause] didn't hear that I said thanks for watching now subscribe let's get this video to a million likes
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Here’s the bottom line: the average church service hasn’t changed much in the last 10 years - even though the world around us has fundamentally shifted.
So what does this mean for you?
It’s about time we adjust how we plan our church services.
And so in this video, you’ll learn how to plan better services to accomplish your church’s mission in the midst of massive cultural changes.
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