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Brainstorming a Future Church

André Paul Guillaume, French author, stated, “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

This famous quote helps us understand that we cannot expect to grow or to go to new heights if we don’t consider new approaches of doing things.  

Brainstorming with others who have been sitting in the same church for years can provide insight into the past and sometimes into the future.

We respect and value the history and leaders that began many of our present churches. At the same time, it is important to consider the future and what steps are necessary to get there. In a recent MinistryWave Deep Dive focus group meeting with teenagers, a student shared that her grandmother wouldn’t consider using an old rotary phone again and yet she only wanted to “sing all the old songs” at church. To a younger generation, they are looking for worship and messages that relate to their world. 

In the life of the church there are cycles. According to Aubrey Malphurs in Advanced Strategist Planning—A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders, “Like people, churches have a life cycle. In general, a church is born and over time it grows. Eventually, it reaches a plateau. If nothing is done to move it off the plateau, it begins to decline. If nothing interrupts the decline, it will die.”

We are focused on churches growing, not declining or dying. A balance between the generations is necessary and can be challenging and yet so critical as we seek to invite people in from an everchanging culture. With a Deep Dive, we focus on the present state of the church. We brainstorm with leadership and representation from all the generations, evaluate the information and then offer a customized approach to forward momentum. We like to see the future life and growth for the church looking through a lens well beyond the present shoreline. 

The church has been challenged in the last several months by a pandemic presenting new challenges in so many ways from programs to pastoral leadership. But going forward, we believe that the future is bright and now more than ever is the time to take a hard look at all we’re doing in our ministries. NOW is the time. From Generation Alpha to Generation X and all in between and beyond, we need to strategize and develop new ministry approaches to invite and engage them in our settings.

If you need an objective perspective and more information on a Deep Dive, give us a call at 616-218-8895

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