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June 11, 2014

Thinking Outside the Box

by Matt Ulrich

Outside the BoxRoutine.  It is easy to get in one and just do what is easy… but that is never what is best for you or your microchurch.  As leaders, we have to FIGHT for renewed vision, passion, and creativity.  Fight the urge to do the same thing the same way.  Fight against complacency.  Here are some ways to think outside the box and mix things up in a microchurch setting:

Resist More of the Same.  There was a season in my microchurch that even I was bored with the way things were going. Nothing was bad necessarily: we still we reading the Word, praying together, being in community, etc. but it was always done in the same way and the same format.  I am a creature of habit so sometimes it is hard for me to break out.

Microchurch leaders, do your members a favor: don’t be boring.

Be sure to intentionally mix it up, or else you are going to go with what you know… and after awhile it gets old.  So here are a few ways to mix it up and get outside your little box:

1. Get Outdoors. Sounds pretty elementary, but you would be amazed at how this can change the MC dynamic and really help create some awesome memories.  Go to the park have MC outdoors.  Go to the edge of town and go star gazing while blasting worship music.  Do a silent retreat in Paynes Prairie where the focus is on meditating on Scripture.  Getting people in nature is always a good way to connect with God in a new creative way.

2. Bring in a Guest Speaker.  Find someone who has a heart for something your MC is passionate about and bring them in.  Having a different speaker with a different angle and passion as you can help renew energy and focus.

3. Tap Your People’s Creativity. There are so many ideas in your MC alone, but you have to have ways to allow people to express them.  If you create a culture where ideas are welcomed and affirmed, more will come.  For example, one of the newer ladies in my MC at the time wanted to do an “art night”.  We had just finished up a series on Ruth and the theme we focused on was faith.  So she and the ladies in her tiny group put on an art night where they brought all kinds of art supplies like canvases, guitars, crayons, paint, chalk, etc.  They had everyone create something that represented faith as they saw in the book of Ruth.  We then had a gallery walk where everyone explained what their piece meant in light of our Ruth study.  Even the most non-artistic people had a good time (even though their art was terrible 🙂  *Note: that woman quickly became one of our core members after this affirmation of her idea!

4. Surprise Evangelism Nights.  I spent 8 weeks in Boston after I graduated college and while I was up there, I got connected to a little Bible study at a local church.  It was comfortable and good and I really enjoyed it.  One night the leader let us all come into his apartment, sit down, open our Bibles, and then proceeded to say “Ok, close your Bibles and get back up.  We aren’t going to read about the Bible tonight; we are going to act it out.  We are going evangelizing in Harvard Square.”  I almost fell out of my chair. I wasn’t ready for that and as an introvert, I most certainly would have thought of a reason not to come that night if I knew, but it was too late.  I was already there.  But this was such a formative night that showed me early in my faith that evangelism wasn’t as scary as I thought.  It marked me in such a good way that I regularly try to do this with my MC!

5. Ask Other Leaders!  Some of my absolute best ideas that have had the most fruit I straight up stole from other leaders… and this is ok.  We play for the same team with the same goal.  So be sure to touch base with other microchurch leaders and ask them what is going well in their microchurch.  What are they doing that has gained some traction?  What has had lasting fruit?  as the old teacher motto goes, don;t be afraid to “Beg, Steal, and Borrow.”

Don’t be afraid to mix it up.  Trust me, your microchurch will thank you for it!


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