You might protest you would NEVER count on magic to do anything in the church and mean it. But unfortunately, the communication actions in many churches tell a different story because. . . . .
Magical thinking takes place when you assume that simply by doing certain things, you will get the results you want without actually doing the hard work you need to do to get them.
This often happens in the planning and work that goes into the season or holiday celebrations at your church. Below are FIVE ways Magical Thinking can defeat the fantastic opportunities the holidays give us to invite and get people involved in the church and ultimately to meet Jesus. Holidays work so well as outreach to unchurched people because though few people today respond to the invitation "Want to come to church with me?" few people will turn down an invitation to a FREE party that has food and fun stuff for kids.
Holidays offer churches a great opportunity, but to make the most of them, you need to be aware of and correct the following FIVE destructive ways of Magical Thinking.
Magical Thinking # 1: By hosting your holiday or seasonal event people will think your church is great, wonderful, and cares about the community
Whether it is an Easter-Egg Extravaganza, a Trunk or Treat, Thanksgiving Community Meal, or Christmas Caroling and Chocolate—the first thought of people in your community when they see an advertisement of the event is probably not about your church.
The people in your community care most about themselves and their families. Their thinking when they see or come to your event is something like "Wow, this looks like a fun thing for the kids." "Hey, it's free and looks like fun and our family needs a night out."
They are probably not thinking: "Oh isn't First Church a loving church that cares about community outreach and to show the love of Jesus is the sponsor for this event." Even more than your intended audience not knowing WHY you are doing this, unless you consistently and graciously remind them that your church is putting on the event, chances are they won't even remember that your church was the sponsoring group for the event. [Read more...]