Can I offer a word of encouragement and an idea going into Thanksgiving and Christmas? Because…
- It’s tough to be a leader now.
- You’re tired!
- Are you discouraged, too?
Let me suggest “Idea Parties” at your church. Keep it light and fun! The next great idea for the future of your congregation almost certainly won’t come from you. (Humbling, I know!) An Idea Party can help you find those great ideas!
- It’s time to dream a bit.
- Everyone now knows that “Back to Normal” won’t be “Back to Normal.”
- Some churches choose to change for the sake of God’s mission. Most let change happen to them.
- The collective imagination of your people is mostly untapped.
- People support what they help create.
Some things to keep in mind:
- Best to do it socially distanced on Zoom. (Avoid those COVID spikes!)
- Best to require everyone to eat. Make it feel like a party.
- Best to do your first one before Christmas. Do the rest in January. (Unless December’s event didn’t go so well.) Ask the December group to brag about it.
- The “board” can help. Invite. Take and compile notes. Capture stories.
Here’s a simple agenda (75 minutes):
- Welcome/Introductions/Opening Scripture and Prayer
- Explain the Purpose: Fun! Listen! Imagine what’s next.
- Ask 2 or 3 people to share a story of when our church was at its “best.” (Listen for themes. Listen for stories you will want to repeat.)
- Make a List: “Things we want to keep and not lose in our church through COVID.” (Remember every idea is worth affirming. This is brainstorming.)
- Make a List: “Things you would like to start or change.” (Remember: Listen. Affirm. Don’t be defensive.)
- Each person gets 6 or 7 “votes” to select the items to save or start/change that they see as most important going forward.
- Compile the totals quickly. Share the result.
- Ask everyone to share in a sentence: “One thing I enjoyed about tonight.”
Do the Idea Party with several groups. Then compile ideas from all the groups. Share the results widely. Present to the appropriate board. Then, listen. And, cultivate more conversation.