Too many activities?

Raj Gupta

I approached this year’s planning with the thinking that we should strip back our church’s level of activities. It was a thought not so much provoked by the difficulty of organising activities and events (don’t get me wrong, there is work involved). Nor was it a thought driven by a lack of value in any particular event – there are always people who grow to be more like Christ when they meet with other Christians around the Word of God; people do take opportunities to invite people to hear the Gospel; and so on.

Rather, it was a thought arising from Jim Collins observation of the flywheel. In ‘Good to Great’, Collins makes the simple observation that a flywheel develops momentum with several small turns, rather than a few big ones.

Applied to an evangelical church, this means that the impact of someone actively participating in seemingly ‘smaller’ activities like church on Sunday or a Growth Group has a far more significant impact on both them individually and also the church, when compared to the impact of someone attending a few ‘larger scale’ events.

This is not to say that larger scale events have no place. They certainly do. But the observation does provide a helpful framework for where one puts their energy as the year begins. For example, it is far more important to work hard to help people settle into a Growth Group (and things necessary to support that aim, such as the support and training of leaders), than to plan one off events.

All of this said, my intended approach was thwarted. There are so many good events and great conferences on offer, and various people from the congregation want to champion various ones (at one level, this is helpful). And while we have encouraged an individual approach to many (that is, we won’t put them on the calendar, but encourage people to encourage others to go), we have ended up with a full calendar.

Perhaps this is good, as there are more options that will appeal to a greater diversity of people. But on the other hand, if I may be permitted to extend Collins’ analogy, is it possible that the central flywheel might collapse because too much is placed on it? 


Feature Photo: Joe Lanman