Church Growth vs Church Health: Rocky Ground

“If you were to remove the lights, the camera, the action, the gimmicks, the coffee shop, the fountain and the fog machine would your church continue to grow?”

Brian Kaufman asks this question in the post The Seeker-Sensitive Church & Rocky Ground.

In my opinion a church with the priority of attraction is rocky ground.  Growth may be quick, but without deep roots in healthy soil it will not last long. When your goal is attraction then naturally you allocate and prioritize your resources to attract. My question is if you’re allocating the majority of your resources to attract, what is left over to mature and make disciples? In all this spiritual milk when is there time for steak?

You can read the entire post here.

DestructAnd, from the same author: another article about why he believes it is important for a church to have a style guide. He gives the example of Redemption and how they have unified their “brand” and style so as to send a consistent message across all ministries. You can read the post here and also download the full Redemption Church Style Guide.

How far ought the church to go in looking like, acting like, and promoting itself like a business? How does this gel with the first post mentioned about not setting attraction as a church priority? Is a style guide part of the attractional package, or is it just good practice?

Personally, I think it’s good practice to present a consistent image and to have that image carefully thought through, keeping in mind what and who that image represents. In a large church this may involve calling in the experts and putting together a style guide. This exercise in itself could be a useful identity-defining and vision-casting opportunity. In my opinion, however, people will be drawn to a church on the reputation it holds in the community (“This is a church that genuinely loves and shows it in real ways”). A slick logo, motto or typeface can never replace authentic real-life involvement in peoples’ lives.

Seriously, though, the fonts Papyrus, Fajita and Comic Sans will make your work self-destruct (or at least its credibility).

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