From Sherm – March 1, 2017

From Sherm – March 1, 2017

Life progresses with breakneck speed.  I don’t need to mention this, do I?  Yet there organizations, businesses, and institutions that struggle with the idea that they need to adapt to their changing environment, market, and constituents.  As I watch the Church begin and progress through its early stages in the book of Acts, I see how it dealt with the necessity of meeting people where they’re at and adapting to the changing circumstances.  The message never changed, but the way it was delivered was always changing.  That’s why Paul would reason from the Old Testament with one crowd and to another crowd in Athens quote from “one of your own poets” to connect with them.

So, at CCC, we continue to adapt our methods of communicating to as many people as we can.  That means our website will serve a role of growing importance.  It also means we’ll give less emphasis to printed communication, while still making it available.  And so it begins.  This blog marks a different approach to our previous “newsletter,” the Inbox.  Rather than our whole staff trying to fill up a monthly publication with “articles,” week to week we’ll each take a turn at blogging to the church family.  That communication will appear on our website each week, and also will be available in print at our welcome centers.

We’re also going to make changes to our weekly bulletin.  We’re changing its format and content to especially engage our guests and those who are not “insiders” at CCC.  Some of the weekly schedule will still be in it, but we want to take that space to especially help people new to CCC know what to expect on any given Sunday and how to connect with this church.  Other information will still be available, in print, at the welcome centers, along with the staff blogs.

What will I do before services begin if I’m not reading my bulletin?

I’m glad you asked that!

What is more important than a good bulletin to engage our guests is good people – which CCC’ers are!  We need to interact. God made us that way.  We also need to make it clear to everyone who passes through our doors that if you’re here, you’re a VIP (that’s “very important person,” in case you’ve never understood that).  I want to challenge every one of us, from this Sunday forward, to apply a principle every week.  I’ve adapted this from Jim Ozier’s book Clip in: Risking Hospitality in Our Church.  We’ll call it “The 5-10-Connect” principle.  It works like this:

  • 5 minutes before and after every service, all of our people should be interacting with others they don’t know.
  • Everyone should make a connection with every unfamiliar face that passes within 10 feet of them before, during, and after a service. If you’re in the middle of a conversation and someone passes within that 10’ bubble, it’s on you to invite them into the conversation.
  • When you meet someone new, get to know them and pay careful attention to hobbies, jobs, or passions where you can connect them to someone else in the church with those same interests.

Think about it.  What would happen if we all suddenly applied this principle every Sunday morning?  These mornings that we gather here on Guilford Road are precious time.  We won’t see most of these people the whole rest of the week.  If we’re serious about fulfilling the “one another” commands of the New Testament, we must, at the very least, interact on Sunday mornings.  So, let’s go!  And what if, when a guest walks into that, said guest is instantly included in this wonderful time of people sharing their lives together?  Let’s try it and see!

5, 10, Connect.

Look around.  Get Up.  Get talking.  There’s someone who needs to hear from you.