Every Sunday Matters
Every Sunday Matters
Charlie Dawes is the Lead Pastor of Metro Church in Alexandria, VA just outside of Washington D.C. Alexandria has been influenced by it’s proximity to the U.S. capital. Much of its population is working professionals in federal civil service, U.S. military, or within one of the many companies which provide contract services to the federal government. This environment lends itself to a high rate of turnover and a transient culture.
He gave us some insight into how their church has positioned itself in their community and how they handle people moving in and out of their church often.
Every Sunday matters.
It is easy to see the summer as a time of recharge and reset, but it is also easy to dread the summer and the ups and downs of people transitioning out of your church. If you are in a location that experiences high turnover, then you know what I am talking about. It is easy to see any situation as the problem it presents, but I believe that on the other side of a challenge may be an opportunity.
For example, many of the contract jobs in DC begin and end in the summer. So people are leaving for their next assignment—that also means that people are coming to the city to begin their new season of life.
As a church, we have to make sure that we look at every Sunday as an opportunity to create an environment and spaces for the surprising work of the Holy Spirit. Every Sunday matters because every Sunday provides the opportunity for people to take their next step.
I heard Michael Jordan once say that he made sure to give his best in every game because he was aware that for some in the crowds this might be the first, or perhaps only time to see him play in person and he wanted to make sure that they experienced Air Jordan at its finest. That is the approach we are taking as a church.
We don’t take a Sunday off—each week gets our best! In the midst of people coming and going, we want the experience to be consistent. We as leaders have to resist the temptation to put it on autopilot and practice excellence week in and week out.
Help people transition well.
In the Metro DC area, there are people that move into the area and are clear on the window of time that they are there. As a church, we must not only serve people when they come to us but also serve them as they are leaving. We are committed to helping people that transition out of the area to find a life-giving church in the city they are going to. We are called to serve them, and a part of that is also making sure they connect to a church in their new city.
- Make sure your values are expressed throughout the year—purpose is contagious. People can connect to what they hear, see and feel.
- Use stories to point to the activity of God—people need to hear what God is doing in your community.
- Train the Dream Team to look for first time guests—make the most of their first time on your campus and connect them to people who love your church.
- Celebrate people as they move to their next season—this doesn’t have to be public, but acknowledge God’s call on their life and pray for them. There is a power in being sent!
- Social Media is your front door—most people are looking at your social media before coming to your church, make sure your digital footprint is accurate and appealing.
For more from Charlie Dawes visit charliedawes.com.