Ahhh, school is finally out and you get the well deserved breather you’ve been waiting for, but there’s also something in the back of your mind you can’t seem to shake. This thought keeps you from fully relaxing on vacation and at random times makes you feel sick to your stomach. What could possibly mess so much with your amazing summer? Fall Kickoff. Oh, right! Fall Kickoff is just a couple of months away and you need it to be great.
You know it, the staff & volunteer teams know it, and your congregation definitely knows it. For just a moment the thought creeps into your mind, “Forget Fall! We’re not gonna give in to the pressure and compromise the nice, slow pace of Summer.” But, deep inside you know that the key to a great year, is a great Fall – and what is the key to a great Fall? A great Summer.
Oh, how awesome it would be if you could take it easy over the Summer, but you can’t. Summer is a big deal, because Fall is a big deal. Even if your church fiscal year begins in January, your “Church Year” begins in September. The only exception is if your church has no families with students or kids, which is an entirely other problem. For everyone else, it’s time for us all to embrace this idea.
If September is truly the beginning of the church year, then you need it to be great, because the key to a great year, is a great launch. You need to have a focused message, opportunities to connect, and maybe even some special events. The folks on the margins that will give you yet another chance in the Fall, are looking to see that you have something to offer them. Does that make them a consumer? Yep. You are called to serve consumers.
To lead people from consumer to committed, and from there to Christlikeness. That’s Discipleship 101. Never forget that people are not looking for things to fill their time, they are always evaluating what they can eliminate in order to get a little time back. This Fall, some of those people are going to go against that idea and give you a look. Make them say “Yes, I want to be part of that! That church is definitely worth my time.”
If you talk to any good school teacher they will tell you they have a special strategy for the Fall because that sets the tone for the rest of the year. Can a bad Fall be redeemed? Possibly, but it’s incredibly difficult. The key to a great year, is a great Fall, and a great Fall is completely reliant upon a Summer in which the leadership teams are working hard on a plan to make a fantastic Fall. Start today in making this a great Summer!