Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions 9 Things That Worked in the Church a Decade Ago That Don’t...

9 Things That Worked in the Church a Decade Ago That Don’t Today

The church is an alternative. And an alternative, clearly and effectively presented, will do far better than simply saying we’re better than something you weren’t interested in in the first place.

4. Gimmicks

So true confession. A decade ago we drove a car on stage to get people’s attention.

We also built elaborate sets for every series hoping it would captivate people.

And all of this did. For a season.

But I also came to realize that whatever you use to attract people is what you need to use to keep people.

‘Gimmicks’ every week get old fast.

If you play the ‘next Sunday will be better than last Sunday game,’ you eventually end up losing and lying (because it can’t be).

In addition, eventually people ask, “So what? So what if next Sunday is a little bit better than last Sunday? What’s this all about anyway?”

Don’t get me wrong. We still have fun moments, powerful moments, surprising moments and memorable moments, but they’re moments. 

We’ve stripped down our services and moved back to more of the basics: the Gospel, engaging moments and engaging messages.

We can sustain that. And the basics, done really well (with a little extra from time to time), really do engage people.

Why? Because Jesus, authentically and clearly presented, engages people.

5. Inauthentic leadership

This is one of the most significant church fails. People’s fake detectors are set at a higher level than ever.

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Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.