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How to Build Rhythm Into Your Church

Ministry is a marathon. This is true for church leaders, for volunteers and for the church body itself.

When we drive and push people to sprint all the time, burnout is inevitable. You can grow a large church by constantly creating mountain peak experiences and pushing for the top. But you will create a healthy church only as you discover the appropriate cycle of moving forward at an aggressive pace, and taking moments to breathe.

There is plenty of discussion about whether churches should be all things to all people, or keep it simple and do a few things well.

I definitely lean toward simplicity.

We try to balance the five purposes of worship, evangelism (mission), fellowship, discipleship and ministry, and we try to do little else. Our structure doesn’t have much of a hierarchy to it, and leaders are free to lead without being micromanaged.

We like to focus on the mission. But this doesn’t mean we never push hard for growth. Too many souls hang in the eternal balance for us to get lazy and coast along in mediocrity. And while balance is an elusive target, rhythm is possible.

How do you find your rhythm?

Focus on five to six peak moments in the year.

Start with the holidays like Easter and Christmas. Then think through any special emphases your church celebrates such as a spiritual growth campaign, a missions emphasis or something like a Friend Day. Don’t forget about the non-Sunday events like Vacation Bible School or evangelistic crusades.

Build unity and excitement as you climb toward peak moments.

Spread the word with a gathering momentum. Give people specific challenges and calls to action along the way such as, “Write down the names of three people you’re going to invite … ” or “Fast with us through lunch on Wednesdays and pray for the big day.”

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Brandon Cox is Lead Pastor of Grace Hills Church, a new church plant in northwest Arkansas. He also serves as Editor and Community Facilitator for Pastors.com and Rick Warren's Pastor's Toolbox and was formerly a Pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. In his spare time, he offers consultation to church leaders about communication, branding, and social media. He and his wife, Angie, live with their two awesome kids in Bentonville, Arkansas.