Is Your Church “New” Enough?

When people think about our churches does the word “new” ever come to mind?  We live in a culture that leverages “new” to draw people in . . .how does your church use “new” to point people towards Jesus?

Have you ever noticed how theme parks sell themselves?  Check out this screen capture from the Six Flags Great Adventure website.

Theme parks generally add something new every summer and then use most of their “airtime” to communicate the “new thing” at the park. (Although 98% of the experience is the same . . . the new thing “freshens up” the publics perception of the park.) They are doing something new . . . and then want to seen as doing something new.  The new ride encourages people to return to the park.

Did you catch the launch of Taco Bell’s Dorito’s Loco Taco?


This launch employed a rip, pivot & jam strategy to make an old something new.  Taco Bell ripped another brand (and taste) from a related (but not directly connected) market segment.  Then they pivoted it into a product of theirs. Then jammed big time to the new product and new messaging out.

They talked about it . . . “You love Doritos? You’ll love this new amazing taco too.”  They sold 100 million of these bad boys in the first 10 weeks.  That’s a lot of tacos!  They refreshed an old idea and then declared it new.

What is the appeal of all of these “daily deal” sites?


Frankly . . . I’m surprised that this trend has continued.  I would have thought that they would died off long ago.  But it seems like what is happening is that people are looking for more and more targeted “daily deal” experiences.  There is one for ministry resources or entrepreneurs or a bunch of other submarkets.  Did you catch Coffee Meets Bagel?   Every day at noon it sends singles suggested dates from their “friends of friends” on facebook . . . and gives them a great deal on a date . . . they have 24 hours to ask the “friend” to get the deal.  These “Groupon 2.0″ sites are offering “new deals” every 24 hours and offering it for a limited time only.  People love getting in on something great that they know is going away soon.

But what do theme parks, Taco Bell and Daily Deals have to do with the churches we lead?  They are all leveraging the power of “new” to help attract more people.

I’m wondering what would happen if we found ways to do “new” and highlight “new” wherever possible.  So many churches already do this through our teaching series . . . everything 3-4 weeks we “change the channel” . . . but what if this fall we made a bigger deal of “what’s coming up next” . . . What if we encouraged all of our teams to be on the look out for small and big things we can tweak to “new” to help give the impression of our churches rebirthing themselves.


Strategically . . . . a big part of what we’re charged with in the communications side of church leadership is to help break the cycle of non-attendance.  We know that there are a lot more people that consider our churches home than attend on any given weekend.  Our communications needs to help raise the value of what is “new and exciting” at our church and why they should come back.

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Rich Birch

Rich Birch

Thanks so much for dropping by unseminary … I hope that your able to find some resources that help you lead your church better in the coming days! I’ve been involved in church leadership for over 15 years. Early on I had the privilege of leading in one of the very first multisite churches in North Amerca. I led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 4,000 people in 6 locations. (Today they are 13 locations with somewhere over 5,000 people attending.) In addition, I served on the leadership team of Connexus Community Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. I currently serves as Operations Pastor at Liquid Church in the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. I have a dual vocational background that uniquely positions me for serving churches to multiply impact. While in the marketplace, I founded a dot-com with two partners in the late 90’s that worked to increase value for media firms and internet service providers. I’m married to Christine and we live in Scotch Plains, NJ with their two children and one dog.

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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you Ed for sharing your insights into the Church Growth Movement. I have my reservations with Church Growth models because it has done more damage than good in the Body of Christ. Over the years, western churches are more focused on results, formulas and processes with little or no emphasis on membership and church discipline. Pastors and vocational leaders are burnt out because they're overworked. I do believe that the Church Growth model is a catalyst to two destructive groups: The New Apostolic Reformation and the Emerging Church. Both groups overlap and have a very loose definition. They're both focus on contemporary worship, expansion of church brand (franchising), and mobilizing volunteering members as 'leaders' to grow their ministry. Little focus on biblical study, apologetics and genuine missional work with no agenda besides preaching of the gospel.
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