The Vital Need to be a Church Unique

Have you noticed? Products and services are dropping from existence regularly. Toys”R”Us have closed their doors entirely and more than 5000 individual stores closed across the country as major retailers decide it’s best for their bottom line. What’s happening?!?

Even worse, 4000 evangelical churches disappeared from the United States. I wonder if many even notice?

Why all the closings? Because another organization started to supply the community’s needs in a similar or better way. Toys”R”Us used to be “the” place to go for toys. Kids would see it as a fun destination where they could dream and wish. Parents knew if they wanted something entertaining for their kids you could find it in one of the aisles. Plus they were local and easy to get to.

Then competition arrived and offered similar benefits. Followed by the internet allowing you to search for toys in the comfort of your home. Then Amazon promised quick shipping. Then people stopped going to the physical stores that were riddled with personnel and inventory issues. Oh, and we won’t even talk about pricing. Toy”R”Us was simply an option that didn’t stand out anymore. They weren’t different.

If you have a local church that are like all the other community’s churches, offering similar ministries, then you’re setting yourself up for comparison and eventually closing. Your community will simply decide where to go based on proximity, denomination, leadership personality, and maybe how your buildings look. It may even be your landscaping that becomes the issue.

There’s a better way.

You can create a different kind of church and become known for something very different and bold apart from the others in town. People will overlook most other things and drive great distances for something that’s different.

You need to be different.

But for the church; be sure that your difference is biblically sound, and most importantly, needed by enough people. Be known for being relevant and an essential benefit to your community. Then your church will be around for a long time.

You just have to effectively communicate your unique thread. Be different. Be needed. Be relevant.

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Mark MacDonald

Mark MacDonald

Mark MacDonald is a Bible Teacher, speaker, best-selling author of Be Known For Something, and communication strategist for and the Florida Baptist Convention. He empowers churches to become known for something relevant (a communication thread) throughout their ministries, websites, and social media. His book is available at and

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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.
— Dave
comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you for sharing such a good article. It is a great lesson I learned from this article. I am one of the leaders in Emmanuel united church of Ethiopia (A denomination with more-than 780 local churches through out the country). I am preparing a presentation on succession planning for local church leaders. It will help me for preparation If you send me more resources and recommend me books to read on the topic. I hope we may collaborate in advancing leadership capacity of our church. God Bless You and Your Ministry.
— Argaw Alemu
comment_post_ID); ?> Amen!!
— Scott Michael Whitley

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