Christy and I joined a small church several years ago. The church was, at one time, rather large, but has since, for a variety of reasons, lost a lot of members. We average now about 70 members, which was the number of people in our Sunday School class at our old church (one of the reasons we moved on to our current church).
The church is mostly older. Christy and I are about the only members under 40. We have formed a leadership team and are going through a group called Vision Planners to revitalize our church. The process has been rather frustrating, for the team and for the Pastor. We often feel adrift at sea without the help from Vision Planners that we paid for. When we get the help, it frequently is confusing and confounding.
A conversation I had with our preacher got me to thinking the other night. Could a church revitalization be run like a political campaign? We went through a message grid program, just like I do with candidates. The economies are the same — both have only time, talent, and treasure. Both a political campaign and a church have a candidate. One has a person and one has a structure with people in it composing one body.
Once the mission is defined, a message grid done, and a strategy formed, both just need the right combination of tactics under the strategy to accomplish the mission. I think it would be a novel and worthwhile experiment — a good hypothesis to test.
My hypothesis is that a church revitalization is similar enough to an election that the skills of a political campaign could likewise be employed in similar fashion to a political campaign to revitalize the church.
I’ve grown fascinated by the idea.