There’s something powerful about repetition. Doing the same thing day in and day out. Over time habits start to form, and those habits play a big role in our lives. If you have good habits, your life tends to go well. If you have bad habits, your life tends to fall apart. In the same way that our lives have habits, your church has habits as well. Sometimes those are good, and unfortunately sometimes those are bad. If the church has good habits, things tend to go well. If the church has bad habits, things tend to fall apart.
When the church I serve was just getting started, it had a lot of bad habits.
We would never get started on time, we let anyone have the floor to speak or sing, and we had monthly business meetings. Yikes!
It took years for us to get out of these, and we lost some people along the way.
You know as well as I do that bad habits are hard to break.
Eventually, we started to develop some good habits in a lot of different areas of our church, but I want to focus on just a few that you can start implementing this week as the pastor.
(If you’re reading this and you’re not the primary communicator at your church, make sure to share this with your pastor. They will appreciate your initiative and your make it better attitude. Who knows? You may even get a raise. Of course, they may not be ready for this just yet, and this could land you in the doghouse. Risk it anyway.)
The habit I want to talk about today is using these four phrases every time you preach.
1.“If you’re here for the first time…”
Even if you know every person in the room, act like there’s a possibility that someone is visiting for the very first time. Why? Because this communicates that you’re expecting guests to show up, which also communicates that you’re expecting your congregation to be inviting people. Welcome guests to church like you would welcome them into your home.
2.“Our church exists to…”
Our pastor would say, “Our church exists to share the love of Jesus with everyone, so everyone will fall in love with Him.” We call this our mission statement, and we want everyone who attends our church to join the mission with us. By saying this, you’re letting everyone know what your church is about and how he or she can be a part of it.
3.“Your next step is…”
Every sermon you preach should end with a next step that you want people to take. If you can’t think of a next step for your sermon, then you need to really ask yourself what’s the point of it. God’s Word should lead us to action. We want people to apply it to their lives. A weekly next step is the most practical way to do this.
4.“Thank you for…”
You may say this several different times on a Sunday. I want to thank people for giving. I want to thank those who serve. I want to thank those who are visiting for the very first time. I don’t think you can say thank you enough. We couldn’t do what we do without the people we get to serve. Make sure to thank them.
Now, just remember it’s not enough to just do this one Sunday out of the month. You need to make it a habit to use these four phrases every time you speak.
Because most people aren’t attending church every week, and it takes most people several times of hearing something before they will remember it. So, say it, and then say it again, and again, and again.
Are you currently using these four phrases? Why or why not? What would you add to the list?