There’s something about routine that can be comforting. It can be reassuring, soothing and calming to do the same thing over and over and over. However, there is an opposite to routine, too. A laziness that results from doing something without change that can lead to distress, boredom and weariness. I’ve heard people say that routine is like traveling on the expressway for many hours. After a while you do not see the yellow markers dividing the lanes. The lines, a symbol of safety if you stay in your lane, gets placed in the back of the mind. They become invisible. Their purpose insignificant.
Sometimes when planning the annual church event we can get into a rut. The same event, every year. The same way, every time. The same speaker-type, every time. Someone may say, “There’s no reason to change what’s not broken!” But I think God is too creative to do the same thing the same way….all the time!
Drew Allen Miller, in his book Maverick Marketing …on a shoestring budget!, states,
The appropriate way to create original works is to become familiar with a lot of other people’s ideas. Creativity is when someone takes a whole lot of ideas … and uses them for inspiration. They mix, modify, swipe, swap, adopt and adapt until they create something truly different from the examples they started with. Creativity is best defined as looking at one thing and seeing another. Ideas are nothing more than a new or different arrangement of known, existing elements.
Where can you get ideas? Everywhere!! What are some interesting or memorable ways to make your next annual event interesting? Look at the world around you. Attend other events (not similar to yours). Speak to people who you think would have no interest in attending your event and ask why?
One thing I like to do is insert, “What if we…” in front of each phrase below:
• cosponsor with another auxiliary or committee?
• find new members to be on the planning committee?
• hold it off the church site?
• target a different group?
• make it bigger or smaller?
• take stuff away from it?
Incorporating any of these new dynamics will influence the end result. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Remember, “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind” (Tim. 1:7).
Approach the organizers in a way to seek their advice for the new idea rather than telling them how boring the last event was. Some folks may defend their event like a hen does her baby chicks. Be prayerful in finding the right time to bring up the new event/planning idea. And don’t take it personally if it is not received the first time.
“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God.” —Philippians 4:6