Time to ReNew
By Rev. Will Zant
We recently introduced the Cannon congregation to a new team of folks at our church called our "ReNew Team."
The team is made up of members who attend our 9:30 am contemporary service and together have developed a plan to renew that service. We have a good thing going in this service — an awesome band, new people, a vibrant atmosphere. The team would like to take the next step and bring new ideas to bear. Here's a little background.
In November and December, a group was identified who attend the 9:30 am offerings. They were asked, "If on a good day there are 175 people in attendance at our 9:30 service, what would need to be done to have 400 attend?"
Two of our more colorful answers were "pyrotechnics" and "225 more people."
As we listened to the answers of the group, three themes emerged:
- Empower the congregation to invite new people.
- Provide relational opportunities for the attendees to get to know one another better (think fellowship gatherings) and to take part in the service (think ushers, communion servers, photography, videography).
- Rebrand the service with some new elements and tweaks of current elements that will culminate in a new name for the service in the fall.
To help simplify these three areas, they were named respectively:
Reach + Relate + Rebrand = Renew.
As we worked on these areas, two important theological emphases were set. First, we do not want to covet other churches. To covet is to break the tenth commandment. In essence, let's not add something to our service just to be like another church. When that's the motive, we miss out on the gifts God has given the community of faith already. Secondly, we want to be humble. Though we do not covet, we need to be humble enough to learn from other churches and people. The goal is to hold these two themes together.
Our ReNew Team met early in January and focused on our first big event (there are plenty of smaller initiatives being implemented already).
Cannon is hosting an evening worship service on Friday, February 23, at 7 pm with homemade desserts to follow. It's called "One Unforgettable Night of Worship" and will feature our amazing band playing several sets. There will be no preaching. We will experiment with different elements within the sets of music.
So now we're asking big questions: What would it take to get 400 people there? Every member of our congregation is invited to attend and we have cards they can share as an invitation.
To be a bit strategic, there is a big and different worship service two days later at 9:30 am on Sunday morning, February 25. It's called "Demo Day", which is a nod to the hit show "Fixer Upper" — we might even be swinging some hammers.
Keep this team in prayer as they seek to reach new people for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As we remember the words of Jesus in Revelation 21:5, "Look! I'm making all things new."
Rev. Will Zant is co-pastor of Cannon UMC in Snellville along with his wife Rev. Blair Zant. Contact Will at email@example.com.