Every year, I make plans for growing the church. Valentine’s Day banquet. Big Easter launch. Spring Marriage Enrichment event. Summer Day Camp. Four Business as Ministry seminars and cohort groups. Back to School kickoff. City-wide Trunk-or-Treat in our parking lot. And so on.
And every year, at least three-fourths of all those planned events fail to meet our expectations (though to be fair, our expectations are pretty high). I call the phenomenon “Laying Eggs.” And we lay a lot of eggs at our church. And I’ll bet you do too.
It turns out, I’m willing to try almost anything that’s moral, legal, and ethical to reach people for Jesus Christ. Something about Paul’s injunction in 1 Corinthians:
19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.1 Corinthians 9:19–22
We’re willing to risk failure after failure, even when it costs us precious resources, because of what remains. It turns out that the one-fourth is our “end all, be all.” When something hits, it hits well, and we’ll see our members adopting new people, connecting with them on personal and spiritual levels, and in time seeing lives transformed.
We lay eggs. Lots of eggs. And yes, we get pushback from those who still think it’s 1954 and everything we do should be a smashing success. But for the most part, the congregation gets it … and all our leaders get it. We don’t always hatch a success. In fact, sometimes it seems like we rarely hatch a success, but if you’re not willing to lay an egg, you’ll find yourself paralyzed by the fear of failure … and that’s not the spirit that God honors.