1. Improving the A/V System Capability within the Sanctuary
Audio and video Improvements – start $30,000 improvement project that will replace the existing system, speakers and add LCD monitors to enhance presenting the gospel in a creative way. Shorten sermons.
Audio clarity is critical especially in a mature population with many suffering from hearing loss. Better speakers that are focused directly into the audience with improve clarity. Also this will reduce noise, audio waves bouncing from wall to wall and that will improve clarity.
Adding some sound-deadening materials, pads for the pews, and possible baffling on the walls will reduce bounce within the sanctuary. Seeking feedback from the congregation once the new system in place will speak to the effectiveness of the changes.
2. Bringing People into the Biblical Text, Making it Come Alive
Using a more participative preaching style, seeking engagement from the congregation during the sermon, and being creative in presentation will help people interact with the biblical text in a deeper manner.
Using people to help tell the biblical story, having them act out parts of the text, doing small skits or dramas, and maybe having the congregation read the scripture the week before its being preached on will help.
When people encounter the biblical text in a first-hand manner they remember it, they better relate to it, and tend to live out the principles of the text in their own lives during the week.
The pastor must continue to evolve and the team will continue to solicit feedback formally and informally to determine what works and what is not working.
3. Personal Story Connects Peoples’ Stories with the Biblical Story
Encourage the use of personal story during preaching. Maybe ask people to share their own personal stories that are pertinent to a particular biblical text. Having them share their stories during the sermon or with one another as a part of the sermon. Offer a time of sharing during sermons.
People want to connect with biblical principles because it helps them live out these stories during the week. It also reinforces how God connects with us and how our stories intersect with God’s story for humanity. This makes our faith more alive and keeps us alive on our journey of faith.
Seeing this play out weekly or weakly will tell us if this is working or not. If there is significant resistance to this it may mean that a majority of people don’t find this approach effective or desirable.
4. Reconfiguring the Worship Space to Create Greater Worship Intimacy
Start a dialogue with the congregation about worship and how space influences a community’s sense of worship intimacy. Put together a plan that changes the space to better match or reflect a closer intimacy.
Studies show that people sitting all spread out in a large sanctuary have a hard time singing and there is less of a sense of connecting with one another because people are so spread out in the facility. Closeness breeds a sense of togetherness and a connectedness in spirit.
Progress in this area would include people sitting closer together either through instruction or space modification. Adding restrictions to some areas of the existing space may be required to move people in this direction.
5. Change Church Demographic to Reflect Community Demographic
First we need to build a sense of community where people know what our demographic is and why it’s important to mirror the community demographic in our local church. We are here to serve the community, but perhaps most do not recognize or understand the problem.
Its starts with education, it requires building a sense that we are here to serve the community, and it will require an internal attitudinal change. Churches are strongest when they reflect the community in which they operate and it allows for growth to occur. Our preschool better reflects the community demographic and our church should do the same.
Obviously one measure of effectiveness would be for our faith community to reflect our local demographic. Right now we are grossly out of balance. Data from the city of Buena Park website: http://www.buenapark.com/Index.aspx?page=272