As a pastor you don’t have a choice about which service you attend – unless you have a youth pastor to send to that service with all the complainers – but your members make a decision about which service to attend if there is more than one offering. So how do they make that decision?
In a recent podcast, Thom Rainer observes, “The six reasons church members choose one service over another are:
- Language preference
- Time preference
- Style preference
- Group preference
- Family situation
- Week-to-week decision
But I think he missed a big one: snacks. If one service offers coffee and snacks and the others don’t, then your teenagers will help you make that decision: go to the service with Starbucks and Krispy Kreme.
OK, I know it’s not a very spiritual factor in making a decision, but if you have a 16-year-old son you know it’s realistic. And when I helped plant a church that drew heavily from a college population, I can tell you what I learned from experience: students can smell the doughnuts from five miles away.
Michael Duduit is founding Dean of the College of Christian Studies and the Clamp Divinity School at Anderson University. He also serves as Professor of Christian Ministry. He is the founder and still serves as Executive Editor of Preaching magazine, one of the nation’s premier publications for pastors. His email newsletter, Preaching Now, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences. He is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching, Joy in Ministry: Messages from Second Corinthians, Preaching with Power: Dynamic Insights from Twenty Top Communicators and Communicate With Power.