Mike Frazier Pastor, Canton Baptist Temple, Canton, Ohio
For many years now we’ve had an annual theme at our church and it has worked well. You might ask, “Why have an annual church theme?” Well, to begin with, it gives your church a sense of overall direction and purpose. It also provides your church with a common goal to rally behind and to accomplish. It lets your church know that this upcoming year is not just going to be another “business-as-usual” year. By having a theme we’re communicating the idea that we want to see God do something special in our church.
After much thought and prayer, as a Leadership Staff we chose the theme “Come Grow with Us.” On that first Sunday as our members came through the doors of our building, they couldn’t help but see our theme for 2020. We promoted the theme by placing signage all throughout our complex, utilizing the front of our bulletin, promoting it on our website, and highlighting it in our quarterly newsletter.
I started the year by preaching a five-week series of messages on the subject of growth. In each message I’ve made sure that there was a practical way in which our people could respond.
• For spiritual growth I encouraged them to participate in a Bible reading program.
• For numerical growth I encouraged them to commit to giving one hour a month to our GROW Outreach Ministry.
• For supernatural growth I told them that we need to pray and to ask God to do what only He can do in the life of our church.
• For relational growth I emphasized the importance of them regularly attending a Sunday School class where they can build relationships with other members.
• For financial growth I challenged them to tithe and to give sacrificially to the work of their local church.
By making sure that there was a personal and practical application in each message, the people realize that our 2020 theme is more than just a sign up on the wall. They now understand that when I talk about church growth, I’m talking about how we all need to grow in different areas of our Christian lives.
In order for an annual church theme to be successful three things have to happen.
• First, as pastors we have to continually promote the theme all throughout the year – not just in January and then never mention it again. Everything rises and falls on leadership!
• Secondly, the people need to clearly understand not only the theme, but how they can be a part of accomplishing that theme. In other words, they have to own it.
• Thirdly and most importantly, it takes God to make the theme become a reality in your church. Here’s the bottom line, without God nothing of spiritual significance happens in our churches.
So, yes, I think having an annual church theme is important, and yes, I would be more than willing to share with you the themes and ideas we have developed here at our church over the years.