I took this picture as I was driving home from yesterday. It is a bit blurry so in case you can't see, it is a seafood restaurant that is advertising boldly, "Now Serving Spaghetti!"
Now maybe it is really good spaghetti, but I'm not sure that anyone goes to a seafood restaurant looking for noodles in red sauce. My guess would be that this dish was added to the menu to attract families with kids… kids who don't or won't eat seafood. I understand things like that… more power to them, but I think this sign illustrates some principles that I have been working with in developing this new church.
1) We cannot be all things to all people. We have to do what we do and do it the best that we can. Especially in these early stages we need to focus on the areas that we feel are most essential first. Even as we grow and become more established, however, this principle doesn't change. All that we do should be intensely focused on accomplishing our vision. We do no one any real service by trying to be something we are not.
2) In our marketing we need to say what we intend to say. Clarity is essential. If this restaurant wants to target families with kids, then just say "Check out out new awesome kids menu!" Otherwise I'm prone to think that they are making spaghetti because they aren't very good at seafood… an unfortunate thing for a seafood restaurant. We are Graceway "Church" because we want to be clear about what we are. We are not a community holiness faith fellowship… we are a church. We don't just post our worship times and hope people randomly come… we invite them to come. Generally, people will not come to something unless they are clear on what they are coming to.
The point is simply that as the leader of a church I have to be intensely focused on where we are headed or before I know we'll be serving up all kinds of things that really have nothing to do with the vision we are trying to accomplish. I don't want to serve spaghetti when our "specialty" is supposed to be something else. I would much rather have us continue to hone in on the things we can do to advance the vision and continually strive to do them better.