Thinking Out Loud

August 16, 2010

Probability of Participation

My wife and I are both creative types who are always hatching ideas, but we also realize that sometimes you have to throw dozens of ideas against the wall before you get one that sticks.

Although there are some churches trying to meet the needs of the people they serve, there are not a lot of choices in a small town for fellowship, teaching or service; so many people fall through the cracks.

But the other aspect of this is that, in order to succeed, you need to know there will be a “buy in” factor; that the thing you’re doing has a chance of succeeding.

We’re currently looking at an idea, which in order to take shape needs three things:

  1. People — or at least one key leadership person besides ourselves
  2. Place — this concept requires a location that hasn’t existed before
  3. Potential — we need to know that we have some odds for success

I’ve just checked the weather forecast to make sure I can hang laundry outside today.   The thing I’m concerned about is the Probability of Precipitation.   The thing I’m concerned about in ministry is the Probability of Participation.

We have a (somewhat cynical) church planter friend who claims that in the U.S., if you want to plant a church, you just set up a sandwich board sign outside the building you want to use that says,

New Church

Starting Here

This Sunday

10:00 AM

and you’re guaranteed at least 100 people.   I know not every planter would concur with that, but it seems to be that the U.S. experience differs greatly from what we see here in Canada, where, all conditions being equal, you might not get anyone.

But there are needs, and I believe that as long as you’re aware that there are needs, you have to keep trying, even when the Probability of Participation is very, very low.


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1 Comment »

  1. Hello! It seems as though you’re looking to do something new! You may be interested in reading about my experience with the ministry I started in a small town!

    http://altonwoods.wordpress.com/2009/12/02/its-all-about-jesus/

    Comment by altonwoods — August 16, 2010 @ 1:33 pm


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