Avoiding Ground Hog Day
In the movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray experiences the same day over and over. I see this same phenomena occur in congregations when I see the same programs offered year after year with little attention paid to their impact. I see Ground Hog Day occur when meetings continue to be run in ways that are described in Patrick Lencioni’s book, Death By Meeting. I see Ground Hog Day occur when leaders focus on maintenance rather than mission, gaining members rather than building disciples, and bringing back the good old days rather than helping usher the congregation into God’s preferred future.
To avoid Ground Hog scenarios in the future, leaders need to:
- Put on their designer hats and begin creating programs, worship services, meetings and experiences that engage people’s senses around things that matter most – connection, community and making a contribution.
- Let go of activities and traditions that no longer serve people and to be willing to pilot new programs and practices that lead to spiritual growth and vitality.
- Ask better questions that frame our conversations around what it means to be a Christ follower in the 21st century.
- Lead by proposal, turning immobilizing dialogue into tangible ways for moving forward faster.
- No longer accept Ground Hog activities as being normal but rather view these activities and practices as a cancer that’s diminishing the church’s impact on society.
Will Rogers reminds us that “When you find yourself in a hole, the first step is to quit digging.” As people of hope, we have the capacity to chart a new course beginning today, starting with ourselves. Our choices today will determine what our churches become tomorrow.