In June Church of the Suncoast has been riding a strange wave of momentum. But, first here are some things we have working against this momentum:
1. We are doing a series on money.
2. It is summer time in Florida with great weather.
3. We have not done a lick of promotion since the first week in May.
4. Me (but, we always have that working against us) :-)
So far in June we have had 111, 102, 126 people on Sundays. This from a church plant that literally started from scratch one year ago. This from a church that had 30 people on these Sundays last year. This from a church that was averaging 98 people in 2007. So what have we changed? What are we doing different to see this growth at a time we should not be growing? What secret have we stumbled across that allows us to grow despite the money series, despite it being the middle of summer, despite the lack of marketing?
Here it is... nothing. We have not changed a darn thing. From the service, to the vision, to the music, to the strategy we have not changed a thing. So why the growth? Here are a few random thoughts (emphasis on the randomness):
- We made the announcement we are moving in August to a new school and that this is a strategic win for us to spread our influence into new communities. This really sparked our growth last year when we made our first big move into our current school.
- Our promotion blitz from the spring is paying off. This spring we sent nearly 200,000 postcards out to our community. I think we are seeing some residual effect from that. People are aware of us.
- We have been focusing and praying for our Sunday service. Sunday has always been the main event at the Suncoast. But, I think we have taken the excellence factor up a few notches this spring.
- The cost of fuel is keeping more people at home instead of on extended weekend vacations. So this summer might be working to our advantage by giving people more free time for church.
- Our management team is in place. We have a staff now. God sees that we are ready for exponential growth.
- God just wants to prove me wrong. I made an announcement to our leaders about bracing for the summer and not to be disappointed when the numbers dropped off. I told them it happens to the best churches in America... God just wants to prove me wrong.
I am still trying to figure out this new traction we have, but I do know this and I want to leave you with this. When the big "Mo" comes don't try to keep it. Don't try to protect it. Instead, ask yourself what will bring the next wave? What do we need to do to catch the next wave after this one is hitting the shore?
Also, from surfing as a kid, I know that sometimes you have to sit out there a long time before the waves come. Don't head back to shore so soon. Sometimes the measure of an organization and it's leaders is what it takes to make them quit. Don't miss the wave because you went back to shore too soon.