At Eastland Baptist Church, we have done many creative and innovative things. Each one has been organized and planned with a specific purpose and goal in mind.
A number of years ago, we organized a creative outreach effort called “Family Tract Team,” which involved taking busloads of adults, teens, and children to various neighborhoods for door-to-door soulwinning. We had pre-meeting skits and followed the events with a unique time of fun and fellowship afterwards. Through this effort, hundreds of people became involved in outreach who had never participated before.
We enjoy putting on a 4th of July fireworks display that attracts a myriad of people, and a family ice skating night each December, where we rent an entire ice arena for our church family and guests. We have a fall Festival Day, with a host of carnival and family-friendly games after the morning service, concluding with a giant tent service. Our church also creates themed productions on Christmas, Easter, and other occasions.
The above mentioned events are just some of the creative and varied efforts we utilize to minister in our community. I think all these things have their place and contribute both directly and indirectly to the strength of our church, but these events are not the focus of this article.
In my opinion, the thing that has grown our church more than anything else, and the thing that our people appreciate more than our creative events and new ideas is a simple commitment to excellence. While I am a proponent of the careful use of creativity, I don’t think creativity or special events should ever be a substitute for giving our very best effort week in and week out.
Of course, we want to be authentic, real, Spirit-filled, and conservative in philosophy, but we also want to do things well, to be “sharp,” and on point. We endeavor to do all things to the glory of God and with all of our might. That is reflected in having a well planned service that has been discussed and thought through each week with care given to details and transitions in the service. We want our music to be thoughtfully prepared, and for the preaching to be labored over and prayed for.
Since we live in a visual and graphic world, we endeavor for our bulletins and all our literature to be done with excellence. We produce new tracts for each season and special event. We make sure they are well done, proofread, and attractive.
We also endeavor to make sure our property is well maintained inside and out, that the facilities are clean and presentable, and that things are in good repair and touched up.
It is very important to us that we have well-prepared greeters at the doors, that our nurseries stand out as excellent, and our Sunday school classes have teachers who have prepared both themselves and their classrooms to receive members and guests.
There is nothing wrong with utilizing a new idea as long as it glorifies Christ and does not violate any biblical principles, but remember that a commitment to excellence in everything you do will make more of an impact than a thousand creative ideas that are sloppily executed. People tend to universally appreciate things done well, and being creative is a bonus.
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.—1 Corinthians 10:31