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Fourteen Initiatives That Can Bless Your Church in 2014

Pastors, do you see great potential in your church, but aren’t sure of what to do or when to do it?  Sometimes, all that is needed is an idea or a seed thought.  Here are fourteen initiatives to consider that have made the difference in the spiritual program of many churches.  Whatever program you do, I urge you to begin planning now for the New Year.  2014 could be your breakthrough year!

1.  Organize a church-wide prayer and fasting effort.

You will never do anything better than lead your church into an intense prayer campaign.  If you aren’t sure how to do it, there are many resources around to use.  Try,  40 Days of Fire or any number of other programs.  Call up other pastors for help and suggestions.  Any effort you make in this area will pay off in a spiritual refreshing for your church! 

2.  Bring in a powerful evangelist known for reaping a harvest.

There are lots of good preachers around, but some are especially gifted as reapers.  Do not hesitate because you don’t think you can afford one.  If you plan ahead and promote it in your church, people will respond.  Trust God for more.  The impact it will have on your church will be worth whatever it costs.  

3.  Do a tent revival/block party/music fest, etc.

People love tents, music and parties!  Even sophisticated city folk will come to these kind of events if you do it right.  Block parties have a track record of tremendous success.  Consult with an experienced organizer before you do it, but don’t think it is beyond your capabilities.  If these efforts do nothing else, they will create excitement in your congregation and energize them to do more. 

4.  Engage a church consultant who can analyze and advise.

Do you have a handle on the finances, the organizational structure of the church or your visitation program?  Are you running the church as efficiently as you could or should?  Are you unhappy with the way things are going but you don’t know what to do?  Many pastors are so busy with the day to day responsibilities that they lose sight of the big picture.  There are consultants available who can do an appraisal of your operation and give you some invaluable advice.  Things can run smoother, you can save money and you can do a better job of reaching your community if you change a few things. (Hint: You have to be willing to change some methods!) 

5.  Plan a capital stewardship campaign.

“Money answers all things.”  If you are contemplating a building program, buying property or retiring a mortgage, your first thoughts probably are about money.  You may be able to raise much more money than you think by recruiting the services of a capital stewardship company.  The UPCI has a program under the auspices of the Stewardship Department that can help.  Don’t wait for a windfall.  I’ve observed that God blesses those who are laboring in His fields.  You owe it to yourself to at least investigate the possibility raising money this way.  The Stewardship Department also has other programs that may benefit you.  Contact Pastor Dean Lunsford to or go to to get more information. 

6.  Hold a marriage and family enrichment seminar.

Marriage and family relationships are the number one concern of the majority of your people.  By ministering to their needs, you are strengthening the church.  There are awesome husband and wife teams in the Ohio district that would be delighted to come and do a seminar for you. Go to for other ideas and details. 

7.  Focus on the children with VBS and/or a children’s evangelist.

The group that is going to have the biggest impact on the adults of your church is the children’s group.  Do something for them in a major way.  Check into the VBS curricula that are out there, and get a children’s evangelist to come in for a crusade.   You will be surprised how much excitement you will create for the whole church.  You can access for abundant resources. 

8.  Reach out to your community in a major canvassing program.

Print a thousand tracts, flyers or door hangers and go to a pre-selected area of your town and begin passing them out.  Rent billboard space, get radio or television time, and find other ways to get the name of your church out in the community.  Also, this may be a good time to coordinate all of your church stationery and PR materials so that they work together.  Get a professionally designed logo and print it on all your materials to establish your church’s identity.  

9.  Start a daughter work or a preaching point.

Starting an outreach in a location that may turn into an autonomous church may be easier than you think.  Do some groundwork ahead of time to find a place to hold a service or even a Bible study, get a few people to help you, pick a time and date—and go!  Besides the obvious goal of reaching the lost, you will create excitement in your congregation.  People love to hear about success or even the potential for success.  It is also an excellent way to develop people who have a desire to be in the ministry.  Get more information from our Ohio North American Missions department, Director Ken Dillingham, or go to to access their resources. 

10.  Have a missions conference.

Global Missions has an appeal to North Americans that seems unrivaled by any other initiative.  Our largest budget, by far, is that of Global Missions.  Take advantage of this passion and have a missions conference.  It‘s possible that two or three missionaries traveling in the States can come.  Your church will be blest and you will raise the consciousness for missions, plus people will be inspired to give more. will give you some more ideas. 

11.  Remodel or refurbish an area of your building.

Sometimes change for change sake is good, especially when it comes to your worship, education and office spaces.  A fresh coat of paint, new carpet, tearing out a wall or doing some other remodeling project can do wonders for your congregation.  It may not be much, but it is a sign of life!  The same old same old year after year is uninspiring and it tells people you’re not interested.  Also, if something is badly in need of repair, don’t put it off another year.  Get it done! 

12.  Join with another congregation for a combined service.

Occasional combined services, especially with smaller congregations, give your people an opportunity to see different faces and communicate with others of like precious faith.  It is also a powerful way to demonstrate unity and oneness of purpose.  A communion service or a potluck Sunday with some recreational activities—with some friendly competition—will be fun and enjoyable.  Your people will appreciate the fellowship.  

13.  Project a series of special Sundays centered on specific themes.

Themes that emphasize community values like patriotism, law and order, and community services are generic enough to invite everyone in town.  Other theme possibilities are family, youth, children, or national holidays.  It doesn’t really matter what you choose, the real purpose is to find a common theme that will bring people together and give your people a reason to invite others to church.  You may not make conversions that very day, but you will establish relationships that can lead to soul winning.  Of course, instant salvation experiences are always a great result as well!  

14.  Go all out for a fundraiser like CFC, SFC, SOC, MM, etc.

People love to work together to accomplish an objective that they cannot achieve alone.  Many pastors forget that the reason fundraisers are so valuable is not the money raised but the sense of accomplishment that people get during the process.  You may not be able to greatly emphasize all of the UPCI projects, but you need to find one or two that will galvanize your people into action.  

The foregoing suggestions only represent the tip of the iceberg.  There are probably 2,014 initiatives that could have been mentioned!  If none of these fourteen ideas will work for you, that’s okay, but I urge you to find something that your people can rally around.  Step back and ask yourself this question:  If I were looking for a church to attend, would I want to come to your church?  Be that church!  With a little planning, you can take a step in the right direction.

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