The Power of Moments

Episode 639: When people experience powerful moments at church, they leave remembering having encountered the Lord and feeling changed. Clint Clifton and Todd Adkins discuss the challenge of “setting the table” for those moments without crossing the line into manipulation.

In This Episode, You’ll Discover:

  • The four different types of moments a church planter wants to create for his congregation
  • Why it’s important to set the table but remember it’s the Holy Spirit who moves in powerful moments
  • Why events like “Pack a Pew Sunday” and elements like altar calls and membership were important in creating powerful moments
  • The challenge of remembering that people, not the program, are pre-eminent

Sharable Quotes (#NewChurches):

Not that you want to manufacture a moment but there are things that we can do that will make the environment most conducive to that. The Holy Spirit is the person that is going to be moving them, but you need to do everything in your power kind of to make that moment “happen.” @ToddAdkins

It’s important for us to have moments and mile markers in our walk with Christ. It’s also important to have moments and mile markers in the life of our church early on. @ToddAdkins

There was a sort of Charles Finney revivalism that crossed the line into what most church-planting pastors would consider manipulation. We’ve overcorrected and said, “We want everything to be organic.” And we’ve lost some of those critical opportunities in our local ministries. @ClintJClifton

I want to set the table. I want to light the candles but I want to recognize on my part that the real magical thing that’s going to happen in ministry is the work of the Spirit. It’s the work the Word does in somebody’s life. @ClintJClifton

I want to create an environment where people will come to the table so they might experience the Lord in a really special way. We want people to leave remembering having encountered the Lord and feeling changed. @ClintJClifton

Instead of doing the hard creative work of how we can create an environment or an experience where people are likely to grow, we’re just simply running the play we’ve seen happen so many times before. @ClintJClifton 

Apathy lulls us into to not having those moments. We need to stop and take a fresh look at what we’re doing.  @ClintJClifton

Part of what it is, is the inertia of your own success. And sometimes that success is just staying open. Sometimes it’s growth. @ToddAdkins

You’re not going to have margin to think about setting the table and lighting the candles. You’re just going to continue delivering meals to the table. And the next thing you’re throwing TV dinners there and you didn’t even know it. @ToddAdkins

The 90 days before the launch of the church are hard, just a grind. And then the next 90 days you have to build on that inertia of success. So even though you want to go home and slump in the chair and rest, you better have something planned to take advantage of that moment. @ToddAdkins

When I can plan what I’m going to do that first 90 days after a launch when we’re all kind of dragging, that’s going to rejuvenate your volunteers and you as well. @ToddAdkins

One of the biggest mistakes I see church planners making is thinking completely about the beginning of their church services, their launch day and thinking little or nothing about the life of their church in the systems and rhythms of their church after that first day. @ClintJClifton 

It’s like thinking about the wedding a lot, but not about the marriage at all. @ClintJClifton

It’s fallen out of vogue to have big days – pack a pew Sunday, friend day – and it is a little corny, but in throwing that whole lot out, we have really lost something. @ClintJClifton

We need to take full of advantage of that moment that we have. And then look forward down the line to say, “Okay, and this is where we’re going.” @ToddAdkins

Two things today that we kind of push off, and that is the altar call and membership. Both of those got hijacked 40 years ago. Don’t throw those things out. Don’t treat them like they’re a tool, but do think of them as a moment. @ToddAdkins

Baptism is a very, very, very powerful moment in the life of that person that we should steward well. @ToddAdkins

The problem is when the program becomes pre-eminent. You have to remember the program is for the people, the people are not for your program. @ToddAdkins

Programs come and go but the real question is, how are we making sure that we are being absolutely wonderful stewards of the time that people are giving us and the experience that they’re given? @ToddAdkins

Helpful Resources:

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Published February 8, 2022

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