8 Signs of an Effective Church That Has Fun

You might have assumed that my point in the title is a negative one—that is, that I’m railing against churches that elevate fun and fellowship over content and conviction. That’s not my point at all, however. Rather, I want church leaders to think about times when church really is fun – and to long for that to happen in their own congregations. 

  1. When lives are being changed. There’s nothing quite like it when God saves a soul, the church rejoices in that new believer’s decision, and they celebrate baptism together. It’s fun to see a transformed heart. 
  2. When worship singing is genuine and exuberant. It’s one thing to sing in a perfunctory way just because that’s what you’re supposed to do; it’s a different matter, though, when you sing because God’s praises are erupting from you. The latter is fun. 
  3. When the people long to hear the Word. They have their Bibles in front of them, even if their copies are electronic ones. They listen with anticipation because they love the Word of God. They want to hear more. For those of us who preach, it’s fun. 
  4. When prayer is not only real, but it’s also the first recourse. “Let’s pray about it” is the first response to any issue because the people truly want God’s guidance. They know their own fallibility, and they dare not take a step without God’s leading. That’s a fun place to be, too. 
  5. When “family” is more than just a word. I know this from personal experience. My parents didn’t become believers until late in life, so my church family really did become my family. Some of those folks from my early days as a pastor, in fact, are still my family. It’s sweet . . . and fun. 
  6. When the next generation is being sent. I know it’s hard to send out our best. I talk with pastors who want to keep their finest and with parents who want to keep their kids and grandkids around. When a church launches them into their own work, though, it can be exciting and fun.
  7. When the congregation deeply and publicly loves their pastor and his family. I wish every pastor received the love I received from the two churches I pastored. I never doubted their affection, even when we disagreed at times. Fellowship was more than food; it was fun. 
  8. When returning to visit a church that loved you. When you leave a good church, you do so with gratitude for their care and grief for your loss. When you get to go back and see the congregation again, though, it can bring a great deal of joy.  Reunions can be fun. 

In these days of discouragement, let’s encourage each other with good stories. When is church just “fun” for you?

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This article originally appeared on ChuckLawless.com and is reposted here by permission.

Chuck Lawless
Chuck Lawlesshttp://ChuckLawless.com

Chuck Lawless is dean and vice president of graduate studies and ministry centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, and global theological education consultant for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.