Monday Is Coming
Sure, everybody knows about Sunday. That’s what churches do. Some churches might get wild and crazy and have a service on a Saturday. But that’s usually it. When it comes to church, everybody’s waiting for the weekend.
Wait, though. What if the real action starts when the weekend ends and the week starts? What if it’s not about what happens on Sunday, but about what happens on Monday?
That’s the idea behind this year’s Orange Conference, set for April 27-29 in Atlanta. This gathering of next-generation leaders drew more than 6,000 attendees last year and is on target to best that record in 2016.
With the theme, “Every Week, Monday is Coming,” Orange organizers hope to answer the questions leaders have about how to make Sunday’s strategy more effective for Monday’s reality.
“Monday is when reality hits,” says Orange founder Reggie Joiner, who also helped start Atlanta’s North Point Community Church. “Monday is when Sunday is tested. Monday is when faith has to work. The real question is will what happens in church on Sunday make a real difference in someone’s life on Monday.”
After all, that metaphorical Monday is when kids will challenge their parents, stay out past curfew, experience relationship break-ups, have to learn to handle success and have to navigate failure. It’s that same metaphorical Monday when parents will be challenged by their kids, will need to soothe some hurt feelings, may cause some of those hurt feelings, have to relate to the neighbors, need to keep the house in not-quite-disaster-zone condition and find out the answers aren’t as simple as they seemed on Sunday morning.
Aligning the idea of “Monday is coming” with planning for weekend experiences means a church team will better be able to:
• Make Sunday’s efforts last all week long
• Reach families that don’t show up on Sunday
• Build within kids and students an everyday faith bigger than one day a week
• Engage parents to partner with leaders so they can finish what Sunday started
• Help small-group leaders connect at key moments throughout the week
These principles apply across ministry platforms: for senior leaders, family ministers, start-up churches, urban ministry specialists, special needs, preschool, middle school, high school and college.
So, where do you start? After all, the rush of Sunday is already whooshing by and Monday will soon be a memory.
The first step, Joiner says, is to lead from strategy, not urgency.
If you could put together a plan designed to keep the influence of Sunday active all week long, what would that plan look like?
Small-group leaders would be activated to know the right times to call, the right kind of notes to send, the best school events at which to appear.
Parents would have meaningful cues that they could use to reinforce what happened on Sunday, with simple ways to initiate conversations about key truths and practical steps.
Ministers would have a freedom to equip volunteers and parents for the long-term, instead of narrowly focusing on the next 168 hours until the next Sunday crashes in.
Part of that strategy would be a new measure for Sunday success. What if a church’s success wasn’t measured by attendance numbers on Sunday, but by influence and impact on Monday and beyond?
“Church staff members and volunteers need to stop leading like Sunday’s coming, and start leading like Monday’s coming,” said Joiner. “Knowing the distinction will make the difference for kids and teens in your church.”
(The conversation will be continued at this year’s Orange Conference. The Orange Conference is expected to be at full capacity again in 2016, so taking advantage of early registration discounts is not only a good idea, it’s essential for ensuring a place at this year’s conference. Registration information is available at www.TheOrangeConference.com. The next discount deadline is a one-day-only special on October 8, which also gives registrants first-access to the most popular breakouts.)