I had a great conversation with Jerry, our Rock-n-Roll Czar Yesterday. I am so glad that God has blessed me with crew members to learn from that range in age from “20 something” to “50 something”. I won’t tell you where Jerry falls in that age range :-) but we were talking about keeping the “flavor” of actionchurch. He was telling me about an event he attended this weekend that used to be one of his favorites…but had completely lost what made it unique and attractive as it grew larger.
actionchurch is growing. I’m excited about what that means. We’re expanding…we want to be an inviting and accepting place for so many more people who would never dream of attending church to “meet” Jesus. What we don’t want to do though, is lose the “flavor” that makes actionchurch unique and attractive as we grow.
So how can we “keep the flavor”? How can we “sell out without selling out”? I think I have the answer. The funny thing is, we’ve been holding the answer in our sticky hands every Sunday morning. The way to “keep the flavor” in a donut is to not change the ingredients…not take short-cuts in the process. Don’t change the recipe just because you are making a larger batch.
We serve Dunkin Donuts coffee at actionchurch. We used to serve Dunkin Donuts. We switched to Maple. They have a certain “flavor”… every time. Not everyone prefers them, but if you do, nothing tastes like a Maple Donut. Their employees are friendly and helpful…every time. They’ve been frying dough for 60+ years. They’ve expanded numerous times. They started out with the owner selling donuts made by his father, on a bicyle route. Today they have two factory sized bakeries. They still make great donuts with the same great flavor. They still serve their donut loving clients well.
On their company website I found this message along with their story:
The growth of Maple Donuts, Inc. can be attributed to the emphasis placed on our maintaining high standards of product quality, of excellent customer relationships, of superior job performance and the unwillingness to compromise these standards.
I think that’s a pretty Good plan to “keep the flavor” of a donut…or a church.
Here’s the “original recipe” for actionchurch taken from our 2007 manifesto. How are we doing with keeping “the flavor” so far?
What we Value
Fun! Brevity. Cultural Relevance. Authenticity. “A little less talk and a lot more action!” Transformation over information. Doing nothing Half way. Kindness and generosity…with no strings attached. “Making Jesus Famous!” Creativity. Originality. Ambiance. Art. Family.