During my seven years at Fellowship of The Woodlands I had the chance to see some amazing things. In fact, although we were longing to return to California, we stayed because we wanted to see what God would do next. Really. That’s the kind of experience it was. During those 7 years the weekend attendance grew from about 1,500 to over 10.000. And that was only what you could see from the surface. The things that happened between the lines were even more amazing.
I also had a chance to see from the inside why churches like Saddleback, Willow Creek and Fellowship of The Woodlands have grown during a period when the average church has declined in attendance. While there are a number of identifiable factors, one of the most important elements has been their willingness to keep it simple and repeat what works. They know their mission. It’s a simple mission. They know their customer. It’s a very identifiable niche. And they just keep figuring out one more way to do the same thing again. What they’re doing is very, very simple.
In a post on the importance of sticking to your story and keeping it bite-size Seth Godin writes about how "repetition becomes essential." You can see it in the churches I’ve mentioned. The fun thing for me right now is that I’m back in one where the pattern is being repeated!