BLOG: Is Q1 the Time to Try New Things in Church?

February 3, 2020 Joel Guthrie

The start of the new year could mean the start of a lot of new things for your church. Whether it’s a brand new sermon series, introducing new music, or changing the way weekday events are done; things are evolving. The question is: is the first of the year the best time to be making all of these changes?

When growing as a church, we find a lot of things can change easily, while some things take a little more time to get used to.

Swing hard or take it easy?

Churches normally wind down after their Advent and Christmas seasons with an end of year soft pitch to the congregation. It’s hard with all the food in your belly and family in town to sit and focus on a deep sermon.

But when the clocks turn over and it’s a brand new year, the new sermon series comes around and it’s all fastball from here on out.

Getting into a series is a good idea because it allows for big concepts to be broken down into bite-size sermons. Easing into some of the more in-depth parts of our faith should be a walk down the pool stairs approach instead of a cannonball in the deep end.

Mixing up the music

We’ve had a musical break for December, playing mostly Christmas songs (or Christmas-adjacent), but now it’s time to introduce new songs to the congregation.

Again, probably not the best idea to play *only* brand new songs. Pepper in one new song every other week for the first quarter of the year and by the end of March you will have a whole new catalog to arrange worship sets with.

Don’t forget to play old favorites. You know your church better than anyone, so use the time to introduce new music as an experiment for what is to come.


Some churches made to the end of the year hanging on for dear life. The schedule made at the beginning of the semester sounded like a good idea in the summer, but now having gone through it, there might need to be some changes.

Whether it’s the youth group meeting times or group bible study gatherings, it may be time to change things up on the schedule. For the churchgoers who want to do more but have too many overlapping in the schedule, new times could make for more engagement.

Ultimately, you know your church best and the changes that need to be made in the new year. Don’t be afraid to take your time changing one thing at a time. After all, as your church grows, so should your space for new things.

If you feel like you are spending too much time working on logistics and administrative tasks - Blackbaud wants to help! Blackbaud Faith Solutions provide support for the church backend to run smoothly so the staff can get back to spending more time in community with other church members.


About the Author

Joel Guthrie

Joel Guthrie is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at Blackbaud and the host of The Church Engagement Podcast. He grew up in the church and his family helped start a church in Colorado Springs. Since then, he has been on staff as a worship leader and youth leader at a church in Bellevue, WA. He has been working in marketing in the tech space for his entire career, servicing large tech companies such as Microsoft and Amazon. He is passionate about helping the church apply modern technology to grow and engage their communities!

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