Excited to fail.

By November 15, 2014The Gathering

Staff_Marshall, LanceOne of our big ideas failed miserably. Here is why that is good news.

When we launched weekly worship services at 5:30 p.m., a number of First 7th leaders decided that we should start offering a light family dinner from 5 to 5:30 before worship. The idea was to grow the youth snack supper that already happened during that time to something that entire families would participate in. It would bring a social atmosphere to evening worship, give families a chance to escape from the kitchen and meet new people in their community. It’s a great idea, right?

Um, not so much, apparently. 🙂

Our 5 to 5:30 dinners aren’t really attracting enough people to continue them beyond tomorrow, so we’re cancelling them. In fact, the change also pretty successfully undercut the momentum of the youth snack supper that was already taking place.

So, to recap:
1. The new thing that we started didn’t work, and
2. it accidentally messed up something that was working.

That, my friends, is a pretty good definition of a failure. And that is good news.

Don’t get me wrong, I am bothered by this: I really, really hate the feeling of failing. Sitting in an empty room thinking “nobody came to my party” makes my skin crawl. Starting something just to shut it down is so disappointing. I struggle with doubt as much as anybody else, and failure feels like a huge setback. But it’s not. Failure is part of our strategy.

Let me make something very clear: First 7th will fail at more things than any church you have ever heard of. We will make big efforts that fall apart. We will start projects that go nowhere. We will kick and miss at the football so hard we land flat on our back. And we will try again. And again. And again.

First 7th is about making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. It’s the most important task that any people can give their lives to. We are the hands and feet of God on earth, sent to proclaim the good news of the kingdom come. Our cause is so worthwhile, our message is so powerful, our God is so good that fear and doubt and shame have no place in our lives.

We will constantly do new things to share the love of God with the people we meet, and some of things will fail. Nobody is perfect. But some of those things will succeed. And those moments of success, those moments of grace, those kingdom moments, make every false step, every bad experience, every tough moment well worth it.

First 7th is a church that is willing to fail at anything, all for the glory of God. Join us.

See you tomorrow,



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