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December 2020- January 2021

Passing the Faith


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REFRESH: Mini Big Days

Have you ever watched a hamster spin in a wheel? It can be both amazing and frustrating at the same time. He runs and gets nowhere. He keeps doing it because it is comfortable, and he knows how to do it. In many ways, the world of ministry can be like a hamster wheel. If you are a pastor or church leader, there is a good chance that, at some point, you have felt like you are just spinning a wheel. Perhaps it feels more like spinning in circles.

I have been there! But, in 2014, I ran across a book that changed my ministry. I opened the mail one day to find a book by Bob Franquiz called Pull. Bob chose to send this book to me for some reason, and I am grateful he did. One of the chapters is called “Mini Easters.” It is an idea we renamed “Mini Big Days,” and it is not really a new idea at all. In fact, Terry Forrest taught this same principle in church growth class when I was a student at Welch College.


Why Mini Big Days?

Imagine waiting for hours at Disney World for a new and exciting ride. When you finally get to ride, the car makes an exciting climb, has one big drop and then turns back down into the station. After all the anticipation, you are left wondering, “Is that all?”

Of course not! Although brief, amusement rides are built off the little, exciting moments. Many churches are a one-scream roller coaster. I learned this principle as a church planter in Arizona. We spent most of our energy and budget on Easter, enjoyed an exciting climb and a huge day, followed by a sudden drop. That was it, until the following year, when we tried to make Easter bigger and better than ever.

In his book, however, Franquiz taught us to build ongoing “little moments” of excitement, eight to ten days a year when we push for a big day. These Mini Big Days help build momentum, maintain excitement, and eventually convert into consistent church growth.


What is a Mini Big Day?

Every time our team puts a Mini Big Day on the calendar, we face the same question: “What to do?” This is where your team’s creativity gets to shine. Listen to their ideas and follow suit. A Mini Big Day can be anything that gets people excited about coming and inviting people to church. We have had block parties, tailgate Sundays, holiday-themed services, and much more. The biggest thing is to pick a day and challenge your people to invite everyone they know. Launch campaigns, print invitation cards, encourage each one to bring one—whatever it takes—focus all your inviting methods on these days!


When are Mini Big Days?

Our teams have focused on two key approaches to picking Mini Big Days. We look at the calendar and ask two questions: first, what is a day that is normally great we can make even better? For example, Mother’s Day. Focus all your energy on taking one of the biggest days of the year and making it 20% better. Second, what is one day we know will be bad that we can make better? Take one of those days like Memorial Day, Labor Day, or Super Bowl Sunday and find a way to make your lowest attended Sunday 20% better. Labor Day will never match Mother’s Day, but if it is 20% better than last year, when you did nothing, it will help you build momentum and cultivate church growth.
I love talking Mini Big Days, and I love getting new ideas for them. If you ever get stuck, need an idea, or have an idea to share, I would love to be a part of that conversation.
May the Lord be glorified, may His Church be built, and may we do more than spin the wheel.

About the Columnist: Josh Bennett is lead church planter at Awaken FWB Church in Tifton, Georgia. Learn more:

©2020 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists