Leadership, Pastors, Preaching, Sermon Illustrations

Familiarity Breeds Invisibility

If you’re sitting in a familiar space right now, look around the room. Is there clutter anywhere, a pile of papers, some power cords sticking out, dusty picture frames, any paint chipped?

If there is, it will actually be difficult for you to see it.

After we’re in a space for awhile, we no longer notice the clutter or the imperfections. Why?

Because familiarity breeds invisibility.

When we see something regularly, our brains become accustomed to it, and we no longer really notice it. We only notice when something changes.

This applies to churches.

After a very short amount of time, church members and regulars no longer notice when church leadership is mediocre, when the congregation’s attitude isn’t warm and inviting, when music quality is subpar, when the church has no vision, when younger people are underrepresented, etc. Familiarity breeds invisibility.

After a very short amount of time, church members and regulars no longer notice bad signage, unkempt landscaping, chipped nursery paint, clutter, an old rickety building, etc. But guess who does notice it?

New people. The very people your church needs to reach. Familiarity breeds invisibility.

Familiarity also affects how your community views your church. If the look of your church building never changes– no new temporary event signs, banners, etc., people in your community may no longer notice your church building. When they drive by it, it just blends into the scenery. If your church doesn’t continually impact the community in a new way, you’re community no longer sees you.

How can your church break out of the familiar? How could you see your church through new eyes, through the eyes of people not familiar with your church?

Also see “Worship Service Feedback”.


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