Your church is probably great at a lot of things. It may boast excellent attendance records and have a reputation for meeting many needs in the surrounding community. One thing your church may be lacking, though, is fun, relaxed social events that allow new voices to be heard. Hosting an open mic night can have more benefits than you might imagine.
Get To Know Others Better
One of the most common reasons listed, especially among younger people, for why they stop coming to church is that they don't feel connected to anyone there. A social event such as an open mic night gives people a chance to hear from others they haven't met before and strike up a conversation. Released from the typical structure of meetings and services, there's more freedom to have fun and get to know one another.
Provide a New Outlet for Members
Most churches like to find ways to keep members involved. Once someone gets plugged into a particular committee or service, however, it can be hard for him or her to try new things. While it works out well for the church to have reliable people taking care of the work it does, church leaders may fail to notice when someone is approaching burnout. An open mic night is a breath of fresh air for members who love to write, sing, tell jokes or play an instrument, because it allows them to take a break from their usual roles.
Find Hidden Talents
Inviting people up on the stage to show the crowd what they can do can also benefits the church itself. As people perform, leaders may find new people who would be great at serving in various other capacities:
- Choir members
- Newsletter writers
There many people who may not broadcast their talents on a regular basis but will show up to perform at an open mic night. Maybe all they need to share their gifts more frequently is an invitation and a little encouragement.
Make it clear when you announce the event that ensembles are allowed. Those who are too shy to sign up on their own may have more fun if they are able to work with others on a performance. This is another way to foster healthy relationships among church members or perhaps even reach out to new people who are thinking about joining.
Support Local Business
Hosting an open mic event in your church's community center is an easy way to ensure that you have the space and equipment you need. Another option you may consider if you have the budget for it is to partner with a local business with a performance venue. Many bookstores and coffee shops have stages where they regularly host performances from community groups or artists. Partnering with the coffee house down the street is a fun way to support a local business and meet outside the confines of your church building to get to know the community a little better.
Discover New Ways To Worship
Your members probably love the familiar songs, texts and traditions that you use frequently in service. That doesn't obligate you to stick only to the things you know, though. As you listen to the poetry, songs, stories and other things that people share on stage, consider how you can incorporate some of those genres into your services. Finding new ways to worship isn't a judgment of the way you usually do things; it just gives the congregation a broader path for approaching God.
At first glance, an open mic night may just seem like a fun way to blow off steam. It can, however, have many lasting benefits for your faith community.