Now you may be wondering what the picture is all about. I will let you know in a bit.
I believe a church can always learn things from other churches. For the longest time I attended a conference in Granger, IN. To be honest I learned alot and implemented a few things. When I was youth pastoring, I would attend Jeanne Mayo conferences all of the time. I would be the first to admit that I tried to copy for awhile to no avail in my own youth ministry. It was at that point, I realized it is a dangerous thing to try and copy another ministry.
I remember attending a field trip Sunday night service with the church I was on staff at. This was a large church in the Chicagoland area. After we got back from this outing...you began to see changes happening in the building. From the colors of the new building to how the worship team had to wear all black. I suppose it would look sharp in some settings however, each church has it's own unique DNA. Anytime you force something upon a church it more than likely is going to flop. This happened alot when the Brownsville revival began...many would attend this "revival" and than try to mimic it in their own church. I remember seeing worship leaders that look and sang like Lindell Cooley. You know the funny thing? The copying never stuck and what happens in my opinion is that a sacred cow in born in that church.
See, after a little while the pastor had to leave the church that I was serving at. This was the guy that made many things resemble this church in Illinois. After he left, the worship team was still required to wear ALL black (which would be great for a goth concert) each Sunday. The new name of the church even copied it...they just switched the words. Well...being appointed "Interim" pastor in my book meant I can make a few changes...not get to radical though. I told the worship team, "Hey, let's come to church looking nice but let's ditch the black." Let's just say that went over like a led balloon. The above letter is what I got instantly after that. This was only a few weeks before my departure.
Bottom line...each church has it's own unique identity. Not all churches can be contemporary and not all churches can be catering to seniors. It is a natural organic process to find out who you are. When you find out who you are...RUN WITH IT!