As promised, I am continuing to send points on how the Church is experiencing change. I am giving you a couple more points and how we can address the issues of change. As I have stated before, I am finding this information very helpful as I encounter people every day. I am enjoying being excited as I meet people, as I talk with people I know, but not well, and as I listen to what they are saying and what they feel.
Sometimes it is hard to “trust” someone you are just meeting, and as Christians we think we are very trustworthy, however to a non-Christian, it is hard to trust us. Maybe they have heard negative things about Christians, seen things on Social Media, or even had a well meaning
person “judge” them. These are all hurdles we must overcome. Hurdles that are not insurmountable, but hurdles none the less. We need to allow people to get to know us as a friend first, learn to trust us, and most of all get to know them.
So this month, I will give you two more points on the future Church and the shifting attendance. Not every point is going to hit “home”, but every point does have something worthwhile thinking about, praying about and can assist us in getting to know ourselves better as well as getting to know people who are not yet connected to a church.
Sundays will become more about what we give than what we get
Our gatherings will become less about us and more about Jesus and the world He loves. Rather than a gathering of the already-convinced, the churches that remain will be decidedly outsider-focused. And word will be supplemented with deeds. In the future church, being right will be less important than doing right.
Sure, that involves social justice and meeting physical
needs, but it also involves treating people with kindness, compassion in everyday life and attending to their spiritual well being. This is the kind of outward focus that drove the rapid expansion of the first century church.
That is why I am so excited about PLI, a group that is
teaching us the desire to create churches unchurched people love to attend. Attendance will no longer drive engagement; engagement will drive attendance.
Currently, many churches try to get people to attend, hoping it drives engagement. In the future, that will flip. The engaged will attend, in large measure because only the engaged will remain.
If you really think about this. . . engagement driving attendance is exactly what has fueled the Church at its best moments throughout history. It’s an exciting shift.
I hope you are finding these points thought provoking and challenging. I am challenged to get to know people and their needs. I am challenged to make friends, and be the tool the Holy Spirit uses to reach people for Christ.
I cannot bring anyone to Christ, that is the job of the Holy
Spirit and all I need to do is be friends, and who doesn’t want friends?
Blessings to all of you as you meet new friends, and thank you for allowing us to attend and work on PLI