Sunday, August 9, 2009

Helping People Make Church Home

I read a fantatsic post from Ps James Macphersons blog that I just know will help you in building your youth ministry:

I HAVE FOUND THAT people leaving churches usually give one of three reasons for their departure.

1. "I don't like it here"

Most people who visit our church love it. But some don't. And of those who don't, it's almost always a style thing that they have not liked.

For instance, some people want to sing hymns penned a hundred years ago rather than contemporary worship. Other people want a formal liturgy rather than the modern style of communication we employ and so on.

To change one's style in order to placate people is dangerous since you can quickly become someone or something that you are not. If it's true that you are most effective when you are being most authentic, then unfortunately you have to accept that some people will not stay at your church and there is nothing you can do to change that.

Rather than change our style to accomodate different people's preferences, we gladly recommend other churches in town where the style would better suit people's particular tastes.

2. "I don't belong here"

This is an issue of relationship and an area we are continually working hard on. People have a great need to belong and the church should meet this need better than any other organisation in the community.

I have found that people ultimately don't stay in our church because they love my preaching or enjoy the worship (though I'm sure that's part of it). Ultimately people stay in a church because they have forged meaningful relationships.

It takes time to build connections but they must be built. If people have failed to develop some key relationships within a few months they start to feel that, though they love the style, they just don't belong.

3. "I'm not needed here"

This is an issue of ministry. People need to make a contribution as well as to have community. This is why we make a point of helping people build relationships AND find a role.

Some months ago I told our worship pastor to double the size of our choir for no other reason than to give more people opportunity to be involved. People need to feel needed and so we must create opportunities for that need to be met.

Style is something that, by and large, people with either love or dislike. But connection and contribution are things that leaders must facilitate in order to help people make a church their home.

Leave a comment and lets get the conversation going.

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