- Praise God
- Please be praying...
- What Every Church Needs to Know about Marketing: Final Thoughts: If you don't pass the people test, nothing else matters
- What Every Church Needs to Know about Marketing: Part 3: Marketing is about People
- What Every Church Needs To Know about Marketing: Part 2: Marketing is Everything
- Getting Your Current Members to Invite Friends
- Through the eyes of a visitor
- Encouraging progress
- Please be praying
- Bootstrap Faith
- Know Our Hearts?
- Seldom Read But Always Evaluated
- Creating an Experience
- The Bond Between Music and Design
- The Church Exposed
- The Value Principle
- The Nike Effect: Part II
- The Nike Effect: Part I
- Starting New This New Year
- Christmas Revelation from Charlie Brown
- The Video: Speaking Starbucksian
- And The Winners Are...
- The Video: A Treasure Hunt
- The Video: We're Not Like That Church Down The Street
- The Video: Signs of Neediness
- The Video: Death to Papyrus and Comic Sans!
- The Video: Inconsistent Artwork
- A Thanksgiving Thought
- The Video: The Culture Crime
- The Video: Reserved for Barista
- The Video: Real Men Love Java
- The Video: Marketing is more than you realize
- The Video: The purpose of the video.
- What If Starbucks Marketed Like the Church? A Parable.
- re-Branding on Momentum
Thinking its about us
If we are firmly following Christ, it is not about us anymore. It is not about what we like. It is not about our style and our preferences. As church leaders it is not about having our pretty face on a billboard or a website. It is not about us. The colors we like do not matter. It is not about us. It is about the object of our affection; and the way we do church reveals the object of our affection. God? Certainly. Others? Definitely. Us? Not so much.
I'm not the only one who has this crazy thought. Jesus asked a question that struck a cord... "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?" Most of us see that as a lovely plea to reach a lost sheep. But what about the 99 other sheep? Who were they? They were us. Jesus clearly advocated leaving the sheep (us church folk)--howbeit in a safe place--but His focus was not on them. His focus was on finding the lost one.
When we make decisions about sermons, design, style, decor, etc... who are we making them for? For ourselves as church leaders (based on our personal likes and dislikes)? For the flock (the loyal followers)? or for the lost ones. Which one do you think Jesus would be focused on? No doubt He always protects the flock--but He also always pursues the lost. Lord, help us as wise shepherds to tend to the flock, without losing focus on the object of your pursuit and affection. Help us to see through the eyes of lost sheep.
Brilliant point - and one of the most difficult to recognise as a leader. As you work on and in any ministry, ownership is vital to keep you motivated, but unchecked can merge into control or micromanagement of the ministry, soon squashing it. Recognising and defining the identity of a ministry in Christ - what is He wants, not your tastes - is very difficult.
Posted on Mon, May 31, 2010 @ 3:18 AM CST
Can't wait for the next posts-- I'm in suspense!
Posted on Wed, Jun 16, 2010 @ 2:39 PM CST
"When we make decisions about sermons, design, style, decor, etc... who are we making them for?"
We should be making all worship decisions FOR GOD! We don't worship the lost or the found.
Let's keep it real. The lost sheep are just that -- lost. When they are found and repent, then they come home. We absolutely should not base all of our decisions on the lost sheep.
If we remember that the 99 still need to hear the gospel in every sermon, that will eliminate the first part of the problem. But in terms of design and style, etc.., we should NOT be trying to look just like the world.
Most unchurched people think it is silly when they go to a Church that is trying to look like a U2 concert. Have you seen U2 in concert? There is NO WAY the church can compete with that. So, in style and design and decor, we should be trying to imitate the beauty of God -- not what the world has to offer. That's my 2 cents.
Posted on Sun, Jun 27, 2010 @ 2:14 PM CST
Wow! For the longest time, the parable of the lost sheep has confused me. I did not understand the idea of the shepherd leaving the 99 to go find 1 lost one; it just didn't seem entirely logical. You articulated it in such a concise way that it just clicked in my head, and for that, I thank you :) great blog, by the way.
Posted on Mon, Jul 12, 2010 @ 3:03 AM CST
I feel where you're coming from. But one has to stop and ask himself: what's the purpose of the church? Is it to be a social club for the saved? I don't think Jesus would've consented to leaving us in a sinful world just to be a club unto ourselves. Which begs another question: why DID Jesus pray to keep us IN THIS WORLD? Was it not to be a light to those still in darkness?
Personally, I feel too many churches are geared towards 40 year old Christian women. That's seems to be the demographic most likely to frequent church. Jesus came to seek and to save THOSE WHO ARE LOST. It's a waste of time, ministry and energy just maintaining the status quo until He cracks the sky. I believe we should spare no cost to reach EVERYONE.
How dare we, who made it safely into the boat, get upset at the rescuers for doing everything possible to save those still drowning? We definitely have to do better at drawing the lost. Just my 2 cents...
Posted on Sat, Jul 31, 2010 @ 9:59 AM CST
I think first any minister following God is preaching what God leads him to preach. When one puts themselves in that position your doing God's will not your own. And if your doing God's will how can you be picking the sermon or anything else. Do we have to make decisions, sure, but all things should be done in pray and we should walk by faith and not by sight.
Posted on Thu, Aug 5, 2010 @ 1:50 PM CST
Hi Mack, I don't think either one of us are saying something that is untrue. I agree with you that the congregation needs to be equipped to be IN THE WORLD. And that a shepherd's focus ought to be on seeking the lost.
I'm not upset at "the rescuers." My point is that Worship needs to be directed at God, not lost people.
You say that you think that church is mainly geared toward 40 something women, but I'm entirely sure I agree with this. If in fact, we are gearing a church or a church service for a particular demographic, that ought to be looked at.
My point was that a Gospel-centered church is going to hit any demographic you bring to it, and will be "relevant" to new believers, old believers, and the lost.
Now, with regard to reaching the lost and the rescuers, I think that how a church does that could use some further development. Like I said, we simply can't compete with the world in the arena of "coolness" and "entertainment."
Plus, there are different approaches to what this should look like. Should the entire church and all of its minitries be focused on outreach? Or should a lot of the church's ministries be directed at equipping the flock to do the outreach in all of life - at home, at work, in community and governement, as well as when they are physically at church?
I don't believe that the institution of church should try to replace these other spheres of vocation. That's how we end up with things such as 'the Christian ghetto,' if you're familiar with the term.
There is a lot more to think about in terms of ministry focus than drawing a dicotomy between "the lost" and "the saved."
Posted on Thu, Aug 12, 2010 @ 7:57 AM CST
I am stimulated by this discussion!
I think I would find myself agree with Jay mostly. Jesus did, often, take his small band of 12 to teach them or rather to 'disciple' them. Then there were other times when he spoke to the crowds (although interestingly many of those times it was to teach the disciples a lesson!)
Where we can make it as accessible as possible to new people (I like point 9,) if they are not beolievers they should feel as if they are not totally included. Not because we are excluding them, but because we have the gospel and that makes us different.
If every service is for the new person and non believer, where does the discipleship happen?
Posted on Fri, Oct 8, 2010 @ 9:28 AM CST
I am having great difficulty understanding why we even need 'churches'. Tear down the walls of our churches, get people out of their warm phews and into the WORLD... but eugh they might have to touch some poor, sad, filthy individual and it might cost them something like Money! Time! I feel like the one lost sheep - Jesus will find me. Church Leaders are too busy preparing for a great worship service and sermon to find you....
Posted on Wed, Oct 13, 2010 @ 4:57 AM CST
i absolutely love this website! My hubby and I pastor a church plant here in Stafford, Tx a suburb of Houston called Destiny Church. I have a passion for Church culture and strategic planning. I will dig more into your website and possibly look into coming to some of your events.
Posted on Fri, Jul 20, 2012 @ 4:50 PM CST
Huge thanks! Make sure you read the book, Church Marketing 101, if you haven't already. It's available at Amazon.com. If you love this website, you'll love the book!
Posted on Wed, Jul 25, 2012 @ 9:34 AM CST