- Praise God
- Please be praying...
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- 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
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- Encouraging progress
- Please be praying
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- 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
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- And The Winners Are...
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- The Video: Signs of Neediness
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- The Video: Inconsistent Artwork
- A Thanksgiving Thought
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- The Video: Real Men Love Java
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- The Video: The purpose of the video.
- What If Starbucks Marketed Like the Church? A Parable.
- re-Branding on Momentum
Last time I gave a baseball analogy and talked about how I went from making fun of the baseball freaks to actually becoming one. I talked about the fact that I didn’t get there overnight. It was gradually through baby steps. I went from hating the game, to giving in and actually going to a game, to discovering that baseball might even be enjoyable, to going back to another game, to buying season tickets, and joining a softball league.
These baby steps could be paralleled to many people’s experience with the church and accepting Christ. I thought I would never set foot in a church until my friend pleaded and I gave in. I sat there feeling empty and full all at the same time. It was obvious to me that there was something more and when the pastor spoke, it was like that home run—in my heart. His words inspired me and I returned.
Later, I committed my life to Christ and I found myself more and more sold out. I was investing more--paying more for my seats. I wore the Christian t-shirt and I had the leather Bible. God was working in my heart and people began to see a change in me. I joined the church and solidified my commitment.
One day, as I was growing, God called me out to the playing field. I now find myself serving any time that I can. I can’t wait to see all of my friends and family come to know Christ.
Sometimes, like Paul, God completely knocks you off your horse and you go from disconnected outside of the ballpark to the playing field in a very short time. Unfortunately, this is not the case most of the time. It’s a matter of progression over time. During that time, God works in our hearts and minds to change our perception. Now I am not saying we are not all immediately called to be witnesses, I am saying that we grow and progress in our walk with Christ at different rates, but in similar stages.
So what can we, as a church, do to help those outside the ballpark make it to the upper deck? What about the upper-deckers moving to the lower deck? How do we challenge the lower deck to get on the playing field and be part of the team?
I’m sure you’ve seen the parallel that I’ve made by now and I pray that you understand I am not belittling the church with this illustration. My heart is simply to understand that perceptions are quite varied in our churches. Whether it’s unbelievers, or scholars, we’ve got to learn to reach people right where they are and motivate them to the next level. Are you thinking about that every week as you prepare your messages? Make it so.
© Richard L. Reising