And of course improving the classic feel of church, making it wonderful for that experience. Our Small Groups do need some macro leadership and I think they can reach more people with some help. I want to be both an educated well rounded fruitful christian And and happy Christian. I hope to take the caustic backbiting and critical-ness of others out of the church as we learn to walk in the same direction and have fun doing it.
I want people to feel included, and I want them to feel like meeting together is not an option but an opportunity. Thirty or more years ago the church I pastor ran around on Sunday mornings. When we came here seven-plus years ago the church ran around We mostly have a younger congregation. We are strongly considering selling our building and either buying something smaller, renting a storefront or meeting in our home.
We recently started some outreaches — a free fitness class that is open to everyone, and, basically, a sidewalk Vacation Bible School where we go once a week to a low-income apartment complex and do something for kids age 12 and under. I would appreciate your thoughts. Thank you. Roger…thanks for sharing and this is a tough one.
Wrong document context!
It sounds to me like your church might be dying. I would encourage you to dig a little deeper and find out why your church is struggling as deeply as it is and try to bring renewal from within. Then, from a place of greater strength, you can assess the facility options. Your problem is elsewhere. Wishing you all the best, and thanks for your faithfulness.
I agree with Carey and Doug, the problem might be elsewhere but if you are in the red constantly — constantly stressing over paying the bills — that will distract from actually digging deeper and finding the problem. Can you image if you had little to no overheads and could just focus on rebuilding mission and community.
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Could you enter a time of prayer and fasting with the committed members of the church to seek the Lord on what the next steps are. Praying for you! The only thing I would disagree with in a qualified way is on merging. I had to leave my home church, because its congregation dwindled due to a convergence of factors, and they could no longer offer Sunday School.
It needs to see its community as a mission field. That said, I sometimes wonder if the mere act of getting itself out of the 70yo building its in — which to some is treated almost like an idol — would help catalyze some new thinking …. Interesting Chris. We grew significantly in each of them before we outgrew them and then moved.
I think you start where you are and grow from there. Plus, millennials like older buildings if you read the research. I will just add a bit from this angle.. Technological advances seems to be getting a bad rap here.. I fully understand that your leadership needs to be in line with God and their mission to advance. With that said I also believe that even when many churches are doing a good job in this area and are hampered by their Technologies — sound, lighting and video. In my opinion, these are very important tools in your ministries and should NOT be ignored.
I have been installing and servicing this ministry in churches throughout the US for many years and these improvements ALWAYS relates in excitement, refreshing and growth.. But to ignore these bad issues will result in frustrations and complaints.. You can simply call a professional and have a system and room analysis done that will drastically improve your audio situation for a very minimal investment.
They can usually make suggestions on lighting and video concerns as well. If you have the infrastructure cash, volunteers, building capacity technology can be great, but I think it might be a mistake to assume that projector screens and flashy lights will solve the problem. Every church culture is a little different, and not everyone is positively stimulated by a glossy entertainment show. At the same time, it is absolutely true that a competent and solid sound system can elevate the worship experience for everyone.
However, in the situation at my church, we have all the flashy equipment and no volunteers to simply sit and run the sound board or help with the sound mixing. The lead pastor is at an 84 year old church that had its best hay-day in the 70s at around 60 people. Being someone who personally struggled with form over substance the experience of helping a church do the same has been incredibly rewarding!
Right on. Not too long ago went to a church as a visitor. It was a fairly new building. Nobody greeted me at the door. I had to beg for a church bulletin. Not a single person made a point to welcome me.
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In another church, who met in a gym of a school, the pastor as he walked down, talked to me and made me welcome. So on target that a stagnant and dying church is not connecting with people. That statement is so loaded with truth right on. What the church needs to do is to look from outside in. The church can change the stagnant organisational leadership by way of making use of people from within the congregation or outside of congregation of other business management that has the observed knowledge of its needs that improve and grow from its congregation.
Pastors and deacons and pastoral staff should not run the operation of the church a they lack management foresights and often resistance to change because they have been there in the church of many years. With an organisational staff constantly changed and replaced, they can provide and assist the pastoral staff with the necessary feedback and service quality that can match between the church and the congregation. And I often see the truth you remind us of in trusting our own innovations rather than the true Rock.
But whee do we draw that fine line between this and conforming to the world? Where does our motive or intent in how we ministry cross the line? Totally agree. It starts the moment they arrive on site… from the parking lot to the preaching to the family ministry and beyond. Every aspect of the people engagement factor matters. Facilities and programs HELP but they alone are not the secret sauce. Loving on people is. Our 4-way mainline denominational merger is celebrating our 50th anniversary this year. I think we can do it! Churches will grow when they give attention in their ministries to building strong Christian families in their neighborhoods and communities.
Dedicated men and women raising their children in appreciation for the love and grace of God in Jesus will build a strong and dynamic congregations. Upon returning they want to recreate what looked successful, not realizing that there is more to a healthy group of Christ Followers than a packed out building and the newest Crowder song love the new album. Relevance to a community comes from service, transparency and openness. Just a note: The quote is from William Bernbach and not Ogilvy. This is very encouraging in that our church is not doing the first things and IS engaging in with the more successful ideas laid out here, hurrah!
Thanks for the article. I just think the core is whether a church is more acting like Pharisees or more acting like Act 2 converts. A church we loved, in a way, but were frustrated with, and which is just too far to attend regularly any more to help continue to nudge toward the Act 2 character of a church, seemed always to just have a core of a handful of lifers who were happy to have a little church to themselves, whether they grew or not. Forget Jesus, what about the steeple and old wood?? It grew, and is thriving and is all about Jesus every minute all week long.
Jesus—a message of simplicity? Go figure. Historical review: Humans tend to want to rope others into their personal pet controlled projects, and want to spread the costs by growing. Biz, church, power, anything. In church, they seem to want support for pet visions and pet goals they feel they can put forth on behalf of others, more than they actually seem to want to be an Acts 2 church. As noted above, I have observed this in mainline denominations who are pretty haughty about marginalized populations, very patronizing, from Protestant to Catholic, over the last 20 years. This one had true diversity across all dimensions, and truly lived being an Act 2 church.
Maintenance is even hard for them with aging and other attrition. As I opened: Thanks for the article. Hiring staff is the most common one I see. Thanks so much for that. I always think in the back of my head that any staff member you hire should be able to generate at least their salary in growth within the first year. If your church is located in an upper middle class area, it would be disastrous to implement an inner city outreach at that church.
Instead what the church should do would be to partner with an existing ministry in that inner city. It could alternatively encourage members to serve in inner city ministries, apart from church serving. He and Michelle had declared bankruptcy and were living on food stamps. So that summer, when the taxi driver asked him if he would be willing to smuggle weed instead of heroin, he caved. Pablo was a modestly dressed, middle-aged man surrounded by eight bodyguards. Now they were offering him a way to be born again. Memo took him to a cheap hotel where Bishop would be required to share a room with a cartel member, at his own expense.
Memo also gave him a Passat, which was put under his name. Over repeated runs, Bishop was permitted to cross into the U. But in between dry drives, he was a virtual prisoner of the cartel. Each night he was given 45 minutes to pick up food at KFC. Sometimes he was allowed to go to a casino. It was to protect him from other cartels. One day, when he left his room, he was cornered by a rival gang who wanted him to work for them, until Memo drove up, gun in hand, and took Bishop away. Finally, after 22 dry drives, it was time for the real thing. The car looked and smelled normal.
When Bishop asked where they would put the pot, the handler pointed to the dashboard and the rear bumper. Then he gave Bishop a burner phone. Bishop entered the usual traffic jam to the border, barely feeling anything as the hours passed. As he approached the checkpoint, he eased into the SENTRI lane and handed his ID to the agent, where he was once again waved through—a pastor on his way to church. Thirty seconds later, his phone buzzed with a text. He ordered breakfast. A little while later, he saw some guys pull up, get into his car, and drive away.
Two hours later they returned the Passat, emptied of drugs, and Bishop drove back across the border. Mission accomplished. Back at his hotel in Tijuana, Bishop spent the night in his small room watching Mexican TV, then woke up the next morning to do another run. It felt good to have some cash. Who cares? How do you do that? He sent much of it to Michelle, telling her that he was making money selling cars. He also began flirting with the idea of starting his own smuggling operation. In November , Bishop took Michelle on an anniversary cruise.
She begged him to leave Mexico and come home. Like many criminals who end up getting busted, Bishop insists that he was on the verge of going straight. He had made some 20 runs, any one of which could have landed him in prison. On December 10, , he says, the day before he was to return to Tijuana for a drug run, he called Memo.
When she reached the end of the driveway, she paused and looked back at him from her car. Soon after, at A. As Customs agents swarmed around him, he begged God to forgive him for what he had done. These days, not many people show up to pray at the old Kmart in Vancouver. One Saturday, Neal Curtiss, now one of the lead pastors at Living Hope, is up on the large, darkened stage, evangelizing to a sparse crowd.
You need a miracle in your life? Some still do. The more you sin, the belief goes, the more you can be reborn. But few have ever toppled as far as Bishop, running drugs across the border dozens of time for a Mexican cartel.
At Living Hope, a graying woman in a flowered shirt tells me she misses Bishop. Down in Yuma, on a sweltering day in July, Bishop was still trying to make sense of what he had done.
He was living in a small mobile home with David and Michelle, out on bail after pleading guilty to unlawful importation of a controlled substance. Facing a minimum of five years in prison, he was awaiting sentencing. Dressed in a black T-shirt, khaki cargo shorts, and flip-flops, he hunched forward in a tan reclining chair, wringing his hands. When I ask Bishop what he would tell his former congregants at Living Hope, he hangs his head. For me, I deserve prison.
I deserve nothing. For Bishop, there is one good thing that came from all the pain: a renewed relationship with his son. He succeeded in helping David escape the gang life of Mexico, though not exactly how he intended. Working together, they had started a trucking repair company to try to sustain the family. Michelle views their troubles partly in religious terms. We believe that Satan is real, and he's out to destroy our lives. Prosecutors alleged that the texts reveal that Michelle had picked her husband up at the border and helped him launder the drug money. Michelle declined to comment.
On November 21, at a federal courthouse in San Diego, Bishop was sentenced to five years in prison for the drug run in which he was busted. Up at Living Hope, pastor Neal Curtiss disagrees. The beauty of evangelical Christianity, he knows, is that there is no sin too big to be forgiven. Times rose from the near-dead. Looking for more? Sign up for our daily Hive newsletter and never miss a story. Times rose from the near-dead — Is the Biden campaign dead on arrival? Read More.
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No friends, serious conflict once a month, and people who will not follow. Is it no wonder so many quit so soon? I suspect, however, that men in these situations might be crippled all the more were they to faithfully preach a text like 1 Tim. These statistics indicate a pandemic culture of disregard and dishonor aimed at pastors. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.
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