Most people live their lives going through the motions. Habit to habit, routine to routine without much consideration as to why they even make the choices that they do. Then suddenly your job, or a business, or your church, or your kid’s school will do something that delights you and gives you renewed purpose or vision. It’s usually a personal touch that kind of snaps you back to reality or sensing that an extra level of authenticity was delivered. Sometimes it’s an obvious step that you know wasn’t convenient but was done anyway to make you feel special.
be the difference people are looking for
It’s the card that arrives in the mail from your college best friend that makes your day or when your student’s small group leader shows up unexpectedly to their first game. It’s when your job for the first time ever makes a chart that shows authentically how all their spending works and with their little extra profit decides they are going to give a cost of living raise this year. These things stand out in all the busyness of life.
We want churches to be making these types of moments for people. We want churches time and time again to be the thing that makes people pause in awe and reassesses their situation. We want the experiences that churches provide to create wonder and anticipation in people’s lives. That spur people on towards Christ and help them to know that God is still at work in the world.
Below we’ve listed four things that we think families need to hear to maintain confidence in what God is doing at your church. However, we believe these four things could even generate opportunities for you to create experiences that stop people in their tracks and make them so proud to call your church, their church home.
#1 show them their kids and teens are a priority
Make a point to show parents and grandparents that their children are a true priority in your church. This happens in a lot of ways, but some of the best ways we’ve identified are:
- Having a fantastic environment for Kid’s Ministry
- Having a relative and inspiring environment for Student Ministry
- Providing Pastors and Directors to those ministries who are well qualified and do an amazing job
- Giving young people opportunities to serve and find a place in your faith community
- Highlighting those ministries in your adult service
- Hosting events that are just based around families
- Receiving personalized mail and phone calls from (small group and ministry leaders on birthdays, holidays and just because)
#2 prove that you value their time
It’s really easy for your church to do something because another church is doing something. However, as ministry leaders it’s important to do what’s right for your own congregations and as God leads. I’m talking specifically about filling people’s time with events…”because events”. If you want to host a ton of events, then do it, but don’t pressure your people to be at each and every single one, unless it’s the right fit for them. Furthermore, take a good hard long look at what’s on your calendar and make sure the things that are there are “wins” for your own church body. Prove to them that you value their time, and you’re not just trying to fill their calendar.
If you, ministry leader, authentically let people know what things you believe are a priority and let them know why, people are much more likely to go on that journey too. Refine what those things are, so you’re not changing them all the time. This will prove to people that you value their time.
#3 show them that you spend their money wisely
There’s a lot of things we can learn from fast-growing mega churches and transparent accounting is one of them. People are often more likely to tithe a full ten percent and give on a weekly basis if they know where the money they donated is going. If your staff costs are through the roof, and you are embarrassed about it, consider cutting back. However, if your employee costs are through the roof and you’re proud to be paying people a better than competitive salary, let your people know that too. If your electricity bill is through the roof, consider switching to an ecobee or similar thermostat, and let people know your building is outdated, but you’re making strides towards progress.
Being honest in the little things builds trust. If your accounting is so in-depth or you are such a “private” leader that you just aren’t there yet, then start somewhere. Give people a summary of everything you can. Public transparency will build private trust. If your congregants still throw a fit about it, as hard as it is to admit, they might not be a good fit for your church. This is one of those areas that if you’re different and open, it will be such a breath of fresh air to your church family.
#4 reveal that you have a vision for the future
Many people are basically “winging it” in life. A lot of charismatic people can actually “wing” their way into success, but they can’t usually stay there, because maintaining growth once you’ve reached the “level of your lid” requires a plan.
If you aren’t a visionary, but you’re an amazing teacher or preacher, gather some people around you to help fill in the holes for your weakness and make a plan. Why should people keep coming to your church? Why does your church exist at all? What do you intend to do in the next year or five years? What’s the accountability to keep you on track?
These are the types of answers that will stop people in their tracks and make them want to get on board with what you are doing. People are looking for purpose. People are looking for something they can count on. People are looking for other people to help pour into their kids. People are looking to make a difference in the world around them.
Your church with the right passion, staff and vision for the future can be a church that transforms your city. So start with one thing, and get to work.
Chief Creative OfficerStacia has over a decade of ministry experience, with the majority of that time leading next generation change. She has experience leading almost one hundred volunteers, and developing curriculum for kids and students. Stacia has a B.S. in Church Ministries and Biblical Studies, as well as experience educating in an elementary public school environment. She is also immensely creative and accomplished in teaching children about the wonder of God.