(that you might not have thought about before)
You can tell a lot about what matters to a company or a church when you visit them for the first time. You don't have to go much further than their ‘lobby’ to get a pretty good idea.
What matters to Amazon is to be ‘earth's most customer centric company’.
So every time I sign in they greet me by name and suggest things I really would consider purchasing next.
What matters to churches in our network is that unchurched people leave having had a great time, having found the help they were looking for and having experienced Jesus in such an irresistible way that they can’t wait to continue the connection.
I’ve never met a church leader for whom reaching lost people doesn’t matter.
But here’s the elephant in the room: They tell me they want to reach ‘outsiders’ but everything they do is oriented towards ‘insiders’ - the already reached.
Church leaders tell me they want to reach 'outsiders,' but everything they do is oriented towards 'insiders.'
It doesn’t compute…
So here are THREE things that really should matter to your church if you genuinely want to reach unchurched people.
1. How You Start Matters
You only get one chance to make a first impression. And a bad first impression leaves a lasting impression. “I’m not going back to that place!”
Every week your church actually has four chances to make a first impression:
When people click online; when they drive up & walk in; when the services starts and when the talk starts.
If an online visit is all about ‘you’ and makes people feel excluded they are unlikely to visit in person
If the signage is absent or confusing, the welcome overbearing or non existent and the coffee ‘crappy’ they won’t come back.
If the service starts ‘hard’ with intense prayers & music or an offering they’ll switch off. If it starts ‘soft’ with something fun, beautiful or recognisable they’ll lean in.
If the talk starts grabby and intriguing rather than mumbled & off the cuff; and if it promises to answer a question that people are actually asking then they’ll want to hear more.
2. Being Bold Matters
People will sniff out a dumbed down, expect-less kind of message. Sure, we need to woo people and ‘start grabby’ but people want to be pushed, to give themselves to something bigger than their everyday mundane lives.
So challenge people to climb some mountains. Challenge them to serve in a way that stretches their faith & gets them out of their comfort zone. Challenge them to love the difficult people in their lives, be ridiculously generous with their money and make a choice to go ‘all in’ with God.
3. The Age of The Stage Matters
If you want a church of ‘50 somethings’ then fill the stage with 50 something preachers, musicians and hosts. But if you want a church that reaches younger people then litter your stage with ‘20 somethings.’
Who you consistently give a microphone to and who you put in front of a camera is who you’ll attract. If you don’t have the courage to put younger people in influential stage roles in your church then don’t complain when you don’t have any young people in the youth group.
Okay, one more?
Prayer matters. When trying to build a church that unchurched people love, work like everything depends on you and pray like pray like everything depends on God. Pray like a crazy person!
Work likes everything depends on you and pray like everything depends of God. Pray like a crazy person!
What’s missing from my list? I'd love to hear from you and find out what really matters to your church when it comes to creating a church unchurched people are drawn to...