I just attended the seminar on Growing Your Chruch in Times of Change. Here are my thoughts:
His stuff was really good, except for a mathmatically flawed example about triangles.
He started by saying that it was important to settle the issue that God wants your church to grow. This is a real issue, and one that I feel we don’t focus on enough. God wants us to multiply. I really feel that we need to set a goal at Grace to multiply our Sunday morning service. He intimated that this was a good thing to do. Frankly, as long as there is anyone in Arlington who isn’t in a vital and growing relationship with Jesus, we shouldn’t stop growing.
He said that statistically most people only have 60 relationships within their church. If the church is only 60 people, then they know everybody. If the church is over 60, they might say this, but in reality they don’t know any less people. They might say “I don’t know anybody anymore,” but in reality what they mean is “I don’t know everyone anymore.” There could be two reasons for this:
1- They don’t have the influence within the church that they used to have.
2- They are looking for meaningful relationships. In this case they need to be connected to a vital small group.
Never use the word “divide.” Always use the word “multiply.” Oops!
This was a big one for me, and one I will be instituting even more: “Never do any ministry without bringing someone with you to learn how to do what you are doing!” In the past, I have often said, always ask “What am I doing that someone else could do?” I think this is better, and is my new paradigm for youth ministry.
As an aside, he said that they have recently asked the question, “What does it mean to be a follower of Christ?” This has led them to formulate 3 commitments that someone at their church should have: 1-A commitment to Christ; 2-A commitment to the Church; 3-A commitment to the cause [of the Church].
I think that last one may be the topic for my sermon on Sunday. I’ll know better as the week progresses.