one of the most important things we do so poorly in the church.
Hey all! Sitting here at the airport getting ready to set off on the first tour trip to put our feet on the soil and ask God to lead. And for those still wondering...NO, we have NO IDEA where we will end up, so don't put us in the wild west yet. We have NO support, NO money, NO plans, just a desire to set out and let God lead. Pray for us please. It's a bit nerve racking, and every time I go to New Hope it kills me. But what a journey of faith (Genesis 22). Maybe we will end up near YOU?
Here is one of the most important things the church continues to fail to do and it is KILLING us. Mark Batterson wrote this post about New Year's Resolutions and it spurred a thought that has been killing me for years. Read his post HERE.
Follow-up. We are bad at this, and so many other churches are as well. We preach on SERVING, GIVING, SOCIAL JUSTICE, COMMUNITY OUTREACH, etc. but do we give people a very EASY clear way IN, and a very EASY clear way OUT? Do we make it SIMPLE? CLEAR, COMPELLING, and do we HANG WITH IT or are we onto the next great thing?
Capital campaigns. Most of us can raise the funds, but do we clearly lay out how to keep the funding up over 3 years and follow-through as strongly as we initiated the push?
Small groups. Is it EASY to get into one, or do you have to find some obscure location that someone is supposed to man to sign up for one, and then is it a confusing ordeal? What if I don't like my group? What is a group anyway?
Tasks. Our church was collecting 3.5" floppy discs for charity. The bulletin said to put them in a basket at the information center. This weekend I took mine and found no basket. Do we make tasks easy, and check on them to assure that they are being accomplished?
You name the initiative HERE...most people can start something, but most teams can't close it or follow-up with it and slam it home.
Simple Help: **Make it EASY to join and do something. Make it EASY to TRY before you BUY. Answer all questions in print or verbal or on the web.
**Have MULTIPLE AVENUES of marketing the project [remember: people don't start catching the vision until we start to get tired and really bored of casting it] and MULTIPLE AVENUES of signing-up or seeking more information.
**Communication card, web request, e-mail, phone call). The more ways the better the response. Some don't use e-mail, some won't call, some won't use a communication card but want to talk to someone. We list e-mail, phone, name and allow communication card response. Why not?
If we care about the project, we will make FOLLOW-UP easy and we will make it happen. So often we crap out after just 1 week and we sit back and wonder why no one is motivated to do "anything." I can't tell you how many things I have started and not finished or maybe that our team has over the years, and I bet you have the same story! That's why Paul encourages us TO FINISH THE RACE!
Systems and follow-up are the key to long-term sustained growth. Just as LOVE must be cultivated in a marriage and is not wham, bam, so must the spiritual development and assimilation of seekers and believers in the church. We do a great job of GETTING THEM IN, but what do we do to KEEP THEM THERE in the grip of GOD'S GRACE, GROWTH AND LOVE?
Are we about STARTING WELL or FINISHING WELL? I pray that both happen, but I would rather FINISH WELL I think. HOW ABOUT YOU? What would you add to this list? If we get this one thing right, we will stop KILLING THE CHURCH in many ways!