Monday, September 22, 2014

Friends & Family Plan

Some 40 years ago there was a poll taken that revealed where the vast majority of church members had come from: 87% of those attending worship were there because a friend or family member had invited them.

At the time of this survey, I was involved with a series of churches that gave approximately 95% of their time and effort to door-to-door evangelism or to promoting a rewards based invitation to Sunday morning attendance where either the church member who brings the most visitors or all the visitors, or both the inviter and the invited, get a prize of some kind.

As I shared this incongruity between poll and practice recently with a friend, I wondered aloud what the churches at the time of that statistic should have done. They probably should have, first, shut down all those silly efforts to attract crowds. Secondly, they should have reveled in the fact that the stats show how organic/relational church growth is still the ticket. And finally, if the people in their congregation were not inviting others to worship then the problem is internal and perhaps if that were fixed, then the church would grow, naturally.  

Reanimating the Church

It has been difficult to read Ed Catmull’s book, CREATIVITY INC. Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand In the Way of True Inspiration, without thinking constantly about the work of the ministry and the training of ministers. It doesn’t help that Catmull uses covenantal language and utilizes biblical ideas throughout his disclosure of Pixar Animation’s successes and success.

Seeing how a CEO has discovered basic understanding of the Imago Dei and embraced a secular version of Boaz’s approach to his ‘employees’ is remarkable. Catmull’s philosophy is full of discipleship, forgiveness, mercy, edification, loving your neighbor, praise, speaking into one another’s life…the list goes on. I have rarely seen such an honest and vibrant approach in the Church.