Want your church to grow?

I just read this article from ChristianToday.com:

Want your church to grow? Then it’s time to surprise people…

I thought this quote was particularly interesting.

Let’s be clear and honest with ourselves. Most of our friends and colleagues have no idea about how great our churches are. How surprised they would actually be by some of the small, but important things on offer.

A warm welcome. A decent cup of coffee. A chat with normal, nice people from all walks of life (who may or may not be wearing sandals). We have music which might confound expectations. We look out for each other’s wellbeing in a way which is profoundly counter-cultural. Far from being cold, boring and out of touch, we offer the chance to be part of an institution which cares about its local community, and ultimately, an opportunity to experience the love of God.

We need to do a better job telling our story.  

We need to sell ourselves, our experience and our God. 

I think, as a whole, we’ve been doing a poor job of that.

It’s time to reevaluate our plan.

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21 Martyrs

Have you been to 21martyrs.com?

I have.

I watched the video.

It’s powerful stuff.

Scary stuff.

My heart goes out to the affected families. And, I hope that I would be able to stand up for my beliefs in a similar fashion. It’s admirable.

But, I’m also scared that the video promotes an us vs. them mentality. To me it come across as a rally cry.

I don’t see the love, compassion, or forgiveness of the Christianity that I ascribe to.

I’m sure if you spoke to the creators of the video they would hope for a peaceful response to these senseless acts. I just hope that other Christians around the world do as well.

Restoration

I’ve been thinking about the idea of restoration.

It’s a beautiful concept.

Returning someone or something to a former condition, place, or position.

What’s better than an old Victorian house returned to its original beauty?

Or, a classic car that looks and sounds just as it did the day it rolled off the factory line?

Or, the lost puppy being reunited with its family?

I could go on and on, but I think we could all use a little restoration.

Remember how perfect things were before __________?

What if we could go back?

What if we could be restored or renewed?

I think it would be beautiful.

I think it would be healing.

I think it would be transformative.

I think I could use a little restoration.

What do you think?

Salvation Story

How would you summarize the story of salvation?

I would say that it’s about sin. Our sin.

Jesus died to forgive our sins.

But, what is sin?

What if you were part of a generation that didn’t identify with the idea of sin?

Taking that further, if you grew up outside the church would you even understand the concept of sin?

I bring this up because most of the messages I’ve heard focus on the idea of sin.

What do we do if people don’t identify with that?

Maybe we need to shift our focus.

Change our perspective.

Tell a different story.

Now, I’m not proposing that we change the Bible. I’m proposing that we change the way we present it.

What if the salvation story was about restoration?

What if it was about making things new?

What do you think?

Would it make a difference?