...The "Spirit of
Life Chorus" in concert on the corner of L&M this coming Sunday
(December 6) at 4:30 p.m. in our sanctuary. It's a 75+ person choir!
Annnnnnnd there's a free meal after the concert! Annnnnnd Jesus said, "Where two or three are
gathered in My name, there I am in the midst of them."
Excellent! What a great opportunity to invite folks to worship with
us! We know folks can be skittish or something about inviting people
to hear our messages and especially those moments for children by our
pastor and long prayers and... As silly/crazy as it sounds, we know
it takes a lot to get some people to worship the Lord who has provided eternal
life and abundant living by grace through faith in Jesus on any kinda, you
know, regular basis as in getting it/Him; but what an overwhelming opportunity
this week! Have you ever read James 5:19-20? And speaking of
writer Don Skaar is leading a study of James as part of Deeper Discipleship on Wednesdays from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. in our
...The opportunity to
support our adult choir by volunteering for about an hour on Sundays after
worship to help with child care. O.K., so you don't have a gift to sing;
but you do praise God for those who do and help align our hearts with
Him/His. And you want to show your support for the adult choir,
right? Well, here's your chance; and my guess is the Holy Spirit is nudging
some folks who are reading this right now to...
As I've mentioned many
times, the OGD is the finest Reformed theologian to ever cross my path.
He often chastens me from sloppy agape to strong, calm, and sane Biblically Reformed theology. He
is a treasured brother. You can link to his website, The Westminster
Fellowship, via www.koppdisclosure.com.
Anyway, scroll down to
his research on the "Top Ten Reasons Visitors Don't Return" to
churches. It has provoked my personal prayer and reflection on the matter;
and I'm guessing our elders, deacons, staff, and membership may...
On to another subject,
you are very generous!
Your support of our life
and ministry on the corner of Lincoln and Main is consistent and
sacrificial. Your recent support of several "extra mile"
efforts has been exemplary.
A little birdie just
told me that we've also got to watch our regular tithes plus offerings to
support the adopted budget; as things are a tad tight and, uh,...
Well, you know what I
Anyway, here are some
thoughts that came to me, uh, about ten minutes ago:
I am your budget.
I pay for all the things that you take for granted: heat, light,
literature, bulletins, newsletters, salaries, maintenance, insurance, supplies,
I provide a place for the young to be inspired, the aged to be
comforted, and all people to experience confident living and eternal life by
grace through in Jesus.
I support worship, Sunday School, Midweek, Vacation Bible School,
prayer meetings, prayer line, baptisms, funerals, weddings, circles, care, and
I reach out to the community through our monthly meals to the
hungry, Compassion Closet, Stronghold, denominational and ecumenical
partnerships, Salvation Army, and so much more to invite, welcome,
include, and love.
Thom Rainer is the President and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources
you attend a church regularly, you’ve probably noticed the phenomenon. A guest
shows up for a worship service, but he or she never returns. It is,
unfortunately, a common issue in many churches.
I did a Twitter poll to ask these first-time guests why they
chose not to return to a particular church. While some of the responses were
anticipated, I admit being a bit surprised with some of them.
Though my poll is not scientific, it is nevertheless
fascinating. Here are the top ten responses in order of frequency.
1.Having a stand up and
greet one another time in the worship service.This response was my greatest surprise for two reasons. First, I
was surprised how much guests are really uncomfortable during this time.
Second, I was really surprised that it was the most frequent response.
members.This response was
anticipated. But the surprise was the number of respondents who included
non-genuine friendliness in their answers. In other words, the guests perceived
some of the church members were faking it.
3.Unsafe and unclean
children’s area.This response
generated the greatest emotional reactions. If your church does not give a high
priority to children, don’t expect young families to attend.
4.No place to get
information.If your church does
not have a clear and obvious place to get information, you probably have
lowered the chances of a return visit by half. There should also be someone to
greet and assist guests at that information center as well.
5.Bad church website.Most of the church guests went to the church website before they
attended a worship service. Even if they attended the service after visiting a
bad website, they attended with a prejudicial perspective. The two
indispensable items guests want on a website are address and times of service.
It’s just that basic.
6.Poor signage.If you have been attending a church for a few weeks, you forget
all about the signage. You don’t need it any more. But guests do. And they are
frustrated when it’s not there.
language.Most of the respondents
were not referring to theological language as much as language that only the
members know. My favorite example was: “The WMU will meet in the CLC in the
room where the GAs usually meet.”
8.Boring or bad service.My surprise was not the presence of this item. The surprise was
that it was not ranked higher.
9.Members telling guests
that they were in their seat or pew.Yes, this obviously still takes place in some churches.
10.Dirty facilities.Some of the comments: “Didn’t look like it had been cleaned in a
week.” “No trash cans anywhere.” Restrooms were worse than a bad truck stop.”
“Pews had more stains than a Tide commercial.”
There you have it. The top ten reasons first-time guests said
they did not return to a church. I can’t wait to hear from you readers. You
always have such good additions and insights.
“A dog barks when his
master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked
and yet would remain silent.” John
My son forwarded an
urgent message to me: "Does your dad know of any books that would help me
with struggling faith? I am just struggling to believe."
That call for help
propelled me to pray and work on a brief and incomplete guide to overcoming
fainting faith: "Scratching the Surface of Rejuvenating Faith."
Then I asked the very
faithful saints who gather on Wednesdays for deeper discipleship to review my encouragements.
"airing" will be tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. during the live broadcast of Kopp Disclosure on www.bnnsradio.com
- just click on the link at www.bnnsradio.com
and tune in.
A summary of the
encouragements will also be published in a forthcoming edition of The Belvidere Daily Republican and parochial newsletters for our family of
faith on the corner of Lincoln and Main and Presbyterian Elders in Prayer.
With the help of
Presbyterian Elders in Prayer, Scratching the Surface (Volume 1), a collection of guides to important
fidelity topics will be submitted for publication in the near future.
Kristine Meyer, a new member of PEP's board and marketing expert, will be
serving as an agent and editorial consultant.
Again, listen in and
call in tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. via www.bnnsradio.com
for encouragements to overcoming fainting faith.