This may seem harsh to some of us, but the upside of this approach is that when following Jesus got really hard, no one could say they hadn’t been warned. Or equipped.
Change ‘Sit and Watch’ To ‘Come and Participate’
Years ago, I realized that this ‘sit and watch’ issue was a problem for our church. So we’re working to change the way we ask people to interact with the church. Imperfectly, to be sure.
We don’t entice non-believers to come to a church service designed them. Yes, we invite them. And when they come, we greet them, help them and explain things to them. But our church services put the emphasis on worshiping Jesus, teaching the Bible and discipling believers, not entertaining passive consumers.
Instead of doing come-and-be-entertained Big Day events, when we do community service events, we encourage non-attenders to work alongside us.
If you’re new to our church, our hope is that you’ll see that following Jesus is about worship, discipleship and service, right from the start.
People Want to Worship, Connect and Serve
The church was never meant to be a religious stage show for passive audience members.
And, let’s face it, even if it was, those of us who lead and worship in small churches know that don’t have the resources to put on as good a show as our big church counterparts. Oh, who are we kidding? Even megachurches can’t compete with the quality of entertainment people can access 24/7 from the phone in their pocket.
But we can be great at worship, community and generosity.
When someone decides disrupt their normal routine to go to church for the first time – or for the first time in a long time – it’s not because they don’t have other entertainment options. They’re doing it to meet a need they may not even fully realize yet.
They want to connect. With God and with us. Through worship, fellowship and service.
A great, interactive church is the best place on earth to do that.
Copyright © 2016 by the author or Christianity Today/Leadership Journal.
Click here to read our guidelines concerning reprint permissions.