I walked by a gentleman selling newspapers on a street corner. It appeared that very few people were paying attention to him let alone buying papers. Why? Because people are busy and the newspaper has lost relevance. It’s easier to ignore than to engage.
The church is similar. Our communities pass our buildings as part of their busy hustle and most aren’t aware how a church is beneficial in their lives. Is this their problem? Or ours?
It’s easier to ignore than to engage.
I think the church has slowly been so internally focused that our communities aren’t aware of the things we do. And most of our events are so church-sounding, that our community wouldn’t want to participate regularly.
Here are 4 things that will bring back relevance for your local church:
- Begin to focus on your community. Truly research your reach area. Know where most of your congregation comes from and get to know the people in that community. How? Discover demographics to identify prominent personas; then seek places where they gather regularly (outside of a place of worship) and meet with them to see why they gather, what they do, and what the places look like. If you love your community, you will want to spend time to get to know them. Lots of time.
- Get out of your church and into your community. Don’t expect your community to come to you anymore. As a congregation, you must go into the community to participate with them. Show them how you worship, fellowship, and love. Be so contagious that they’ll beg you to join in.
- Stop talking with internal language. We often speak a religious dialect that forces many questions. Be careful. The community has stopped seeking answers from us. They just ignore what we say if they don’t understand. Call it like it is rather than some internal word that few outsiders would know. No one likes to feel like they don’t fit, don’t understand, or don’t belong. Our words can quickly do that. Tear down that barrier.
- Make sure that all your church communication is community-friendly. Your website needs to be more about your congregation because it’s THEIR website. It’s their events, their groups, and their staff. However, all language, design, photos, and benefits contained on your website needs to be community-aware and friendly. Nothing on our website should shock, offend, or repel the community outside of the gospel truth (which can be alienating to those in darkness). Even then, attract with light and resist being salt until we’re engaged. Allow Jesus and the Holy Spirit to convict rather than your website. The perception of the church today is what we’re against. Let’s use our communications to say what we’re for. It’s harder, but more attractive.