We have found that one of the areas that we are NOT weak in is having new people come visit our church. We don’t have an “evangelism” problem. The people in our church have really embraced the environments that we’ve created and church has become irresistible. People attend because they are invited. The question we need to ask and the tension that’s created is, how do we get them to stay? Why do they stay? What keeps them connected? We believe that they stay because they are included.
My friend K (yea that’s his name) has been coming to New Life for just over a year. When he first walked in he had the look of someone you should be afraid of. Someone who might hang out with gangsters. He came to church with his wife & kids. I got the impression that he was coming for his wife. K’s total involvement was whatever his wife wanted to do and whatever his kids needed to do. Over time, he went through Starting Point, Crown Financial, he’s joined our Host Team, and he’s one of our key leaders for setting up our “Well” service. Not that it matters, but he just cut his hair last week and he’s dressing different. I asked him why he did that and he said, “to show respect to my elders and be an example for my kids”. K is a perfect example of someone staying because they’re included. Yea, he could still be coming and experiencing church with his family just because they want to come…but he wanted more. He noticed something different. He’s now included and he’s part of the family.
I’m so glad that I’m part of a church that allows people like K to come and be accepted for who he is and not require that he changes before he belongs.
People attend because they are invited, they stay because they are included.