My Newsletter Article for June 2011

I will be posting my newsletter article each month. Some of it will be specific to the Kewanna UMC, but much of it will be of universal application. Do enjoy!

How do we get more people here?

There are plenty of people ready and willing to help you answer that question–most of whom are trying to sell you the book that’s going to do it. And the church has been content to read those books. I have read some of those books. Maybe you have, too. Strike that. You probably have things to do, like work, go to school and nurture your family. So, those of us who have made it their vocation to serve in ministry have been racking their brains to try and answer it. So, the question remains: How do we get more people here?

First, we have to be willing to live our Christianity out loud. We have to be willing to share what it is we do on Sundays with the rest of the world. We have to be willing to engage people in conversation about faith. Having been a pastor for seven years–and this being one of the only occupations I have ever known–I spend my time around people who think, act and believe much the same as I do.

You, more than likely, go to work or interact with people who don’t. It is entirely more difficult for you to do this, but it is what we have to do. We have to be willing to step outside of our comfort zones to engage a world that is hurting and looking for the answers. We have to be willing to be a Christian within shouting distance of those who need to hear us doing just that.

Second, living out loud means actually living the life we claim. Do we act one way around our friends and acquaintances at work and school, and turn around and act the other on Sunday mornings? Do we gossip, talk down to others, curse like a sailor and otherwise act uncharitably towards others? To live like a Christian means to do so everyday and in all situations, not just when it suits our needs.

How do we get more people here? The simple answer is that they need to see that being here creates a positive change in who they are. They need to see that being a Christian doesn’t just mean we call ourselves Christian and look down on others who don’t. In short, it starts with you.

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