wish I had a dollar for every book and every theory that has been put forth regarding church growth. Beginning in the middle 1950’s, business principles and psychological principles (not bad ideas) were being combined with church doctrine and polity in an attempt to attract people to churches across America. The modern church growth movement was born! Since that time, church attendance has gone down by approximately 50% of the per capita population. This is NOT to say that what the church growth people came up with was bad. It was not bad. The decline may have been WORSE without their input. With all that has been written and said, there is one facet of church growth that is undeniable: people are attracted to where they are loved. Read that last sentence again and let it occupy your thoughts for a few minutes.
Monday…Jesus had a strategy for attracting people to Himself. While it is absolutely true that He never compromised (“take up your cross and follow me”) His position or teaching, He loved people. See Him in the encounter mentioned in Luke 7:36-50.
Tuesday….With all that Fair Haven Christian Church offers (and we offer a lot of opportunities to our community), the best thing we have to offer is our love. Galatians 6:9 offers excellent advice as Paul encourages us “not to become weary in doing what is right.”
Wednesday…Have you made a list of people who could benefit from your love and concern? I believe it is safe to say that each member of the congregation could think of someone to whom a loving attitude could be demonstrated. Make that list and be intentional in showing love for the folks on your list.
Thursday…I had a wonderful friend named Steve whose life was cut short by a terrible cancer. He was a particularly handsome and gregarious young man and he attracted a lot of attention. One of the things that was particularly great about Steve was that whenever he would enter a room, he would invariably seek out a person who was not one of the popular people and pay attention to them. He understood love…love even for the “least of these.” (Matthew 25:40)
Friday…Good investments pay dividends. Good investments pay a return. I am amazed at the amount of businesses in Nashville where I live. More than 200 shops are crowded into that tiny town. I know what some of the rents are and I have an idea as to what insurance, inventory, salaries, etc…cost. I cannot see how many of those businesses turn the kind of profit that makes them worthwhile when the owner’s time is considered. Here is a sure-fire investment that will pay off very well indeed: invest in people. Love people!