Church growth

How can you get more people – Lessons from startups

How can you improve your church and make it more effective?

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What? You say your church is perfect? You say effectiveness is not important? – If you say that, you are denying the Scriptures. Look at the letters to the early church as found in the Bible. Problems existed in the earliest Christian churches – from false doctrine, to sexual immorality, to lawsuits against each other.

No church is perfect simply because it contains flawed human beings that are prone to sin.

What about your mission? Win the world for Christ, make disciples of all nations, change the world – all of these missions can either be effective or not. If your goal is to make disciples, are you succeeding?

Not all business advice is good for the church, but certainly some of it is.  I found a few tidbits in this website I’d like to share with you. 5 ways to think like a startup

Engage With Your Customers – (these are the people who already attend your church).

Have you ever emailed your church members and asked why they come to your church? Do you ever email visitors and new members and ask how they found you, what they like and what changes they would like to see?

When you ask questions, sometimes you get answers and this information can drastically improve your effectiveness.

If your church is spending money on an outreach program year after year and you discover that program has not brought anyone to Christ and the church, no new visitors, no new Christians, why keep that program, why keep spending that money? Do you have so much money that it is filling up the office and you just need to get rid of it?

On the other hand, if you find that some outreach, some message, some advertisement, some program, is especially effective – then you know where to focus.

“When was the last time you emailed one-on-one with your customers? Do you know why they come to you? Do you know how they found you? If you knew that wouldn’t you do more of whatever that is?”

Your customers are the people who come to your church and those who become Christians.

The more you know about your customers and their needs the more you can enhance their experience and get more customers.

Act Today, Because Someone Else Will Tomorrow

“In an interview with Jimmy Fallon at the NExTWORK Conference, Napster co-founder Sean Parker talks about why Facebook killed Myspace: “The failure to execute product development,” Parker replies. “They weren’t successful in treating and evolving the product enough, it was basically this junk heap of bad design that persisted for many many years.” At one point in time MySpace was valued at $1.5 billion. Act today.”

Your church is in competition. You want people to respond to the Gospel, to follow Christ, to become disciples and become part of the church. Well, the world, the flesh, and the devil is offering programs, entertainment, fellowship, and other enticements to keep people away from Christ.

Is your church programs and outreach becoming “MySpace” while the world is “Facebook”?

Begin taking the challenges seriously and act now!

How Will You Will Beat your competion?

“I’m an avid Uber user for the last 5 years, and early adopter. Last week I got into a taxi from the airport. This taxi was the reason I don’t use taxis anymore. Garbage was thrown everywhere and the van sounded like it wasn’t going to make it up a San Francisco hill. I had to move my feet around the driver’s personal bag and when we hit a bump a bottle of hydrogen peroxide fell on me (no idea where it came from.) The driver dropped us off and gave us a card for $10 off our next Flywheel ride and said “You know Uber is really killing us.” Really?”

Is this a picture of what people experience in your church? If you want to bring people into your church, you need to look at how you can be better than what the world offers and this might take some courageous research. Do you know how the world treats the people you are trying to reach?  Maybe you should get out of the church building some and spend time in the “secular” world.

Don’t Fear Change

Keep yourself open to new ideas and change. Don’t keep doing the same things you did in the past simply because they worked in the past.  Be willing to take chances and change.

“Apple launched the iPod in 2001; as a personal computer company what was Steve Jobs thinking? The music industry? He started Pixar. What was he thinking? The movie industry? He thought differently and embraced change, he never feared it. From one of the only Apple ads where Steve himself narrated: “Because they change things. They push the human race forward. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.””

 

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5 steps to telling good stories

Story telling in the ministry and in preaching is an essential skill.  Think back to the sermons you remember or sermons that changed your life.  What do you remember about them? – The stories, the testimonies – not the “content”.
IMG_20180325_110332102-ANIMATION.gifLook at the Gospels – Jesus was always  telling stories.

Unfortunately, when we get into the pulpit, we are often lacking a story – or we are telling a story which is told poorly or is missing a point.

Here are 5 steps to developing a great set of stories.  Remember, it is OK to tell a story more than one time and often you can use the same story to illustrate more than one point.

(This information is not original – it came primarily from I will teach you to be rich website.)

  1. Find a method to collect your stories.  Often story ideas come our way and we have no way to store them.  Use a notebook, google docs, or some other method to save these ideas.
  2. Cut out unnecessary details.  Nobody cares about if it was on September 12th or August 8th. Write your story down and then get rid of the uninteresting details.
  3. Write down the point of the story.  No, it’s not obvious – write it down in plain and simple language.  If you want to use the story for a different point, write the story a second time and give that point.  If there is no point, you should not use the story – preaching time is too precious to waste on telling stories without a point.
  4. No, you are not ready yet. Now, perfect the story.  Do this by recording your story and then listening to it. Tell your story in front of a mirror and watch yourself.  Keep doing this until you can tell the story without any hesitation and with the proper expression.  DON’T tell an exciting story like you want to go to sleep. A sad story shouldn’t be told while you are laughing. You get the idea. Save these stories. You should have a number of them you are perfecting for the future – not just for the sermon tomorrow.
  5. Practice with a low-stakes audience. Tell the story to your spouse, to your kids, to friends and watch their reactions.  Remember, rapt attention is not the same as a person’s eyes glazing over.

As you go through these steps, you will find yourself modifying the story, making it longer, adding and removing content, all in your quest to be a great story teller.

Don’t give up! Story telling is a craft – not a spiritual gift.  Work on it and you can enjoy the fruits of people staying awake in your sermon and even quoting you weeks, months and years later.

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