Every person who attends your church needs to know the answer to this question. Church leaders, how are you answering it?
There are two thoughts that lead me to this question. The first comes from Christopher Brook’s blog. He contemplates our freedom of conversion in contrast to the cost associated with that conversion. In some cultures, it has become illegal to convert from one religion to another… and that obviously presents a problem for Christianity. Even in Westernized countries our culture questions the morality of religious conversion. And it led Chris to the question, “Why are conversions down in America?” Why is it hard to have someone new come into the faith and easy for them to walk away?
The second comes from an observation I made in talking to a former student yesterday. We were talking about her choice to change churches. At Romeo she felt as if no one really cared about her… rather focused on what could she do. Or extended guilt because of one thing or another. She’d have a few weeks where she wouldn’t be at church for various reasons. Upon returning she felt like no one really cared about her story, just immediately asked her to serve. Talk about devaluing a persons journey. She doesn’t want to come to a church where her worth is answered in “she fills a slot in ___ ministry.” And I don’t blame her.
This leads me to say this, I think it is every churches responsibility to help their people understand how they matter.
People are wondering… do I fit in here? Are these my people? Am I one of them? Or am I just another body to fill a slot, fund a ministry, and boost the Sunday morning attendance by one. Here’s what they need to know.
1. Does my service matter?
2. How does my money matter?
3. Do my prayers matter?
4. Does my journey of messiness fit in?
5. Do my vocational talents/interests matter?
6. Do I matter enough to be loved for who I am right now?
7. Am I worth a phone call, email, facebook message, text message?
8. Do you love me for who I am or what I can do for you?
Next, I wonder how many church leaders will read this and think… “How arrogant that a person would want to know how ‘they’ matter to my church? Of course they matter. I just don’t have time to tell people they matter.” My reply to that is pretty simple. People matter. It’s the reason why we do church. People are the reason there is a church. People are the reason we did all this training. People are the reason we have programs to find people to work in. People are the reason we prepare messages. It really is all about the people. And people is made up of very expensive individuals. Each one cost Christ a lot. Each individual is more valuable than your building, budget, or Bible lesson.
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
For discussion: How do you express people’s worth where you go to church?
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