In Bryan Wilson’s message yesterday morning I was struck by the statistic he quoted:
84% of Americans weren’t in church today.
I suspect that % varies widely across the nation but non-the-less it is a sobering reality.
Perhaps even more sobering is the even sadder reality that so many of the 16% don’t care – or at least don’t care enough to make the changes necessary to become relevant to the 84%.
I was reminded of a statement Tim Stevens makes in Pop Goes the Church.
How many Christians attend church every week they may personally enjoy, but where they would never think of inviting an unchurched friend? Many Christians are okay with that. They have decided that the purpose of the church is solely for the followers of Christ to talk about God and enjoy each other.
We believe instead that the purpose of the church is found in Jesus’ great commission and commandment.
So here are a few of the challenges for those of us called to lead a church:
How do we make ourselves relevant to the 84?
How do we bring the 16 to a place where they care?
How do we do both of those in a season of decreasing resources and perhaps influence and trust?
Those of us who are “trained” church professionals were for the most part trained to care for the 16 – so perhaps the answer to the questions begins with us.
And more and more I’m convinced that the answer requires a healthy dose of entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurs (according to wiki) are ambitious leaders who assume significant accountability for the inherent risk and outcome.
Read that last sentence a few times and let the words “ambitious,” “accountability,” “risk” and “outcome” sink in.
When I was at Menlo Park there was a member of our staff, Brent, who on a regular basis (regular means often more than once a day) would come into my office and announce: “Here’s what you (we) need to do…” The idea that would follow might range from a simple “let’s serve better coffee” to a more far reaching “let’s start a television station.”
At the time I never thought I’d be saying this, but there are days that I really miss Brent.