Enjoyed stumbling across this old blog post from Ron Merrell (he was our camp speaker this past summer) about the 4 P’s of Church Stickyness. Program, People, Placement and Promise. Here’s a clip of his thoughts on one of them – head there for the rest:

PEOPLE – Friendly. Welcoming. Diverse. Kind. Warm. Knowledgeable. Genuine. Sincere. Safe. Compassionate. Able to listen. Loving. Respectful. Gentle. Energetic. If these words described everyone in your church, you’d be the most magnetic place in town. And I’m not just thinking about your “greeters” or “staff.” I’m thinking about your congregation. As the Lord does His work in your people, you hope that it produces the qualities above and more! People. But what can you do to develop the second “P” of church, especially when there is a less-than-friendly vibe to your crowd?

This is a hard one, because as a staff person you can create several things to allow people to connect, get them integrated into relationships, feel welcomed initially, etc. But… there’s a difference between “having a church full of winsome, loving, genuine people who go out of their way to greet others” and creating a “greeting team.” The first is better, but WAY harder to create! Focus hard on this one. You can’t train, teach, emphasize, and value real, Christ-like community enough. People WILL tolerate a subpar Program if the People are amazing. But, over the long haul, People will NOT tolerate subpar relationships even if the Program rocks.

Is your church … your youth ministry … sticky?

JG

Please humor me, this is just the a Youth Pastor throwing stuff against a wall to see what sticks…

The following questions questions come from some of the planning meetings we are having at our church to set down a 2 year and 5 year plan for the ministries here:

  • As we are looking at the possibilities for the next few years at FBC, maybe we need to focus more on asking the right questions before we present a polished, pretty answer.
  • If we are presenting a polished answer, does that rule out the fact that ministry to imperfect people is messy and ugly sometimes?
  • Who are we as a Church? Really, not on paper, Truly?
  • If you do not know who you are as a church, how can you plan your ministries effectively?
  • If one of our core values is Family, then do we to focus on the ENTIRE family (where are age group holes we are missing?)
  • Example: age 18-30 – NO CHURCH in our county is effectively reaching this age group including us! It’s so much more than students that go off to college… If we fail to reach that age group, does that lessen the impact of the students the youth ministry produces once they are out of that “Safe Zone”? Do they leave the youth ministry prepared with no where to go? Are we willing to invest in “preventative maintenance” –> ie help them at the High School to 25 age to learn life spiritual truths, so that we are less likely to be helping them pick up the pieces at 25-30 that might be failed relationships/marriages, unplanned children, addictions, etc….
  • What other “holes” exist in our ministries?
  • How do these “holes” affect the future of this church?
  • If we do what we’re doing right now for the next 2 or 5 or 10 years, what will FBC look like? If we don’t want that, what are we willing to do to prevent that? Does the vast portion of our congregation (and Parke County at large) care what our church did 50, 10, 5, or 2 years ago? Are they more concerned about what we are doing now and planning to do for Christ?
  • Are we willing to push our congregation to BE the church by showing them how instead of telling them how?
  • What are we doing that makes people want to bring their friends and neighbors and family members to get involved?
  • What are we doing that drives them away?
  • Are we willing to possibly offend parents by pushing them to live a better example to their children? Are we willing to truly call sin what it is?
  • Are we willing to help them take off the masks without fear of what it may reveal?
  • Are we truly producing COMMUNITY among believers – both inside and outside the walls of FBC?
  • Do we have any “clunker fridge ministries” at our church that are there “just because”. (a “clunker fridge” is one from 30 or 40 years ago that kinda sorta keeps soda cold in the garage, but uses 3 or 4 times the electricity of a newer fridge and is long past its prime of usefulness….)
  • Do we need to be willing to admit that we might be part of the problem before we can help produce the solution?

These were some of my questions. I don’t really place any of them higher in priority than any others, but I hope that some of them can help you and challenge you in your ministry.

Brent Lacy is Youth Pastor at First Baptist Church, Rockville, Indiana. He is a Dad to 3 Kids, a Web Developer, an IT Consultant, and Blogs about Ministry, Tech, and Culture at MinistryPlace.net.