Even pastors fall prey to this age old lie. I recently read an article by Dave Ferguson entitled ‘Winning at any size’ in Outreach Magazine. I have to be honest I would have blown right past the article except the the opening line of the article was:
“being a baseball fan all my life”
Well right there he had me hooked so I had to read the article. Ferguson went on to discuss a study by Economics professor Michael C. Davis regarding the correlation between winning baseball teams and attendance. I know, exciting stuff – right?!.
Davis’ study concluded that high attendance will not produce a winning ball team, but rather a winning team will produce high attendance. WOW! I hope we didn’t use a lot of Government funding to discover that little gem!
But to the point was Ferguson’s idea that we (as churches) have to stop trying to grow our attendance – see where this going . . .
We need to focus on changing lives – Methodists use the phrase ‘creating disciples to transform the world.’ This thought has come home to me the past few weeks, as I have gathered stories of transformed lives from churches I have served as pastor.
It seems for all that was done to attempt to attract people and draw them into the church – the one thing that was never accounted for was all the transformed lives within the congregation. It was (in the final analysis) these changed lives that drew others in.
Lesson: If you want to grow a church, focus on people. Changing lives one at a time will do more to grow your church than any effort to market or advertise. In other words, build a winning team and the fans will follow.
Been helping to transform anyone lately?