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 opening line of the article was: “being a baseball fan all my life” – He had me hooked so I 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. Davis’ study concluded that high attendance will not produce a winning ball team, but rather a winning team will produce high attendance. Tell that to the Twins and Reds!
WOW! I hope we didn’t use a lot of Government funding to discover that little gem!
And yet the concept was not lost on Ferguson or me … As churches we have to stop trying to grow our attendance … We need to focus on changing lives because a winning church is changing lives … and changed lives will produce better attendance.
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.
Methodists declare the mission ‘creating disciples to transform the world.’ And while I get that – we have chosen to focus our intention on living our faith in ways that matter as our missional context.
Over the past decade, I have heard countless stories of transformed lives as a result of the challenge to live your faith. And the honest challenge to live one’s faith is resulting in people living their faith – and that is growing the church and transforming people, families, and communities.
Lesson Learned: 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, if you build a winning team – the people will come to see what is happening.
Have you helped anyone live their faith lately?