Church Doctor Ministries has a way of finding the fire that God started, and stoking it. I had reached a point in my life where I was sick of “doing church” and really wanted to rid myself of thinking that got in the way of the Great Commission. The passion and insight of this ministry, in particular in the area of the work of the church, along with the inquisitive nature of its consultants has absolutely revolutionized my thinking! I will never be the same thanks to Church Doctor Ministries.
Adam Diehl, Pastor, New Hope Christian Center, Waterloo, IN
The Johnsons have worked for years to encourage their unchurched neighbors, John and Sally, to try their church. They have not been churchgoers since they got married. However, with two young children and a baby, they’ve begun to think about it. Today is the day John and Sally will break a 12-year pattern in which they have not attended worship.
Rising early, John and Sally get the children ready and, as they leave the house, take the direction sheet the Johnsons have provided. The two older children begin squabbling in the backseat. Then the baby starts crying. It’s as if the enemy has begun the attack!
When John accidentally took the wrong turn, it put them behind—just a few minutes. They recaptured their route, according to the directions, but arrived at the church a little late. What did they find? The parking lot, at first glance, looked full. All the prime spots near the doors were taken. They did find a place in the last row. They made a dash toward the building as it began to sprinkle.
While they walked the fast pace, John and Sally wondered if they were dressed properly. Would they stick out in the crowd? John saw a man with a Bible. Were they supposed to have Bibles? As they entered the hallway, they began to look for signs. Which way is worship? The greeters had already left their posts after worship started. As they passed a restroom, one of the children needed to make a stop. John took the little boy in and couldn’t help but notice the old, dirty, and unappealing restroom. Meanwhile, Sally looked for the nursery. The Johnsons had mentioned there was a place for the little one—a great relief for Sally. But where is it?
Finally, with the little one in the nursery, they found the place of worship. The service was already underway. The place looked full. An usher greeted them, “There are some seats left. I’ll take you there.” John, Sally, and the kids felt paraded to the front row.
They tried to experience worship. What they really felt was trauma.
Focus on these issues:
- Your church only has one chance to make a good first impression.
- Concentrate on what happens to people in the first three minutes they’re on the property.
- Provide guest parking, parking attendants, and parking lot greeters.
- Teach your people to tell visitors how to dress, what to bring, what to expect.
- Put signs everywhere and ask greeters to serve well before the worship service and several minutes after it begins. Add plain-clothed crowd directors who look for guests and simply offer to help them—as their Sunday morning ministry.
- Provide restrooms that sparkle and a safe, kid-friendly nursery.
- Leave some seats at the back of the sanctuary near the aisle.
- Most of all, teach the people of your church not to INVITE people to church, but to BRING them.
Meeting Jesus Christ should not be a traumatic experience. It’s the love of God, not the wrath of the church that will bring them back.
How does your church welcome new people? We welcome your comments below.
Kent Hunter, founder of Church Doctor Ministries, is known as the Church Doctor. His most recent e-books are The Future Is Now and The J-Dog Journey, available at no cost. Contact him at (800) 626-8515, by email, Twitter, Facebook, or visit www.churchdoctor.org.
I started serving with Church Doctor Ministries in October 2005. I had always felt a calling to ministry, but did not feel called to serve in a church. My worldview about what it means to be a Christian has expanded greatly since serving here. Being a non-profit, I have come to fully understand what it means to be reliant on God for provision. Every time our ministry comes to the “end of the rope” God opens up the door and supplies our needs – oftentimes in unexpected ways. Seeing this time and time again, I know I will never be the same.
Jason Atkinson, Business Manager, Church Doctor Ministries
The teaching young adults receive in SEND is supported by a mentoring process for them to learn and process from the experience of others. SEND goes beyond teaching leadership and discipleship skills. It allows for each individual young adult to grow in the areas of leadership and ministry calling by placing them in specific opportunities for them to experience and develop their gifts, skills, and calling in ministry.
Local churches who call a SEND graduate to serve on their staff teams will discover very quickly how well these young adults respond to discipleship and leadership development through mentoring. This is a unique core value held by the leaders of SEND North America to instill in young adults the value of being mentored. Many schools and colleges today miss this opportunity and young adults enter the workforce on their own without having a key mentor or mentoring relationship in their life.
Young adults can benefit from the one-to-one mentoring available in SEND. Churches benefit from calling young leaders who value mentoring in their life and ministry development. This is a win for the young adult, and win for the local church, and a win for the Kingdom.
Is your church actively mentoring young adults and young adult leaders? If so, I would love to hear how your church is doing this. If you would like to know how to get a young adult on your staff team within ten months who is open and willing to be mentored to grow into a staff position let me know that too!
By Tracee Swank, Leader of Church Doctor Ministries
SEND North America Young Adults are 10 months away from becoming trained missionaries and helping you reach young adults in your church. Contact us to learn more.
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