Gasoline prices notwithstanding, we live in a society where people are constantly on the go. It is likely that the people in your church, collectively, travel over a million miles each year, even if your church has about 300 people in worship!
Where do they go? Young families follow their kids to sports tournaments, band contests, academic festivals… the list goes on. Globalization keeps business travelers on the move. Our wealthy society affords many to have a second residence. It seems like one-half of the population of southern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, have a cabin or a cottage in the north. In Florida, it’s a beach condo. In Utah, it’s a place in the mountains.
There is a related wrinkle: the technology age connects us with people globally. One result is that more people work beyond the Monday through Friday routine.
When does your church provide worship opportunities? What about Bible studies and other growth and learning opportunities? I recently worked with a church in New Richmond, Wisconsin. They provide three services on Sunday and one on Saturday evening. But what about the “cabin crowd” that’s gone many weekends?
Focus on these issues:
- Learn about the lifestyle challenges of the people in your church.
- Learn the lifestyle habits of the unchurched or non-practicing Christians in your community. (This is what churches almost never consider.)
- Provide worship services accordingly. For example, if you have a community with a large number of retirees, Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m., followed by a catered lunch at an inexpensive price might give you the chance to preach the Gospel to those who would never come on the weekend. Don’t forget a Thursday evening service for the cabin/beach crowd.
- Record Bible class teaching. Offer it to commuters on CD so they can listen in their car, as they make their way to work five days a week. Provide your preaching and teaching on DVD for those who have a television at the condo or the cabin.
- Recognize that most people aren’t against worship or learning. They are just torn between their lifestyles and a church that hasn’t recognized them.
- For this mobile society, an increasing number of churches are providing the opportunity for members to give financial support by automatic, electronic withdrawal. Does your church provide that choice?
You don’t have to like the hectic lifestyles of our society. You may even believe they aren’t the best for spiritual formation. However, will your church do whatever it takes to enrich people’s lives with the good news of Jesus Christ? Isn’t that what Jesus did by coming in the flesh? (See Philippians 2:5-11).
How do you address the mobility factor in your church? 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.