“Hi, honey.  How was your daycare, spring gathering,” asked the husband of the worn-out, but exhilarated, daycare director who he also called his wife.

“It was fantastic!” she explained.  “The church was packed.  Those kids bring their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles – all kinds of people.  I’ve never seen most of these people in church!”

“Did the kids sing well?” her husband asked.

“Oh yeah, all the practices paid off,” she continued.  “I’ve just never seen so many people.  I’m sure that at least half of them don’t even go to a church.  I mean, any church.  You could tell, some of them acted like church was a little foreign to them.  What an opportunity!”

“Were our pastors there?” asked the interested husband.

“You know,” she sighed, “it’s so disappointing.  Year after year…they’re never there.  It’s such a great opportunity…lost.”  She paused and then added, “You know, they talk about our daycare as an outreach.  They tell our congregation what a great job we do.  I appreciate that, but they…nobody…no one…seems to connect the church and the daycare.  Our church hasn’t grown in worship for a decade.  We have all these people with a connection to daycare.  You’d think someone would take initiative….”  Her voice trailed off, moving to thoughts about all the missed opportunities.

The daycare lady gets it.  She understands the Harvest Worldview Jesus was teaching to the disciples in John 4.  Her pastors preach it.  The church has it in a “mission statement.”  They just don’t practice it.  The end result?  The church does a lot of great ministry – 80% very well.  The daycare is an awesome ministry, but not woven into the fiber of the ministry of the church.  The disconnect leaves a gap of 20%.  It’s like the farmer who prepares the field, fertilizes, kills the weeds, plants the hybrid seed, waters, and nurtures the crop…and fails to bring it into the barn!  The church is not growing.  Disciples are not being made.  New people are not becoming believers.  Worship attendance is flat.  The potential rots in the field.  The 20% disconnect = 95% of the missional difference.  This never happens at your church…does it?

Read more in the July/August 2012 Church Doctor Report.

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