What mental roadblocks do these pastors have in common?

  • choicesPastor Bob has been working for a long time, developing a campaign that teaches about the church in the Book of Acts. He has been promoting it and wants everyone to attend. The class will be on Sundays, during the Sunday school hour.
  • Rev. Caldwell is challenged by the church board, which has been discussing a second worship service with an alternative style. His argument is that the church would lack unity in a second service, particularly one with a different style. It just wouldn’t feel like family anymore.
  • Mary is minister at Hope United Methodist Church. She has a strong commitment to assimilation and incorporation into the church. She is committed to strong discipleship, the Word of God, and a high integrity level for membership. To join Hope United Methodist Church, everyone must participate in a 10-week class, held on Monday evenings.
  • Dr. Barry has resisted the outreach team’s frequent suggestions to add a Thursday night service for those who travel to their lake cottages on weekends. Barry’s concern is that the church should not cave in to the culture.

The problem with these pastors is they have never been to a food court, a Wal-Mart, a shopping mall, or a three-ring circus. Perhaps they have never “surfed” the Web. We live in a culture of many choices. Like it or not, good or bad, that is reality.

Focus on these issues:

  1. Some people in this busy culture have breakfast with their family during the Sunday school hour. It is important ministry time. Offer a series of classes, repeated several times during the week.
  2. Listen to your radio—at least 10 different channels. Discover that various people “dance to the beat of different drums.” To offer worship in different styles is to target groups for Christ. Same content, different packaging. Have you considered a country music worship service yet?
  3. A 10-week membership class on Monday nights is great. Twice a year, offer the same class in a 10-hour retreat setting. Choose a weekend getaway at a resort hotel and advertise it far in advance.
  4. Some people work on weekends—in increasing numbers—in this secular society. A church without a weeknight service ignores firefighters, nurses, and those who work in the retail, entertainment, travel, and lodging industries.
  5. With pressures on families, why would weekends together at a cottage be non-Christian? Provide the Thursday night service.

Whether it’s the way you’ve always done it or not, recognize we live in a world of choices. Accept that or lose people who may want to grow in Christ but do not fit into your one-size-fits-all mentality. Are you challenged by all the extra work this generates? Learn to video record everything and multiply yourself—even the preaching.

How does your church adapt to our current world of choices? 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 emailTwitter, Facebook, or visit www.churchdoctor.org.

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