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Train the Team or the Customers
prisonchaplain posted a topic in LDS Gospel DiscussionI published this over at LinkedIn, but believe it's relevant for discussion here. Your church seems to have avoided many of the trends and recent practices that are now common--especially in larger, non-denominational churches. Some may wonder if the church should update a bit. My counsel would be to think that through many times. Most organizations have a mission and a team to accomplish it. Often the aim is to gain the loyalty of the Millenials. Business and church share our eagerness for this group. The young bring longevity of purchasing to enterprise, and they bring the promise of generational membership to houses of worship. So, how to go about gaining this prime pool of "customers?" Do we train our team or do we fashion our organizations to appeal to and train the potential market? Both? Of course! However, where's the emphasis? Business often invests heavily in advertising. They determine what their clients want, fashion their company to appeal to that, and then "spin" their whole operation to appear as a natural fit. Some churches are attempting the same. They raise up young, sharp, witty, relevant, relational lead pastors--often with much more senior ministers on their staffs. One former mega-church pastor admitted that it is quite easy to build a successful church these days: find a good venue, acquire a strong rock (worship) band, and fill the pulpit with an energetic motivational speaker. S/he should probably sprinkle the 'little talks' with the word 'God' now and then, of course. Although, I saw one employ the term 'Higher Power'--and this out of a denominational church known for very conservative orthodoxy. My humble proposal is that churches--and perhaps industry as well--refocus on their teams. Churches must produce vibrant Christians. Members should know what they believe, why they believe it, and how to live it--both internally, and outwardly. Godly living is the church's best advertisement. Industry knows this. Hamburgers and fries are cool, well-marketed, and people will always buy them when they are in a hurry for a quick, convenient meal. In contrast, steak and lobster spell a memorable evening of elegance and meaning. Those engaged in spiritual care might do well to focus less on convenience and instant, obvious relevance. We excel at transforming lives through the power of the Holy Spirit and the truth of the Bible. So, we askew the instant for the important--the temporal for the eternal. Would it not be God-pleasing if those leaving our sanctuaries, instead of mutter, "Nice program," declared, "That was powerful...it touched my heart and mind?"