Your church, if it expects to reach anyone, needs to be cool. Actually, cool probably isn’t the best word. It’s kind of dated and, well, not very cool anymore. Here’s a better word. Relevant. Your church, if it expects to reach anyone, needs to be relevant. Here are a few steps that will help you and your church get on the relevant train.
Enough With Church Already
The first and most important step in getting people to come to your church is for you to stop being a church. Instead of meeting regularly in some building where people hold one another accountable, try having your worship services on a surfboard. Or a golf course. Or in your bed. Either way, just stop going to church already.
Stop Being So Preachy
Instead of preaching, try conversing with people on Sunday mornings. And whatever you do, don’t say anything solid. Instead, focus on questions. Ask a lot of questions. Share your own questions. Make sure that people know that their questions are welcomed. But, under no circumstances, should you actually provide any answers. Nothing is more irrelevant than a good solid answer.
If this doesn’t work, you could always just watch the series finale of Lost.
Fight for Justice
Start a big, church-wide campaign for justice. Print up a bunch of banners. Talk about it all of the time. Just make sure that the justice for which you fight is a socially acceptable justice fight. Here is a guide that should help.
Unacceptable Causes for Which to Fight
– Speaking up for the rights of business owners to practice their faith in public
– Helping a 70-year-old woman who is struggling to take care of her sick husband because of new and burdensome healthcare laws
Acceptable Causes for Which to Fight
– Organic coffee
– Health insurance for the makers of organic coffee
– Free abortions for organic coffee growers whether they want it or not
– Pre-K programs for the villages which produce organic coffee
Watch Your Language
Even the most relevant church can lose people with the wrong vocabulary so you need to watch what you say. Sin is no longer sin. It’s a journey. Your church is no longer a church. It’s a non-profit. And, most importantly, you need to remember the words that can never be mentioned.
Here are a few.
And here are a few words that any relevant church worth its weight will use at least every two to three minutes.
Remember these four steps and you’ll be blending in to your surrounding culture better than a sunken ship in its new found home at the bottom of the ocean floor. Okay, maybe that’s a bad example but you get the point.
Of course you could just listen to Jesus.
Many people don’t know it but the book of Revelation is actually a letter to seven churches. In it, Jesus is straight forward on how he feels about each church. Most of the seven churches get at least a gentle rebuke from him. Some, he completely rips open.
But he never criticizes a church because they don’t have a good sound system. Or for being too old fashioned. Instead, his rebukes center around a church forgetting how to love (2:1-7). Or abandoning the truth (2:12-17). Or, wait for it, a church being a little too relevant (2:18-29). The churches that get the approval of their Leader are the ones where trials are endured (2:8-11) and the ones that remain faithfully obedient during those trials (3:7-13).
But perhaps you’re looking for something more than just the approval of the Creator and Ruler of the universe. You’d rather be popular. In that case, just ditch your church all together and stop doing or saying anything of any real value.
Hey, Rob Bell did it and now he gets to be friends with Oprah.
Ah, the approval of Oprah.
What could possibly be better than that?