The downfall of the institutional church, in my humble opinion, has been the fact that we church people spend most of our time with other church people. Big mistake. We need some new habits if we hope to connect with “the nones.”
Easum & Brittain’s new book is about how we must staff churches in a world where one in five people self-identify as having no religious affiliation. The facts show that fewer and fewer church members are “coming to church” so how can we expect never-churched people to come through our doors?
And because I’m sick and don’t have the energy to do much more than quote people, consider this from Easum & Brittain:
Because people no longer come to church on their own, the church must spend most of its time, energy, and money filtering people out into the community. The measurement of effectiveness shifts from ‘how many in worship?’ to ‘how much difference is the church making in its efforts to transform the city?’
The question ‘What is God doing in our community that we can be a part of?‘ is replacing, ‘How can we get more people to come to church?’
Easum and Brittain would also say that the smaller a church, the more time the pastor must spend in the community – not in the church office. Take note Personnel Committees!
We need to develop new work and staffing habits if we hope to reach out to “the nones.” And before we reach out to them, we need to know why we are reaching out. Clue: it’s not to get them to join our church.
Excellent conversation starter, if you are hanging out with your church friends: watch the most recent episode of The New Normal (The Godparent Trap, aired 10-23-12.) How would your church relate to Bryan?
Image from the London Nun Run in 2009.