Thursday, February 26, 2009

What kind of people are attracted to new churches?

So recently I've noticed in our experience at South Bay there are handful of different types of people that are attracted to new churches. With each day I have a growing awareness of this fact and it is helping me as I communicate! :-)

1. People who are hungry for help...
These people are some of my favorites. They are in a state of desperation, they are eager to change. They are at the end of their rope and need someone to reach out and help them in the midst of their trials and struggles. They are the best candidates for a supernatural miracle from God. Jesus really said that in many ways these are some of the people that he came for!

2. People who want to make an impact...

I've met a good number of people who want their lives to count for something bigger than themselves. When new churches cast a large vision for changing their community and reaching thousands of people with the message of Christ many times these people are willing to jump on board. I've met a number of these people in the midst of our journey who were waiting for a leader to come and give them a vision to live for and a place to use their gifts and talents.

3. People who've been burned...
I've met a good number of people who have been burned by previous church experiences. They typically have had some negative experience with a previous pastor or church. I have seen this group of people go two ways... one portion of this group of people just needs to be loved and given time to heal. They do not need to be smacked on the back because their burn has not yet healed. The other group of people is those who will most likely get burned again anywhere they go. You know this by their long train of burns they carry with them. It is very important that the lead pastor mobilize someone with a strong gift of mercy to help with this group so he can stay focused on the vision of the church.

Part of a leader's job is to discern where people are in the process. I think that each group of people needs to be loved. Some take more time and energy than others. My goal is a leader is to spend them time with people who want to change and want to make an impact with their lives. I do not think there is anyone who is beyond help... But I want to be careful getting myself tied up with bitter people who are angry with their last pastor and last church experience. Then I will become the next "bad pastor."

Hope this helps someone out there.