My wife and I have always enjoyed watch the TV shows that bring in a professional to help a dying business. The expert always comes in and immediately shows why the business is failing. Typically he meets an employee within the first 10 minutes of the show that knows some of the reasons the business is failing. It is amazing how obvious the reasons are that the business is dying.
I think the same could be said for churches. As my wife and I have visited a few churches, we can see several reasons why the church is struggling to retain visitors. Poor signage, ugly decor, unfriendly greeters, poor kid check in system, etc. all contribute to them. Notice I never even mentioned the music or sermon. Most visitors have already made their minds up if they are coming back before the first song!
One the first episode we watched of “Restaurant Impossible” the restaurant owner had designed and put pink tableclothes on all of her tables. They were clearly terrible. I’m sure her patrons made fun of these tableclothes. I’m sure it contributed to people not come back to her restaurant. However, she had a breakdown when the expert, Robert, wanted to remove them!
Robert’s focus is to get people in from the community to save the business.
Her focus is….actually I don’t think she had one which is why the business was dying. She just wants things to stay the same which is impossible because if the business dies, someone will be clearing out those pink tableclothes.
If our focus in the church is to reach people for Jesus, then let’s remove the obstacles for them. Train your greeters, recruit volunteers, buy nice signage, get a new logo, redo your website, get a decorator, etc. Maybe bring in another pastor or church expert to give you some hard truth to help you reach your community.
Let the only obstacle for lost people in your community be that they understand they are a sinner in need of a savior. – Andy Stanley