In the last few days I found a vision statement and plan for growing Wesley Chapel UMC. It was from 2000. The vision statement was:
“To promote the teachings of Jesus Christ by developing projects and programs that meet the needs of those attending Wesley Chapel and attract others to attend these events with hope that they or their families will become part of the church family.”
I think that says two things:
- Have stuff at the church to meet the needs of the people who already go to church here
- Hope that will be enough to get people to come here
That’s the plan for lots and lots of churches and that’s why churches are not growing. That’s a prototypical attractional church model – doing things to try to attract people to the church. That is Old Testament thinking. In the OT, it was all about going to the Temple to worship God. That is not the New Testament. In the NT, Jesus sends people out. It’s a “We go where they are” mentality. It works.
When the church sends people out, think about how many people are reached. And think about how the people being sent out are blessed and grow. There are some people who will only be reached outside the church. And there are some things only you can do. Don’t wait til church tomorrow. Better get to it today where you are.