I met with a friend a few days ago. He took me out for some Mexican Food at a place call Sol Mexican Grill. The food is amazing there. At the end of of our wonderful time together, I asked him the following question: “My church is not growing, what else do I need to do?
He looked at me and said, “I don’t know! I don’t know! What kind of answer is that? I thought to myself.
“There is a lot of stuff you need to do, and all of them are equally important. But, there is one thing I would focus on the most,” He added.
At this time he proceeded to tell me a story about a friend:
“My friend went to Italy for vacation and he came back very excited about his visit. So I asked him what excited him the most on his trip. He said, it was a visit to one of the historic Cathedrals in Rome that blew his mind. He told me he had never felt that closed to God in his entire life. It was so intense, his first visit, that he came back to that same spot every day for the two weeks of his stay in Rome. He told me he spent hours, sometimes all day hanging around the Cathedral.”
With a, “you get it” kind of look on his face, mixed with excitement and urgency, he shouted the following question: “If that Cathedral was the church in which you did ministry every week, where do you think my friend would be going to church?
I answered, “my church!”
To that he said, “than do everything, working with God to create an atmosphere, a place where people feel the closest to God. You do that, and when families wake up on Sunday mornings, that’s the place they will wake up thinking about and that’s the place they’ll call home.”
I went home and thought about that conversation and these thoughts began to form in my mind:
- Allow God to infuse your Worship with His presence – and that’s the place people would want to come.
- Allow God to be the center of your small groups – and that’s the place people would want to come.
- Allow friendships to reflect the character, life and example of Jesus – and that’s the place people would bring their families.
- Allow the passion, compassion and love of God to move your people to serve the poor and disenfranchised – and that’s the kind of purpose driven life people will be attracted to.
- Communicate truth like God would. Do not be silent, communicate hard truth powerfully and uncompromisingly and with lots of love. That draws people.
- Do not water it down, even as you seek to remove unnecessary cultural barriers.
People are attracted to whatever God is, whatever He’s in and whatever He’s into.
People feel the closest to God when He is at the center of it all.
People feel the closest to God when He is in everything you do.
Please take a moment to share your experience by answering this question: Where do you feel the closest to God? Singing in the shower? Walking or Hiking? Serving? Worshiping with a large group or just by yourself driving to work?
Stay blessed and connected to Him!