Church Involvement

Creating a Culture of Involvement in Every Church – 2018 Church Involvement Conference January 19 & 20

Month: August 2017

Why Do I Promote So Much?

Why Do You Promote Things So Much?

There are several ways to promote events and activities of the local church: word of mouth, personal telephone calls, email, phone tree, church bulletin, power point, Facebook (and other social media), snail mail, church announcements from the pulpit and in the classroom, and newspapers.

I try to use all of these and some folks probably wonder why.   Please allow me to share why I use so many avenues of promoting church events and activities.

Because church events and activities are important.   Any event or activity that is important is worthy of proper promotion.   Budweiser promotes the drinking of their beer and spends billions every year.   They think it is important.   I also think anything to do with the Kingdom of Heaven and the King is eternally and of utmost importance.

Because brethren are bombarded with all sorts of promotions.   Let’s face it: we are constantly barraged with information especially that of the promotional kind. We’ve got to work our way into the arena of promotions; if we do not, few if any will know much less care.   In reality, we are in competition with the devil himself.   We must be wise.

Because brethren forget.   We are so busy with so many things that we tend to forget—even the most important things.   Even the Bible recognizes reminding folk (2 Pet.1:12-13).

Because brethren are over committed.   Christians need to put the most important things on their personal schedules and yet many times they do not.   They are overcommitted with sports, TV, playing electronic games, extracurricular activities, travel, entertainment, etc.   Most of these things are harmless at face value but when we get too many things going on, the Lord’s things are usually the first to go.   We’ve got to promote the most important first and best.   Christians are to be committed to Jesus fully and first.

Because brethren don’t know.   I remember years ago, in my naïve youth, that members of the church said they needed weeks to prepare for an upcoming church event and “we” didn’t give them enough time to make ‘time preparation’ on their calendars.   Well, most of these folks won’t come to church events if you told them a year in advance, but then some are sincere and need a great deal of ‘notice.’     I’m not going to allow that excuse if I can help it.     Trav

Creativity and Ministry

Creative Thinking and Ministry

A few weeks ago my wife, our two best friends and I were in New England. On the way back home we stayed in Lancaster, PA.   We stayed in a new motel by the Hilton group called “TRU Hilton.”   It is intentionally designed to cater to the “millennial” age group.    Attached is a picture of the lobby.   The walls are multi-colored, the free breakfast is very ‘healthy’, there is a huge 55 inch TV in each room, there is no wood furniture, long tubes of shampoo and soap were attached to the bathroom wall (versus free small bottles) and wood floors (versus carpeted floors).   To an old geezer like me, it was shocking and to be honest, it was a bit uncomfortable.  My wife said it felt cold and industrial.   I must give the folks at Hilton some credit:  they are creative in their attempts to reach a younger generation of consumers.

I mention this experience for several reasons one of which is that the church is no longer creative.   We have lost our creativity and we mark anyone who exerts any creativity as progressive or a trouble-maker.   We are not creative in reaching the younger generations for example.    We are competing with the world which spends billions in being creative in promoting their products and philosophies.   We’ve got to rethink how we do things.   Doing the average or just getting by will not get it done.

One of the most helpful books that I’ve read in recent days is Howard Hendricks’ Color Outside the Lines.   Most of us know him as a conservative commentator, but he is also a genius on the topic of creativity.

In the closing chapter of his book, he lists the three stages of discipleship:  (1)Learning, (2) following and (3) sharing.   Many Christians I know are stuck in the first step and have been there since the day they were baptized into Christ.   Few have moved to actually emulating the Christ and sharing Him with lost friends and family.

Why is this?   I think the answer is simple: we have not been creative in showing how we are to emulate Christ and share Him.   We have equated Biblical learning (alone) with soundness.   However, if you closely study the lives of such folks as Jesus, Peter and Paul, you will see their creativity.   They were sound, but also creative in maturing Christians.

Our ministries should be creative in recruiting and training participants. We need ministries that have been created and based upon real needs.   We should encourage creative thinking among ministry leaders and members.   It is rather obvious that those who promote the use of

alcohol and other products (harmful or otherwise) are very creative.   It is past time for God’s children to be as wise as serpents and gentle as doves, and we can be as learn to be creative.   Our Lord can do beyond what we ask or think; He is the ultimate in creativity.   Look at His stories, parables, miracles, questions, the visuals that He uses (e.g. the Lord’s Supper is one of the most visual things He uses for our good), the very creation of everything, the variety is creation and the list goes on.

I strongly recommend, that each church and ministry leader read Howard Hendricks’ book and start to promote forward/creative thinking.   The payoff, in my estimation, will be continued spiritual and numerical growth.  I am not advocating changing the gospel.   However, I AM advocating changing much of our methodology in teaching the gospel and actually promoting following Christ (as disciples) and showing our brethren how to share the gospel with the lost.   It starts with elders and deacons who must learn to “color outside the lines” by being creative in their thinking.    Travis Irwin, Athens, TN

 

Is Your Ministry Important?

How Important is Your Ministry?

Recently, we had our first Ministry Fair.   I asked 28 of our 38 ministries to prepare displays for our Ministry Fair.    Twenty-six of the twenty-eight did so; everyone was given 7 months notice with many reminders.   We had 21 new volunteers for ministry and much interest.   To me, this effort was a great success.

I am giving you the background to this article.   It is written to all of our ministry leaders (before the Ministry Fair) in order to gently remind them of just how important their ministries are to the church.

If you are a deacon or a ministry leader, you may think this question is totally inappropriate and unnecessary.   However, I beg to differ.   From time to time we all need to be gently reminded of just how valuable and indispensable our ministries are.

How important is your ministry TO YOU?   Our first Ministry Fair is Sunday, July 16 during Bible class hours.     We have a total of 38 ministries and by purposeful design, 28 of them were asked to participate.   One ministry leader just showed me her display: it is out of this world.   Yes, she received expert help from a granddaughter, but it is marvelous.   Her ministry means a lot to her and she has gone to great lengths to promote her ministry.

Your participation and preparation for the Ministry Fair will send a strong signal to the church about how you feel about your ministry.   Yes, there are other ways you can send a similar signal, but the Ministry Fair is certainly one of the better ones.     Your creativity and the constant improvement of your ministry are other powerful signs of how much you value your ministry.

How important is your ministry TO THE CHURCH HERE?   What if Amy Littleton didn’t make sure the communion was prepared this Sunday?   What if Jim Ward decided to just sit down Sunday morning and hoped the guys got together to lead worship?   What if teachers were not in our classrooms to teach?   What if our guests had no one to watch their babies? You get the idea.   Every ministry contributes in some BIG way to the welfare and stability of the church here. Our ministries accommodate learning, fellowship and worship. There are also eternal implications to our ministries: they are priceless.   Your contributions of time and effort promote spiritual and numerical growth in this church.

How important is your ministry TO THE LORD?   It is He who has given us these ministries:   we are managers or stewards of them.     We are familiar with what the New Testament teaches on the organization of the church (e.g. elders, deacons, evangelists, teachers, etc.).   But He has also gifted every member for ministry and this was not an accident; it was done purposefully and when we operate the way we are designed, great things happen.   Our ministries are important to HIM.

This is not meant to be criticism: really the opposite.   I hope it has encouraged you to continue to stimulate others to love and good deeds (cf.Heb.10:24) through your ministry.

Thanks for all you do.   Trav

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén