There is a phenomenon entitled “church hopping” that is rampant in many places. Church hoppers are notorious for seeking the next big high in town. They want more entertainment. They want more programs. They want you to do more for them. As you placate to them, they will reward you with their attendance. So to appeal to church hoppers, you need excitement built on entertainment. If you can’t afford the musicians or your preaching is not popular enough then this may be a problem…You may have to cut the community programs and give it to musicians. You may have to bring in television evangelists if your preaching ain’t packing them in. You may have to spend all of your money in the quest for the church hopper…but filling the church is the point…right? So how do you do it?
The next thing you need to do to make your church a magnet for church hoppers is to lower the accountability in the church. Nothing causes church hoppers to run more than accountability. Don’t hold people to anything. Don’t expect them to live differently than their non-Christian neighbors. Don’t preach about holy living. Don’t expect that their lives will demonstrate the power of God. In fact if you must condemn anyone, condemn those who have the audacity to speak about transformed lives. Call them hypocrites. You have to build into your church a lot of places where people can hide and not become a part of the community. You want to make people as comfortable as possible with not being a real part of the community. Now of course that will mean that those who want genuine community may not find it there, but you just wanted to put “butts in the seats”….right?….
Do these things and you might be able to compete for church hoppers. They will come from the other churches around town to yours, if you got a better “show” than they have. You will be able to report massive growth to your superiors. You will be able to show out at the next ministerial association meeting. You will have a church full of members that simply changed the place where they consume their religious entertainment. However don’t be surprised when your people leave at that new young hotshot preacher across town, or that great choir that just won that national award.
Or maybe…just maybe…we aughta preach the word in season and out of season. (2 Timothy 4:2) Maybe, just maybe, we aughta trust that the Word that we preach out will not come back void. (Isaiah 55:11) Maybe we aughta seek to usher in our people to an encounter with the word that will change them…and our church may grow to a large size…but then again it may not…but in the end, God will be using us to be a part of God’s in-breaking Kingdom that is not based in entertainment or lack of accountability, but is based in a total transformation of the present order and its citizens Maybe we aughta grow a church not by appealing to madison avenue advertising techniques…maybe we aughta just preach the word. maybe…
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