Why do some people go to small churches? Why do others go to large churches?
This is certainly an oversimplification, but track with me.
People tend to stay at small churches because they are:
Each week, someone is counting on them to pass out the red attendance folders, vacuum the floor, fill the communion cups, or help organize the choir robes. They are needed.
People love small churches because they are known. If they have a toenail operation, someone knows. If they miss church, someone calls. If their pet cat gets hit by a car, someone cares. They love being known.
All things equal, why do people go to large churches? The answers vary widely:
* The church has a good Mother’s Day Out.
* The videos are cool.
* The church has great music.
* The junior high pastor pays attention to my kid.
* They have a class for widows.
* They have a class for addicts.
* They have a class for everything including annoying people.
People have tons of reasons to go to large churches.
But why do they leave? Typically because they don’t feel:
The paid staff does most everything. The professional band is too good for most. The yard is mowed by a company. The daycare workers are paid. If there is no place for me to use my gifts, I just might leave.
If a person misses church and no one calls, it hurts. If someone is in pain and no one knows, again, not good. One can be in a crowded church building and still feel all alone.
What can we do to help people become needed and known no matter what the size of the church?
(End Original Post)
Personally, I think that if a church "makes" someone feel needed or known it won't stick.
I think that both being needed and known are results from what individuals do inside a church. Not what a church does for individuals.
Jenny and I left a church where we were both well known, and where we were needed. It was a "smaller" church by comparison, 200-300 on a Sunday. Some wouldn't call that small, but compared to 3600-4000 on a weekend, it is.
Anyway, since coming to NPC we haven't had goals in mind of being needed or known...but I think that even in less than a year, we have already become both of those.
Instead, I had goals of a) Finding a need & filling it and b) Being faithful to God
In finding and filling a need, you will in turn become needed.
In being faithful to God through your actions and intentions, you'll become and feel known.
There are always needs. For me, it didn't take long to find one I could fit into...and I keep finding more:
- Playing in the band
- Helping with the lights or other technical elements
- Leading connect groups
- Working with Second Saturday
- Helping with Family Theatre
- Helping with NPCU
Likewise, each of us is called to be faithful in unique ways. God has given us all unique personalities, talents, mindsets, skills and gifts. He has put specific passions in our lives that we will find great fulfillment in if we engage in them. By being faithful to his callings and urgings, we will not only find ourselves more known by others, but more importantly we will realize we are known by God.
I've been working on faithfulness in specific ways as well. It usually involves offering suggestions, improvements, ideas, or just being willing and attempting to make the lives of those responsible for the church 'that' much easier.
Faithfulness in this way isn't necessarily something you'll see on a Volunteer Opportunities card. It's much more personal than that. It's listening to what God wants you to do in certain situations and then actually doing it.
But relationships that have come from (and continue to grow from) my attempts at faithfulness have made me known. And have certainly made me feel more known, even though it's just a reward and not a goal.
Obviously what I listed isn't a cookie cutter solution.
But we can all find needs.
God is talking to each of us.
What needs can you fill?
How is he asking you to be faithful?
Figure that out, and then go and do them!