“All men will know you are my disciples if  you love one another.”

One criticism of the church at large is that we don’t seem to like one another.  Or we hit a snag in life with no one to turn to.

Tom Peters, in The Pursuit of Wow, said that the results of a survey conducted by the Forum Corporation shows that 15% of the customers that leave do so because of poor product quality, another 15% leave for a better price, and the remaining 70% that leave do so out of poor customer service and/or personal attention.[1]

That’s the crux of care.

In his final words to the disciples before the cross, Jesus told them that the quality of their love for one another would be the determining factor in how well their message would be received.[1] When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he admonished them to make the self-giving agape love their primary aim in his “if I have not love, I am nothing.”[2]

The church, a functioning body of believers, is focused by interpersonal relationships.  And God is all about relationships.  Therefore, ministry is most effective when it is person to person.  This is expressed as a fully-functioning marriage taking care of one another’s needs.  It is also the model of a parent meeting the needs of their baby.  Ministry of one-to-one can, however, be exhausting.  Even worse is “one” to “several,” such as a single parent to several children.  In churches, this is expressed as the lone pastor or single deacon, wearing themselves out trying to minister “one on one” or “one-to-several.”      The model God gave us is a multi-function church ministering several to several.  It is one-to-one for specific needs, using the Spiritual Gifts given to each, or one to several where efficiency is acceptable, or a few to a few or to many, to support one another against burnout and “growing weary in doing good.”  The individual actions of many ones and many groups creates a collective many to give ministry to a number of ones, fews, and manys.

If you are going to JUMPSTART your church, you will need to value every member.  You will need to set up a system of 100% contact of every active attender at least every other week.  Let no one ever go more than 3 weeks without someone checking on them, valuing them.  This can be a letter, a call or a visit, but you have to make sure they receive it.

Notice I said “a system.”  This doesn’t mean the pastor has to contact everyone.  The pastor can’t; if they try they will fail, and damage relationships even more.

When you have the system in place, begin  to contact every visitor with at least the same frequency, until they tell you they’re not interested.  And then go find the ones on the rolls that don’t come any more, even the ones no one remembers.

If you want to be remarkable, you have to demonstrate attention to everyone.  “People won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

[1] John 15:10

[2] 1 Cor 13

[1] Tom Peters, The Pursuit of WOW!, (NY: Vintage Books, 1994)

One of the main purposes of the church is to be community to one another.

Another function is to share God’s blessings with those around us, in order to show them the way to salvation, to earn the right to be heard.

(More to come)

<–Jumpstart main

Local Witness —>

copyright 2010, Mike Mitchell


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