People Are The Mission: Sneak Preview (ch. 6)
It’s Launch Day Eve, everybody! Tomorrow marks the drop date of People Are The Mission. Here is the final excerpt from the book. You can still pre-order and get some super-sweet bonuses, but you need to do it today. Click that big yellow box below.
Excerpt from chapter six, It’s Not About You
When the comfort we’ve created for ourselves begins to give way, we start looking for a loophole, a simple fix to maintain the status quo and keep things normal. Part of that feels natural. When your church experiences change or growth, you experience change and growth. Your old friends might find new friends. The way things used to be will no longer be the way things are. So while your love of comfort might be natural, the problem is that it can fly in the face of the grace and inclusivity of the gospel. It negates the message we preach on the weekend. And it can ultimately quench the work of the Spirit in the lives of other people.
Among the reasons why people grow disillusioned with their current church and jump to another one, the “loss of comfort” mind-set is near the top of the list. And in a strange and surprising way, what originally attracted people to a church may end up repelling them in the end. Here’s an example of what I mean. Imagine that a family in your community is looking for a new church. They have a list, even if it is just a collection of “wants” in their head—and they are working their way down that list to make sure they find the perfect fit for their family. When they arrive at your church, they discover that you’ve pulled out all the stops to make them feel welcome. You provide easy-access parking with attendants who deliver a smiling face in the morning. You have plenty of volunteers posted outside and at each of the doors, accompanied by clear signage so it’s obvious where they need to go. Your facility is clean and well kept. Your kids’ programming is designed in a way that the children have fun, but they also learn how to dig deeper into Scripture. Your pastor preaches messages that are challenging yet relevant. Your band is on point, your small groups are abundant, and there are plenty of new friends for them to meet. You are well positioned as a church that attracts people.
Now fast-forward a few years. That new family has settled in, and the novelty of the attractive church has faded. They’ve noticed some flaws. Their teenager no longer gets the one-on-one attention that the youth pastor gave him those first few months. Other, newer families are discovering the church, and those other, newer families are encroaching on the relationships the now older family has developed. They start feeling restless. They begin to think about how much they enjoyed church at first and how much the church has changed since they arrived. “If it weren’t for all of these new people . . .” They never say this thought out loud. They may not even have it fully articulated in their minds. But it’s there, looming just below the surface.
Taken from People Are the Mission by Danny Franks. Copyright © 2018 by Danny Franks. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com.