I spent the past week hanging with and coaching a church planter in trouble. It seems he called the wrong bunch when launching his church.
Like so many others he went after mostly Christian families. The theory being that they offer stability. And stability is what he got—too much stability. When he began to ask people to step into ministry they simply left the church.
The sad result is that he quickly lost two-thirds of his congregation.
Most were good people who simply migrated to their local megachurch where they could comfortably hide in the crowd.
This church is located in an area of inexpensive luxury homes and some were actually embarrassed to host a home group because their 3000 sq. ft. home wasn’t large enough. But the main reason underlying all of this is that families are busy…and families that haven’t been taught to sacrifice seldom learn.
This man is left to manage all the details involved in running a church. It is killing him and his wife.
My advice was to gather the few young, single adults in the church and focus the best of his energy on discipling these people.
If he does, he will build a cadre of people loyal to him. They will understand the missional side of church life. And, they will eventually marry and build families around the Great Commission rather than in resistance to it.
In essence, he should pastor two churches at the same time—the stable families and his hot young disciples.
Admittedly, this is the long way around the block—it does take time. But, it is the model Jesus left us and it is what Paul did with Silas, Timothy, etc.
My only addition to the strategy is to place the focus on young singles since they possess wondrous amounts of the time, discretionary income and idealism that generate movements…