I want PCC to be a company of pastors who care for this flock; not a company of shopkeepers that try to retain customers. There’s a big difference, you know. Church is not some kind of gym membership. It’s a family. People who know they are called to a local fellowship become family members, not club members. Club members find it easy to walk away, family members don't. Shopkeepers don't care for the flock, pastors do.
I think advertising is okay. It helps heighten a church’s visibility. Slick, four-color mail-outs are fine too, but it still takes passionate people who love their neighbors to build a church. I am convinced that it is the unseen work of the Holy Spirit and the prayers of God’s people that really gathers the lost, the hurting, and the disenfranchised, and enfolds them into a loving church family.
Instead of hearing about attendance numbers, I prefer hearing stories. In the hundreds of faces I look into each Sunday, there is a surplus of stories waiting to be told. Tell me about current accounts of redemption, healing, restoration, and rescue. How many arrived is a lot less compelling to me than how many are thriving.
Family meals in the evening are a time of lingering together and having unhurried conversations about the stories going on in one another’s lives. In a fast food restaurant, however, there is a rush to get to the next customer and short blurbs of talking about a numbered meal on a well organized menu. Everything in a fast food restaurant is about efficiency and excellence. Time is the master and we are the slaves.
Church for the past 2000 years has been centered on the story of Jesus Christ, pausing to remember Him in the Sacraments. It’s also about the stories of His people, the called-out ones who gather for family worship, not the gathering of customers who have a great consumer experience.
Let us pause long enough to establish relationships in the church and tell our stories to one another. It's the very thing that makes a spiritual family deep and meaningful.