Church attendance has declined since the ease of the lockdown.
As such, members’ commitments have been hanging on a thin thread. Even with the digitalization of churches, there are plenty of distractions that drag the average churchgoer’s attention with the church. Apostle Paul played a crucial role in spreading the gospel to the Gentiles (non-Jews) during the first century, and this took him to the ends of the Roman Empire. He started more than a dozen churches, and he wrote 13 books of the bible—more than any other biblical writer. There is just one thing that separated him from other leaders in the Bible- he knew his people and dealt with each group according to their cultural and behavioral strengths. How well do you know and understand your church?
Pastors almost always assume that every congregation is alike, but they are not. You may be eager to implement a new ministry strategy you learned at a minister’s conference, but have you considered how your members will respond to it? The church is made up of people from different demography, cultures, age group and marital status- most of them will receive your ministry in different ways. What you must do is to find a common ground for everyone to agree with your tone. Although every congregation has its own language; as long as you can speak it with the right tone, they won’t listen to anyone else. Remember church does not begin on your first day as its resident pastor. Whether you are a new pastor at a church; or you have been there since inception, you need to have a full understanding of your membership and their needs. Apostle Paul understood that ministry is a course that must be studied. He preached in an entirely different way among the Greek philosophers of Athens in Acts 17:22-31 than he did among the Jews of Antioch in Acts 13:16-41. He spoke the language of each group, referred to sources they considered authoritative, and addressed the subjects that were important to them. These people had differential opinions and required varying approaches. Although every church needs positive change to remain relevant; an informed leader will make knowing his congregants and having experiential relationship with them, an important part of his ministry.
Let me remind you that Paul was not born a perfect example of Christ’s followership. He persecuted the church and was even present to witness and approve the stoning of the first Christian martyr- Stephen. At that time, he was Saul, who believed that Jesus’ followers were blaspheming against God by claiming Jesus is God. To him, they were sinners of the worst kind and deserved to die. He was a notorious persecutor of Christians, so it took a long while for him to be able to convince the Believers that he had changed. When he had convinced them, he began to preach in public places. He quickly built a reputation as a strong teacher throughout the Roman Empire. However, when he got to certain communities (Non-Jewish), he made salvation easy and attractive in order to win souls for the kingdom of God. He didn’t compromise his faith, he only applied wisdom and strategy for the purpose of the gospel. As a pastor, you need to recognize that there is a process in getting a total commitment from your church membership. First, you need to make efforts to know your members. Convincing has to come first because communication is essential to the overall health of a church. If yours is mostly filled with youths, your methods must be accomodating enough to keep them focused on God. If on the other hand, you are tending to middle aged Christians who are used to the orthodox way, you must relate as such too. Whether your members are mostly singles or married, you must be strategic in leading them according to the precepts of the gospel. This is a desperate call as we can no longer rely on door to door fellowship- it has been replaced with a more effective digital structure. Everyone can now meet in the digital space at any time.
The church is a clinic for people who are seeking to find the way, the truth, and peaceful living. As an apostle, Paul engaged the cultures of the people he was trying to reach. He had to protect these new believers from the weight of the obligations that Jewish Christians often tried to impose on them. He consistently tried to prove that the Gentiles didn’t need to adopt certain Jewish customs to place their faith in Jesus and to receive the Holy Spirit. He did not do this to undermine the cultures of the Jews; he only employed spiritual intelligence to engage his audience based on how he had studied them. He decided to be a sheep that had to wear the appearance of wolves to make them want to be like a sheep. Every pastor must learn this strategy. What will work for church A might not necessarily work for church B. Churchgoers nowadays cannot be likened to those who attended church in the 70s and 80s. Therefore, having adequate knowledge of a congregation is an essential part of exponential church growth. While you are garnering the knowledge, here are 2 strong ways by which you can connect with your members in the coming days.
1. Create a Unified System
As a highly effective pastor of a megachurch, you probably can only maintain 150 human relationships at a time, and not still have personal relationships with them. What therefore happens to the rest of the church? Even if you make sure to create cell churches and appoint leaders to cater to membership well-being in groups, a good number of your congregation will desire a personal relationship with you as the lead pastor. How do you manage that objectively without seeming partial to some? How much would you need to budget for communication channels monthly? After sending bulk messages and placing phone calls through to all your members, how was the feedback?
Wouldn’t you rather embrace an effective and wholesome alternative? Imagine having a digital system that will help you manage church teams and get people adequately involved in the ministry. A system that will ensure that members are grouped into cell groups based on their location, marital status, gender, age group and salutations. This system will ultimately create a digital database of your Church members which is optimally secured for Church use only. Through these cell groups, you will get to know people’s membership status- a lot of regular attendees at some mega churches who have been assumed to be church workers are not. All cell groups will be interconnected and then built into a wholesome system. This way, everyone can have the same information with the use of push notifications all at once. They can even be able to access or make reference to previous informations.
2. Use Technology Wisely
Remember that communication isn’t just a byproduct of your ministry. It is a ministry in itself. Whether you are sending the weekly bulletin or sending an email to the church staff, effective communication is essential to the mission of your church. Always lead your members to tell you about themselves, regardless of the setting. Since almost everyone now owns a smartphone, every church needs a platform that can give its congregation an easier way to connect with the leaders and with one another. Leverage on technology by using membership platforms to meet members in their comfort zone. Make the church attractive for them to spend time in. You can also use prayer walls to get to know what challenges they are facing and encourage them to share their testimonies online. Let there be intentional open-ended conversations with your members online constantly. Keep everyone connected to one another. Church management apps have made spreading the gospel a sweet endeavor, but let me introduce you to the most effective one I have ever encountered- ChurchPad.
The ChurchPad app helps deepen engagement within the church community by encouraging generosity, enhancing evangelism, and creating communication channels with effective feedback systems.