If you communicate everything, you communicate nothing.
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Ten Qualities A Church Doesn’t Need in Order to “Grow Young”
1. A Precise Size
2. A Trendy Location or Region
3. An Exact Age
4. A Popular Denomination
5. An Off-the-Chart “Cool” Quotient
6. A Big, Modern Building
7. A Big Budget
8. A “Contemporary” Worship Service
9. A Watered-Down Teaching Style
10. A Hyper-Entertaining Ministry Program
Seven Ways to Effectively Reach All Generations
1. Communicate Clearly
• It starts with the pastor clearly communicating what it is that the church stands for. When the pastor bleeds the mission statement, it will flow down all the way to our leaders.
• If you communicate everything, you communicate nothing.
• Take what you have been given as far as resources and use them to reach your specific ministry and your specific circle of influence.
• Help other generations to know what other generations and ministries are doing, and give them some opportunities to pray and be invested in not just their area of the church, but the church body as a whole.
• Nothing beats face-to-face communication.
2. Create an Atmosphere of Openness and Honesty
• Leadership (different generations)
• Small Groups (Care, Equip type classes)
• It cannot be forced; there has to be a grouping of leaders with differing personalities, spiritual gifts, and varying ages
• Authenticity is important
3. Embrace a Never-Changing Message in an Ever Changing Culture
• Combining worship styles in one service
• Message never changes but the methods need to change
• Our church is beginning to look like our community
• Teach truth while addressing topics that are active in our culture. Stage of Life community and also embrace diverse unity of groups at regular events
• Incorporate a variety of worship styles into all services
• Remember the heart.
• Include more topical studies in the main service.
• Speak the truth in love.
• Create an atmosphere where all (singles, divorced, gay) can feel welcome and not excluded or ostracized.
4. Foster a Warm Community
• Remember by name; calling people by name (Name Tag Sunday – ?)
• Follow-up with phone calls, texts, etc. o Helpful to be contacted by person they connected with, which means it might not be staff
• Have connectors strategically placed from the parking lot to the Life Group or Worship Walking with same people
• Same age to help invite people to specific Life Groups
• Greet at door or Talking in Life Groups
• Having people sit with them in Worship
• Life Group leaders are creating a community after church/outside of church
• Resource leaders
• Give them idea sheets
• Have staff check in periodically
• Serve together multi-generationally
• Do this at Bellevue Loves Memphis
• Life Groups paired with other Life Groups
• Example: a 60s women’s Life Group adopted a College girls’ Life Group to love on and pour into them
5. Develop/ Implement a Strategy of Answering “Why Jesus” and “Why Church”
• Focus from the pulpit on answering tough questions, and not glossing over them.
• Apologetics classes, periodically or regularly diving into “Why Jesus” over other things.
• Have Open panel, have a service, or maybe break it down into classes. Where people can ask questions. Since on the spot questioning probably isn’t practical, have members turn in questions about the Bible weeks in advance, and address multiples, and relevant ones.
• Personal stories from church members (video, testimony, etc.)
• Have Ravi Zacharias come speak/Q and A (personal favorite)
6. Be Good Neighbors (to other generations as well as in the community)
• Connect the stages of life
• Prayer partners within different ministries
• Events that bring different ages or “crowds” together
• “Adopt a Lifegroup”
• Older life groups partner with younger life groups to pray for/get involved with.
• Advertise events to pray for or volunteer in even if it does not specifically apply to their age group.
• Lifegroups with people from different walks of life.
• Does Bellevue look like its city?
7. Value Personal Connection Over Institutional Connection
• Tie everything to the mission/vision (Vision Frame)
• Institutional but becomes personal when implemented
• Provides channels for personal connection
• 60% of people do not connect
• Practical Steps
• Elongated connect times within the Worship Service
• The majority of people who attend come into the worship service
• Have Bellevue members lead next steps classes