Be clear about your outcome

When our church led the way in building the new $3-million community center in our town, we did not expect the outcome to be new members for our church.  We did expect the community center to become a gathering place for the community.

When we helped start the local Boys and Girls Club by hosting them in our building, we didn’t expect to get new members for our church.  We did expect to provide a safe after-school program for underserved kids.  

When we worked to establish a community music school that is headquartered at our church, we didn’t expect it to increase membership either.  We did expect it to provide quality music instruction for children. 

When we partnered with artists and educators in our community to start Soundcheck, the monthly teen open mic night, we didn’t expect it to bring new members to our church.  We did expect Soundcheck to be a venue for artistic expression, and to increase arts awareness in our town.

Because we understood going in to each of these projects that there probably would not be an immediate payoff for our church in increased membership, our congregation was not disappointed when no new members joined from any of those programs.  

Be clear about your desired outcome before you start a project.  Don’t try to sell every project as a membership project.   Churches can be on mission to transform their communities, too.

2 thoughts on “Be clear about your outcome”

  1. Great counsel Chuck! I so agree. Many churches are so “membership” and “growth” driven that they can lose the core value of why they are actually doing what they do. It’s critical to search our hearts and truly judge our own motives for all that we do. As you know we are “Ambassadors of Christ” and therefore must represent him with grace, integrity and compassion to a watching world.

    Grace and Peace,

    1. Jimmy, thanks for your kind words and comments. We both know the difficulties of engaging our communities in various ways. Everything is not a growth strategy. Some of the things we need to do might actually put us in “negative growth” to use a government oxymoron.

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