Religious communities calling a new pastor, rabbi or imam do not get the same public attention focused on the choice of the next king of late-night TV. But saying goodbye to a longtime leader and deciding on a new spiritual CEO pose special challenges for congregations.
I've heard people talking for years about "church growth." But when they do, I'm not always sure what they mean by it. Or, to put a finer point on it, I'm not always sure they know what they mean by it.
By creating welcoming threshold places and training members to practice good Christian hospitality, congregations can help people to feel comfortable as they move from the outside world to the inside of the church for the very first time.
Walk in and hear rock music, see people wearing jeans and flip flops, and look at big video screens. Messages that focus on sex, success and decision making are also common fare. Welcome to the contemporary church.
This isn't the occasion to berate them for their lack of weekly engagement; rather it is a perfect opportunity to remind errant members about the great activities, opportunities for ministry, and small groups at the church.