For those of you who have read, "Simple Church" may I recommend another great book; "Sticky Church" by Larry Osborne. It's a great read with some key principles on ways to keep people connected to the church.
Let's face it, there are plenty of ways to get people to come to church. Keeping them there is another matter. This book shares some important thoughts on how to close the back door.
When I read a book, I highlight in it and make notes off to the side in it, so if I ever want to freshen up on it I can go back and hit the highlighted parts. I talked to a friend of mine, Jon Morris, today who gave me a great idea.
He mentioned that after he finishes a book and highlights in it, that he then types a list of all the highlighted parts and keeps them on file for future use.
So in the spirit of taking some good advice, here are just a few quotes from the book that I thought I'd share with you. Again, I highly recommend the book.
"We've often become so focused on reaching people that we've forgotten the importance of keeping people."
"A great spiritual start is no guarantee of a happy ending."
Commenting on the parable Jesus told concerning the sower...."If the soil in any portion of the farmers field produced a killed off before harvest outcome, he'd never plant there again. A crop that didn't last all the way to harvest was a financial disaster."
"If left alone, the back door never closes itself. We have to intentionally slam it shut."
"Imagine two churches that both run 250 in attendance and in ten years they both grew to 500.....Church "A" is the typical revolving door church in that it looses 7 people for every 10 it gains. Church "B" is a sticky church and looses 3 people for every 10 it gains. On the surface both churches grew to the 500 mark. But the revolving door church had to reach 834 new people to get there. The sticky church had to reach 357.....what's even more interesting is that Church "A" now has 584 formal attenders that are in the community who say, "I used to go to that church."
"The people who come through the front door of a church through word-of-mouth referrals have a fundamentally different experience than do those who come as the result of a marketing campaign."
"Basic laws of retention: Whatever you do to reach people, you have to continue to do to keep them."
"Many times in our special programs to reach the lost, we advertise weeks in advance; and don't realize how well we've trained our congregation to hold back their invitations until the next big event."
"As long as the front door remains bigger than the back door, any church will appear to be growing."
"Most of our discipleship programs are very linear. Unfortunately, most spiritual growth is not."
"Empowerment without a platform is like responsibility without authority."
"In the church, we don't want to hang out our dirty linen in public. A non-christian might hear and be turned off---or a gossip might hear and be turned on."
"It's a well known fact that young adults tend to mimic the behavior patterns of their parents once they start to have their own families. It's amazing to see how much like their parents most kids in my youth group eventually became. Once they hit adulthood, our influence waned and their parents' influence held sway. They parented like they were parented, did marriage like their parents, and even did adult Christianity like it was modeled by most of the adults around them."
To follow the above......."we decided not to have special small groups for youth and children, instead we asked them to join in the adults small group....our young adults dropout rate is a fraction of what it used to be in the past, it's because we've focused on giving our children and youth the powerful gift of a growing mom and dad."
"The most obvious sign of greater attentiveness was the marked increase in note taking."
Those are a few of my highlighted notes from just the first 5 chapters. Hopefully I've put enough down to wet your appetite to go out and get the book for yourself.