I’ve read the articles. I’ve read the books. I’ve seen what other churches do. Yet, I was surprised when it wasn’t working for us. If we build it, they don’t come…. Much of the non-Adventist mentality on church growth is built around inviting people to come on Sunday mornings – come back to church, come to church for the first time, etc.
However, when we send out fliers to invite them to our Saturday morning services, people don’t flock in – if at all. Why not?
No one wakes up on a Saturday morning and says, “Wow Honey, we haven’t been to church in (years/months), why don’t we go today?” But they do that on Sunday mornings. Our theology demands that we grow differently. Why?
- We aren’t asking people to come for 1 hour a week, we’re asking them to give a 24 hour period. This requires more thinking than “Let’s go visit this week.”
- When we ask people to come on Saturday mornings, we are going against the grain of society. Everything good happens on Saturday mornings. The best ball games, the best cartoons, the best garage sales, the best shopping, little league games, etc. We are asking them to give up their Saturday and come to church. It’s different than the rest of society.
- Our theology demands that we teach them, so they will accept. It’s so against the grain of society that it takes some instruction. So we do evangelism. Why? Because Adventist Churches grow differently.
On March 17, 2011, USAToday.com printed an article that showed that Seventh-day Adventists are the fastest growing church in the USA. Yet, people aren’t flocking to our churches from the community. Most Adventist churches grow because they do evangelism. Adventist Churches grow differently.
Our evangelism is what drives our growth around North America. There are pockets here and there that don’t do evangelism and are still growing, but by-and-large, most churches grow because of their evangelism.
Because of our beliefs – what happens when we die, the second coming, the Sabbath, etc. It also takes time to process what we teach. You can’t really do this in a short time, but you need a few weeks to process things, so that it will make a life change for you.
When I was 12, my parents hauled my brother and I to an evangelistic seminar. The first week at church, my dad didn’t go. I wanted to stay home with him and watch the game. I was not happy. By the time the seminar was over, we had all had time to process the truth we learned and it was time to make a life-lasting-change in our family. We were ready. It took time to process it all.