The basic message of the seminar was that although church growth is not easy and can often be a slow process, it's well worth it! The key is to put our energy, focus, and resources into reaching the unchurched in our community through word and deed. Everything the church does needs to be filtered through the mission of the church which is to make disciples for the transformation of the world.
Here are some key nuggets to help make this happen:
- Decrease the number of meetings to free up church members to be involved in hands on ministry and mission work.
- To reach new generations, the church needs to change and adapt methodologies in order to speak their language.
- Signs of growth and vitality will not happen quickly. Lay a foundation for the church to grow and don't give up! Redeemer UMC is an example of this point.
- Program Staff should not do the ministry, but instead recruit, equip, and empower laity to use their gifts to be in ministry and reach the community.
- This wasn't mentioned in the seminar, but the church is set up and decorated in such a way that a guest can easily find information and feel welcomed. It was easy for us to see that a ton of intentionality was put into the lay-out of the church. Their information center is a case in point. (see picture above.)
The brief video includes thoughts from our Youth Director and our Worship Chairperson on what they learned from the seminar.