Chapter seven of the U-Turn Church says that “there are Pew-Sitters and Heavy Hitters in the kingdom of God. A U-Turn church will call people to…take up the basin and towel and wash feet just as Jesus called us to do.” Here at Horizon we recognize that following the call of Jesus to make new disciples takes resources of time and energy.
“There are Pew-Sitters and Heavy Hitters in the kingdom of God”
People Are the New Programs
It used to be that a church could invest in programs and advertising as a way to reach new people. Mailing postcards and holding outreach events brought in new people. Not anymore.
One of the reasons this has changed is because people today are already too busy with programmed activity. Another reason is that the internet has flooded society with opportunities to join other programs. People aren’t looking for more programs. But they are looking for deeper relationships with other people.
For Horizon to resource the U-Turn means that we must elevate connections with people above connections with programs. People are the new programs. Investing in relationships with people will be the front line of the kind of outreach that produces results. We have staff at Horizon who work to put together programming. But more important for Horizon is the staff’s ability to prioritize relationships with people.
M-T-W-Th-F Is the New Front Door
It used to be that a church made its initial contacts with new visitors on a Sunday morning. The way new people first checked out a church was to show up for a Sunday worship service. Not anymore.
The new front door through which people find a church is in the relational connections they make with people during the week. This makes perfect sense. If people are looking for relationships above programs, then church ministries which offer deeper relationship opportunities will have more appeal to new people.
For Horizon to resource the U-Turn means that we must have plenty of opportunity for new people to experience relational connections during the week. Our staff and people must be available and engaged with people from our community Monday through Friday.
Invitation Is the New Culture
It used to be that people in the community would go looking for a church. The way a church grew with new members was to make itself well known in the community. Not anymore.
These days, people aren’t seeking a church. Making Horizon known in the community does not get us there. We cannot simply get the word out and then just sit back and wait for them to come to us. These days, the church needs to exist as a community outside of its walls.
For Horizon to resource the U-Turn means that we must prioritize invitation. I don’t mean invitation from postcards, mailings, and Facebook posts. I don’t mean invitations from unknown strangers. We must personally get to know new people in our neighborhoods, and then personally invite people to come along with us to Horizon. Invitation needs to be at the heart of our culture—of who we are and what we expect. There must be intentional room for invitation in everything we do.
Make A U-Turn
The council at Horizon is ready to take the next step forward in our U-Turn church process by resourcing these efforts to place people above programs, to emphasize mid-week opportunities for relationships, and to ignite a culture of invitation. We have been praying diligently for God to provide the resources we need to move in this direction, and God has been answering that prayer.
Leadership by example is a important. It is our intention to have the three pastors at Horizon collectively dedicate 80 hours each month to growing Horizon’s outreach in our community. By equipping our pastors to take the lead and set the example in community outreach, Horizon will create the opportunity for all of us to come along side and participate in this U-Turn moment for the church.
“There are Pew-Sitters and Heavy Hitters in the kingdom of God.” Now is the time to use what we have from God so that we can all be Heavy Hitters for the kingdom in this community.
till next time…