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The Diercksens

 The Open Door...

Grace, Mercy and Peace to all of you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…

Vacations:  Always too good and too short! But, honestly- its great to be back!  During my vacation I was able to participate in “New Beginnings,” an effort of Churches that are wanting to be “healthy” even in the midst of the changes in our society and world.  Some statistics that were shared with us are rather sobering for the Church…

The Church in the 1930’s compared to Today:
~
Average Worship Attendance (AWA) of 30 would support salaries; Today, AWA of 130 is required to support the same facility, program and mission
~ Building cost-1 household income; Today, 40 household incomes
~ Mission giving was about 30%; Today, Mission giving is about 3%
~ No health insurance for employees; Today, Benefits add 25% to employee cost
~ No student loan debt for pastors; Today, average Seminarian has $40,000 to $80,000 debt at graduation
~ Today, Churches in the U.S. of all denominations are closing at a rate of 4,000/year (that's 11 / day!)

So, we talked about “Two Shifts in our Thinking” that are needed…

#1 – Go from making good church members to making disciples of Jesus.

Membership Model vs. Discipleship Model:
~ I pay my tithe, therefore I
should benefit vs. I pay my tithe, to bless someone else
~ The church serves its members vs. The church serves the community
~ My pastor is responsible for my
spiritual growth vs. I am responsible for my spiritual growth
~ Worship satisfies me vs. Worship stretches me
~ Majority rule decides vs. Prayer decides

The simple purpose of the church is to make disciples of Jesus.

“If the church is not doing this, then all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, and even the Bible, are
a waste of time.”

- C.S. Lewis

#2 – We need to go from church growth to community transformation.

FROM

“How do we get more members…”
“How do we get more money…”

TO

“How do we transform lives…”
“How do we transform communities…”
“How can we equip one another into becoming the hands and feet of Jesus…”

Whew! Needless to say – this was a great meeting and I look forward to sharing it with you over this next year!

Blessings and see you at Rally Day!!!

Pastor Dave