Church Growth Component #2:
Church Growth Component #2: REPUTATION MANAGEMENT
Establishing and developing a certain set of conditions within and in association with an organization (i.e. Church or ministry) which serves to create in the minds of people (who encounter or hear about the organization) favorable perceptions of the organization. Addresses the questions, "How do people perceive your Church? What is its reputation? Does it even have one?"
*IMPORTANT NOTE: Be careful to separate "functions" from "perceptions" as these are two completely different things. Do people describe your Church by its functions (i.e. uplifting sermons, inspiring worship, awesome Bible studies, life-changing missions trips, etc.) or by actual perceptions (i.e. generous, legalistic, caring, liberal, upper class, community, boring, loving, political, old, young, etc.)? If you have trouble clearly identifying the general perception people have of your Church, this could mean that your Church & ministries are "forgettable" or "unnoticed."
There is a disturbing amount of evidence from leading research organizations such as The Barna Group indicating that a growing number of people both in and out of the Christian community view it mostly in a negative light. Specifically, more and more people are perceiving Church as largely hypocritical, judgmental, anti-homosexual, too political, & non-relevant, among other things. It is vital to take strong action so as to protect against and rectify this poor image... an image that, to put it lightly, drastically hinders Church growth.
If we create an atmosphere in Church where it becomes seen as a real connecting point for meeting both perceived and actual needs - ceaselessly, 24/7, practically, & tangibly - then people will have a much more difficult time negatively criticizing Church. Unfortunately, the groups which have a reputation of being the most amicable & loving are often NOT Churches & Christians.
This is appalling & unacceptable. Regardless of the "good reputation" a Church may (or may not) have, any serious Church growth strategy must face and properly deal with this sobering reality...
Christians & Churches must relentlessly strive to be known above all by their love for one another. According to the words of Jesus Christ, this is the defining mark of true Christians (John 13:34-35).
SeekOrServe.com has been designed to help Churches accomplish the phenomenal task of loving one another 24/7 with little to no effort or investment whatsoever. As stated in the Instructions (for Church Leaders) section of SeekOrServe.com, all you need to do is ceaselessly urge people to take up the MAM (Minute-A-Month) challenge. This simple challenge, which asks for only one minute a month from people, can EASILY get your Church and ministries known for being a place where people love one another in an unprecedented manner, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, NON-STOP. The more people in your Church give at least one minute of their time each month to post just one need or giveaway, the more your Church gets noticed as a true connecting point for boundless Christian love...