The message of Jesus is relevant but your church might not be. Why? Well, the truth is, irrelevant churches make almost no impact on the community around them. Relevance means what you do matters. Relevance means your ministry makes a difference, and people’s lives are changed. Here are eight signs your ministry might be becoming irrelevant.
1. Not embracing innovation and change – You don’t have to do what other churches do, but you can’t do what you’ve always done. The message remains the same, but our methods must change. Technology alone insists that you change your approach to ministry.
2. Not addressing the needs of your community – Relevance isn’t in competition with the culture; it’s about connecting with current culture. It’s not about changing the message; it’s about meeting people where they are at.
3. Everyone on your leadership team is your age – Left uncorrected, churches tend to age with their leader. As a leader in my 40s and 50s, I had to be intentional about surrounding myself with leaders in their 20s and 30s. Yes, they were young and inexperienced but we all started somewhere right? Take the time to develop younger leaders.
4. Check the copyright dates on your music – Look, there’s nothing wrong with singing older songs, but if all the copyright dates are older, it’s a sign that you’re actually not that relevant. You’re in no man’s land. You’re too contemporary to be traditional, and too traditional to be contemporary. The gap between you and culture is growing wider every day.
5. You think new ideas are bad ideas – Not every new idea is a great idea, but embracing no new ideas is a terrible idea. We all can think of 10 reasons why a new idea won’t work, and your team never hesitate to list them. “We haven’t done it that way before.” When was the last time you embraced a radical new idea? If you can’t answer that question, you’re already in trouble.
6. Longing for the good old days – Declining churches are nostalgic churches. They remember when everything was amazing, which clearly isn’t today. To figure this out, listen to the way people talk. Is there an excitement for what’s next, or mostly a longing for what was?
7. Not taking risks anymore – Taking risks leads to change. Change often prompts strong resistance. Change can be three steps forward and two steps back. But if the leader does not take risks that lead to change, the church will become irrelevant.
8. If we build it, they will come – Instead of waiting for the people to come to church, take the church to the people. Instead of staying silent online, host videos to answer questions that are relevant to today. And have fun with a cooking show or other non-spiritual media to start conversation.
It all comes down to providing value for others. When you do that, you stay in your community’s attention, and that’s the first step to getting them plugged back into your church and being relevant.
Speaking of relevance, we have a live webinar, Should I still be streaming to Facebook and YouTube? Why or Why Not? It’s free and it’s February 15th, you can watch it here.
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