Thursday, August 16, 2007

Growth by Numbers 2

After that long post on growth I thought of an illustration I've used teaching. I served a suburban church that grew steadily. However, in its early years as a re-located congregation, growth was difficult. The mostly elderly congregation in a first building had very little to offer in terms of programs, etc. Added to that was the fact that the church was surrounded by well-established large churches of various denominations.

Then some new families with children visited, and they returned. They got involved and began to bring other new families from their sub-divisions. From that growth programs developed and more growth occurred. But what connected these first families to the church? The surrogate grandmothers.

One mom said, "My husband's company moved us several states from our families. We tried the new little church and immediately a sweet woman took our boys. She took interest in them, brought them home-made cookies, and had them over to her house. She became their South Carolina grandma."
With nothing really to offer in terms of promotions or programs, the church grew because the grandma's gave what they had, their love - in this case expressed as genuine care and interest in others. Guess you could say, they grew the old-fashioned way....

No comments: