In the hands of ordinary Christians, small social groups are a big spiritual deal. This is because "ordinary Christians" have more credibility than the ordained clergy. A guy named Herb Miller did some great research:
* When first-time visitors to a local church receive a "glad you came" visit (or phone call) within 36 hours, 85% of them will return the following week.
* If the "glad you came" call is received 36 to 72 hours after their first visit; the percentage drops to 60%.
These statistics represent the reaction from church visitors who receive a rapid response call by someone other than the pastor. Herb found that something interesting happens when first timers get a quick follow up call from "Mr. Important," the pastor himself:
* When the "glad you came" call is given by the pastor, the percentages are cut by 50%!
Giving someone a "glad you came" call does not guarantee that they will return. It's not about the pastor personally; it's about common sense. Visitors know that the pastor is on the payroll. A call from me is about as special as a call from a telemarketer; they figure I'm just doing my job.
Think of it this way: The Christian life is like a brand new car, and the pastor is a car salesman. When a car salesman says, "Hey, I just want to help you find a great car because I really care about you," people think: "Whatever."
As an "ordinary Christian," however, you're like a car owner. People are going to be interested in your opinion; they know that you're not working on commission.
Related Sermon Illustrations
Contributed by Mike Harris on Sep 24, 2002
John Maxwell tells a story about 2 boys on their way to school…and –talking about their families.. One boy said—“I’ve figured out a SYSTEM for getting along with my MOM…. ...read more
Contributed by Mike Wilkins on Sep 23, 2002
"At last I understood: in the final analysis, forgiveness is an act of faith. By forgiving another, I am trusting that God is a better justice-maker than I am. By forgiving, I release my own right to get even and leave all issues of fairness for God to work out. I leave in God’s ...read more
Contributed by Bradford Robinson on Sep 23, 2002
There was a little boy who was kneeling by his bed with his mom to say his nighttime prayers. He began to shout to the top of his lungs, “Dear God, I’ve been real good this year so please let me get a new bicycle for my birthday.” His mom said, “Son, God’s not deaf; you ...read more
Contributed by Howard Parnell on Sep 24, 2002
A doctor called one of his patients into his office to deliver some very important news. "I have received the results of your tests and I have some bad news and some good news", said the doctor. The patient was quiet for a moment, sensing the severity of the announcement. "Let me have the good ...read more