Summary: A sermon on how to make the church a more enjoyable atmosphere. (Taken from D. Michael Lindsay’s book Friendship: Creating a Culture of Connectivity In Your Church)
Sermon for 8/21/2005
There’s Nothing Like a Satisfied Customer
John Drea, a professor of business at Western Illinois University, wrote in an article, A base of satisfied customers is vital for any healthy organization. Just as a physician takes your temperature as an indicator of your health, measuring customer satisfaction provides a means of assessing your organization’s health - taking its temperature, so to speak.
This thought is echoed in many church growth books. A church grows warmer through fellowship, through relationships. Many people are looking for support and encouragement, people to live with, and a family for loving.
A. From Acts 2:46-47, we see the results of Church Satisfaction.
B. No church is perfect. However, the most satisfied church members worship at places where they feel like they belong, where they are valued and appreciated, and where friendships flourish.
C. Next several weeks going over new book called, “Friendship: Creating a culture of connectivity in your church.” Michael Lindsay wrote the book based on a survey of church members (all denominations, all groups and all areas of the country) financed by the Gallup Organization.
D. This study demonstrates a tight connection between a church’s friendliness and its members reporting high levels of satisfaction with their church. This is common sense. If there is a church that is cold and hateful, those who are in it will not have a high level of satisfaction. If a church is warm and friendly, those who are in it will have a high level of satisfaction.
E. (1 Pet 4:8 NIV) Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
F. When people are friendly, then the guest will say, “I’m home.” This is what people are trying to find, a church home, a family. Not that everyone is perfect in the family, but a good family makes you feel a part. It is a sense of belonging.
G. Having deep relationships with other members is an important way that people feel connected with one another and the congregation. Eventually, it has to go beyond just friendliness. I have known people who are very warm and bubbly but they like to keep people at arms length. This leads to dissatisfaction with the relationship. Many people are seeking so much more than just a friendly atmosphere. They are seeking a place to call “home.”
Thesis: How can we be a place where people go from saying, “This is just my church,” to “This is my home?”
1. Form groups around hobbies, interests.
E. My home church has a group that likes to water ski. Personally, I would rather be beat with a wet noodle, but for them this is great.
F. At Bell Arthur, they had a quilting club.
G. Have the church sponsor, go out of their way to make these kinds of activities possible. This is not the job of the church, it has to be spiritual. For the Christian, there is not distinction between the secular and the holy. Everything needs to give glory to God.
H. What is my hobby, my interest? I need to use that for the glory of God.
H. Learn about others interests and try to bring them together. It needs to be the job of this church. Our mission statement: Our mission to share our lives and Jesus Christ. We are to share our lives with each other. (1 Th 2:8 NIV) We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.
I. It is amazing that these groups begin to invite those who have never been to the church and then through time they come and find their church “home.”
2. Quickly move guests from “outsider” to “insider” status.
A. Some of the fastest growing churches in this country are ones that bring people into the church fold by allowing them to participate in ministries, helping them join Bible studies, or provide other ways for guests to get to know church members outside the worship service without having to be a member of the church first.
B. Now we have to be wise in this. We do not want someone teaching unbiblical material. We do not want someone to represent the church who is engaged in notoriously sinful behavior.
C. There is nothing more frustrating than being in a church for a few years and still feeling like an outsider. I am not a member of the club.
D. Some who have been members of the church for years still feel like outsiders. They are not part of a certain family and they never will be so they are an outsider even though they are Christians. This is wrong.