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One Sentence Church Leaders Don’t Want to Hear
Often times, as I design your steel building, I’ll take a look at some of my past designs. Because of different building loads and codes, every building that goes through our rigorous engineering process is unique and built to your exact specifications. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t go back and admire some really cool steel building designs, and build off of them.
In addition, I love keeping my finger on the pulse of religion, and what people are saying in their spiritual circles and communities. Here’s an example: I came across this article from Thom Rainer, a well-known pastor in Nashville, TN. It was called, “One Sentence Pastors and Church Staff Hate to Hear.” It’s a great article that describes how to handle anonymous criticism. The sentence he was referring to started with, ‘People are saying that…’ and ended in a variety of frustrating combinations. But, much like I build off my past steel building designs, I like to build off of these articles, thoughts and ideas. So before I make my point, I must express my gratitude to Dr. Rainer for the assist.
I did a lot of thinking about this topic. What would be the one sentence church leaders and pastors don’t want to hear, but need to hear?
“We don’t feel as connected to the church anymore.”
It’s a powerful sentence. It’s a cry for help. Pastors and church leaders don’t want to think that their worshipers aren’t relating to their sermons anymore, or aren’t in touch with the entire church. It’s a tale as old as time, and if this situation is left unaddressed, it leads to church membership decline.
I don’t know about your personal situation, but I understand that this can be problematic. Whether your church is big or small, it’s difficult to have or maintain a relationship with every member of your congregation. Some members might feel this way, but don’t have the courage to speak up. When it comes to the future of your church, it’s crucial that these people tell you how they are feeling. And it’s important that you’re ready to listen.
Now is the moment to reel your congregation back in with a plan. Will a new venue help? Is it time for a new church building? When people think of a steel building, they might think of a boxy-warehouse structure. But there are many steel building designs to choose from, or a structural engineer at a steel building provider can design the church building of your dreams at no extra cost. An architect isn’t needed in this process.
There is a chance that there are members of your congregation that feel that they aren’t connected to your church or its ministries, but they don’t say it. But they need to say it, and you need to hear it. What does it accomplish? It starts a discussion. Sometimes, just speaking up for the sake of growing is all it takes to make an improvement.
People worry that they won’t fit in. It’s a real fear of not knowing what kind of contribution they can make and wondering if they are even needed in the first place. When someone walks into your church, how do they feel? Because of that built-in fear of not belonging, offer a place for each member of your congregation to grow and thrive. If you don’t have the space to make this possible, do some research into multiple steel building designs, and pick which one you like the best, and build.
Coming to church, in and of itself, is a big deal. Every Sunday, as a pastor, you need to show that you are grateful for your congregation’s attendance. You can’t say it often enough. In fact, the more you say it and give people a sense of belonging, you won’t hear that dreaded sentence again. However, this time, you won’t hear it because your congregation doesn’t feel that way – not because they’re afraid to say it.Photo courtesy: Clemens v. Vogelsang, Ryan Basilio
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