Recently, here at Church of the Highlands, we started playing open gym basketball on Tuesday nights. The way this thing has organically grown from nothing to guys waiting for games in just four weeks is pretty cool. I think one of the reasons people like it is because it is pretty aggressive basketball. We run and we run hard. My wife was a little concerned when I came home two nights ago with blood on my shirt, but I put everything into the games I played (I got a cut in the lane and bled a little).
I was thinking yesterday with our staff team about our evangelism, outreach, and marketing strategies for Church of the Highlands as we move into the fall. Our plan is really aggressive. It pumps me up. There are 40,140 people in a five-mile radius of our church, and God has called us to see that people are saved and discipled.
However, I also started to think about why 72% of churches are plateaued or declining. One of the major reasons must be a lack of aggressively going after people with the Gospel. I want to see churches all over acting like the ball players at The Highlands’ gym . . . pushing hard, sweating, telling others to come and experience the excitement.
Many far more wise than I have pontificated of the deep missiological, cultural, and ecclesiological reasons for the American church’s decline. I think I have a pretty simple answer: church laziness. I don’t see many churches with aggressive strategies of reaching people, then doing everything they can to put resources and energy toward reaching people.
Pastors who are reading this: Lead your flock to aggressively and strategically have outreach, evangelism, and marketing plans to spread the mission of your church.
Laypersons who are reading this: Do anything you can to spend God’s time He has entrusted to you with aggressively implementing the evangelism plan of the church.
People are destined for hell, but we act like we don’t have time to make some phone calls, write some notes, or make some visits. Get off of your phone or computer for a period of time, and simply get out there and reach people. Urgency is needed! People must be reached to spread the Word of God, by the people of God, for the glory of God!
This morning, I pray that just as I’ve seen guys at our church diving after loose basketballs on the court, our entire church family will dive after opportunities to share the gospel with tenacity and excitement!