How do you see church?

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So I’ve been thinking about how people interact with a church. And while these are large generalities, they may help us think through where we’re at.

1. Spectator/Observer – I could start with the community outside of the church, but I’ll begin with people who actually have walked through the doors. The person in spectator mode is actively taking everything in, observing interactions, noticing how things go. Typically there is enough there to pique interest and they may often return out of curiosity.

2. Consumer – This person has moved beyond interest to now benefitting from the church. They take advantage of the great programs for them or their family. They may participate in groups, potentially even speak up at things. The focus is on how they or their family can benefit. They may give a little money financially but it’s more to say, “thanks for the services you provide, here’s some money to help cover the costs of what we’re using.”

3. Engager – This person has decided that there is more to church than what we can gain from it. They choose to take interest in others, build friendships and attend events, not only for their benefit but also to engage actively with others and with the content. These folks are beginning to feel like they are a part of the church. They are often big fans of the church and like to talk about how great things are.

4. Team Mate – This person has gone beyond engaging to giving. While financial giving has become a priority for this individual, they also are giving of themselves and their time. They serve on a ministry team to help forward the mission of God. They take personal interest in the success and effectiveness of the church and its ministries. They feel connected to lots of people in the church and look forward to being around.

5. Leader/Owner/Partner – This person is “all-in” serving, leading, giving and sharing. They are inviting people from outside the church to “try it out”. They turn around after worship services and welcome folks, as if in their own home. They often choose to be members of the church, voting and supporting the leadership and vision of the church. They desire to know what the church is thinking, why decisions are being made and are excited about where they church could go.

So where would you put yourself? What might be holding you back from moving forward to the next level? How can God work in your life and through your life to have an impact on others?

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