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Charles Horton reported the results of a study in Lincoln, Nebraska, in which a lady attended 18 different churches on successive Sundays to rate their friendliness. She sat near the front of the sanctuary each time and walked slowly to the rear, then returned to the front using another aisle. On each occasion she was dressed neatly, and with a smile asked at least one person to direct her to the fellowship hall or church office.
She used the following scale to rate her reception:
• 10 - for a smile from a worshiper
• 10 - for a greeting from someone nearby
• 100 - for an exchange of names
• 200 - for an invitation to the fellowship hour
• 1000 - for an introduction to another worshiper
• 2000 - for an invitation to meet the pastor
Each of the eighteen churches earned less than 100 points. The researcher concluded: "The preaching may be biblical, the singing inspirational and the sermon uplifting, but when a visitor finds no one who cares whether or not he/she is there, he/she is not likely to come back."
How would your church rate?─Charles Horton, pastor of the College Park Baptist Church, Orlando, Florida.
1. If you open it, close it.
2. If you turn it on, turn it off.
3. If you unlock it, lock it.
4. If you break it, fix it.
5. If you can't fix it, call in someone who can.
6. If you borrow it, return it.
7. If you use it, take care of it.
8. If you make a mess, clean it up.
9. If you move it, put it back.
10. If it belongs to somebody else and you want to use it, get permission.
11. If you don't know how to operate it, leave it alone.
12. If it doesn't concern you, don't mess with it!
"Live churches are constantly changing.
Dead churches don't have to.
Live churches have lots of noisy kids.
Dead church are fairly quiet.
Live churches' expenses always exceed their income.
Dead churches take in more than they ever dreamed of spending.
Live churches are constantly improving for the future.
Dead churches worship their past.
Live churches move out in faith.
Dead churches operate totally by human sight.
Live churches focus on people.
Dead churches focus on programs.
Live churches are filled with tithers.
Dead churches are filled with tippers.
Live churches dream great dreams of God.
Dead churches relive nightmares.
Live churches don't have "can't" in their dictionary.
Dead churches have nothing but.
Live churches evangelize.
Dead churches fossilize."
If God wrote a want ad perhaps it would read like this:
Kingdom workers needed immediately. Urgency of task and shortage of workers make it mandatory that we expand our labor pool immediately. Recent resignations have left many openings.
Frequent absenteeism will force us to make unwanted cutbacks in services unless we expand work force immediately. Ability not as essential as availability plus an excellent training manual is available. Training manual has been tried and proven over the past two thousand years.
We hire regardless of sex, race or age. Diverse backgrounds welcome and even helpful. In the past we have used peasants and poets, kings and fig pickers, fishermen and doctors, harlots and queens, young lads and wise old men.
Main qualifications: firm faith in Christ, a soft heart and a thick skin.
Work not suitable for everyone. Must be able to withstand criticism of fellow workers and shirkers who often insist on their rights while ignoring their responsibilities.