This is lesson three. We are going to add to the main points that we have expanded upon from the first two lessons. Those are:
We have learned some great concepts along the way about how to encourage each other and how to take a hard look at ourselves and our willingness to be unified. Remember this is still about intent, we have to be like the good Samaritan and deliberately cross the road. So in order to do that we are going to list points 3 and 4 together and then go through an amazing concept to bring an intense amount of value to the church. This value will serve others and also serve ourselves by bringing us closer together. By working together, we will be one step closer to a unified church.
How do you think he feels about a church that wants to be more unified? How do you think he feels about someone valuing others and learning how to bond with that person on a deeper level? He is elated of course. I am sure these are the things that are most pleasing to him and for sure it is the most discouraging for Satan. If anything we should be motivated to please God first and foremost for this example fulfills the scripture of loving the Lord God with all your heart soul and mind.
So now here is where we put this lesson into practice. We have to be intentional here, otherwise it is just another sermon or just another lesson that sounds good but does not change anything.
These first four concepts are the ground floor to an exceptional transformation of unity. I promise you that we will build on each one in the next coming lessons. For now, take the time to answer these questions. You can do them by yourself or if you really want some good insight, do them together in a family group.
The next lesson will have one more foundational concept and then we will jump into a couple of practical applications. It will be fun!
So now here is where we put this lesson into practice. We have to be intentional here otherwise it is just another sermon or just another lesson that sounds good but does not change anything. We need to start to develop the concept of being a contributor. Let’s look at one more foundation learning point and then jump in.
Practical Value Creation
Let’s get one thing cleared up, what I am about to suggest is NOT about performance. Years ago church was measured by how much you did and your performance was measured as a form of spirituality. It was a slap in the face wake up call that got us to realize that God’s love is unconditional. So what I am about to suggest is not a “to do” list at all. However, crossing the road (so to speak) and intentionally adding value will change your life forever and help you grow spiritually like you have never experienced before. The power of Unity is the most powerful spiritual force in the world. So let’s get started.
Think for a moment like an evangelist or an elder and ask yourself, what does the church need? Go ahead, stop and do that, write down your ideas. Here are some of mine that I have noticed over the last few years.
I can tell you one glaring item that has been ignored for a very long time and that is our opportunity with our website. I truly believe that most people have no idea the power that is in your hands to reach someone and add value to their life. This is mostly because a lot of us consume the internet and all it’s social qualities Did you catch that? If you consume it, so does someone else.
EVERYONE is on their phones, it’s a fact and it’s almost annoying to be honest. There is a real chance, or real opportunity here that takes a community of believers to get behind..
Now we take that and just post it on the site under testimonials and let that sit there with a bunch of other testimonials. Here is the fun part. That individual post becomes indexed by Google allowing it to be found by some other consumer. Someone that is searching for God will eventually read it and the post stays forever. If you do’t think People will find or value your short post, then you do not know God. God uses people, and even more so, he uses their stories.
Just think you don’t have to give your testimonial over and over and over again. The internet takes that over for you.
This post will work for the church forever, it will continue to add to the reasons why someone would want to check us out, it is working smart. Let’s work smart.
I wrote an article years back about how to give a communion message. It was meant to be a reference tool, to give an outline of effectively communicating a communion message. Guess what, it ranks on page one of Google. If anyone ever is looking for a communion reference they are going to see it, and if they are looking for something specific or are moved by a sentence or two they will click around the site. AND THAT IS THE GOAL. Now I will say this, how to give a communion message is not a powerful topic and title that will draw you in and inspire you to explore the site, but your story is! It will work for God, it will unify, it will inspire people to visit, it will inspire other members to make their own or put a twist on an idea. And the next thing that happens….Unity. All of us working together, that, is never ignored by the creator. Let me say this, we have had actual visitors come to church and get baptized from our website presence. And that is from the boring home page and calendar of events that basically inspires no one to action. Your story will motivate people forever, forever is history, history is powerful. Stop consuming.
One more thing about the website, you may notice on our about us section a number of links to subjects that people may want to read. There are some good subjects, some controversial subjects that may or may not get people’s attention. Baptism is always a hot topic, someone always asks about it and people love to argue about it. So is the topic of sin and Bible study. So instead we have been publishing articles that last forever and that can be promoted. People who may not want to take the step of coming to visit will read what our churches beliefs are. We need to get away from the “selfie promotion” technique of sharing. We assume that people will want to come to our church or our event because it’s OUR event and that we are excited about it. Guess what, most people don’t care about your church, your new series, your game night or your fill in the blank. Our messages are self centered, they are really about us instead of about adding value. It’s one of the reasons why churches are ignored today, we have not taken the time to figure out what impacts people.
Let people get impacted by fulfilling their needs, by figuring out that there is someone else that feels or felt the same way. People deep down want to belong, they don’t give a rip about a group picture or a picture of an event. They want to be given too. That is what Jesus was excellent at, giving to people. Going to places and changing peoples lives by adding value. The sooner we all work together the sooner we will realize collectively that we can change and be unified.
Here are some topics or ideas we can use on the site:
So maybe you are not feeling the website idea as a way that you can add value, there are other ideas.
Starting a small group and posting it on our app. One of our members Brian came up with a brothers breakfast idea to meet once a month. He asked me if I liked the idea. My response was, “I eat breakfast”. Of course I like the idea, it’s food, coffee and fellowship. There is no hidden agenda, we just talk and let the conversation steer itself. We always sit in the same spot at the Cracker Barrel and even after week 1, our waitress said there was something different and very interesting about us. If you been around you know a opportunity statement when you hear one. But the point is not evangelism the point is adding value to each other’s lives, evangelism is the by-product. It’s a conversation mindset that leads to conversion, not the other way around. (see lesson 2)
Stop sitting in the back. Why do I say this? Because someone that is visiting for the first time is not naturally going to come in and work their way to the front or even the middle of the room. They are naturally wary and want to keep on the down low until they are comfortable. But those seats are taken by members who are ____________. Go ahead fill in the blank, I guarantee the answer will not be unifying.
God’s plan is that “the whole body” is to be “joined and held together by every supporting ligament” (Eph. 4: 16). Total body function is absolutely essential if a local church is to become unified.