Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Recruiting Parishioners

Export your best talent. Somehow only about 1% of churches have learnt this. It doesn't make it untrue.

Over the last ten years Trendlewood Church has sponsored three people for the ordained ministry and has just had a fourth accepted for training. Counting the families who left with these ordinands that has seen us lose fourteen people and our current one is in a family of five. It would be nice if someone was called soon who didn't have a spouse and three children.

Notwithstanding this we have seen gentle growth in numbers over the last few months. Granted some is transfer but also some curious seekers.

In the midst of all this, a couple of years back, I had an interesting, and in my experience unique, conversation with the parents of another family of five who, on giving up helping with our children's work, felt 'called' to leave and go to another church ten miles away. The reasoning included:

  • We want our children to experience a large youth group.
  • It is not only the clergy who are called to leave.
  • It would be better for one member of the family to go to church nearer to work.

I won't go into the details of why I thought this was not quite right but the father of the family, baptised and confirmed as an Anglican, was then baptised by this new church (not Anglican obviously). That he was willing to do this made me, strangely, feel a lot better about losing him, if not the rest of the family.

Recently I have been thinking. Why don't we, in the Christian community, advertise more widely when we need to replace particular volunteers? Surely the sacrifice to up sticks, give up salaries and weekends made by the clergy (there are many commensurate benefits, I'm not moaning) could be balanced by gifted people in large churches looking for opportunities to serve in smaller ones.

Many of the fine people in Trendlewood Church serve long and hard. But we could do with one or two more musicians, a good personal evangelist and someone who felt a commitment to nurture our work with 11-14s and expand that ministry.

We have a great opportunity to grow church here and it is a nice place to live. There is a city nearby.

Fancy a move?

Phone for a no obligation chat.


Anonymous said...

Oh Steve, as things are going at the moment, I'm ready to return! Another ordained person from Trendlewood congregation who left in 2001!

Steve Tilley said...

Sorry to hear that. Think I know who you are but will keep it anon. Will pray.