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Pastor-Jonathan-CliffIn the book, Zombies, Football and the Gospel, Reggie Joiner talks of how Sundays are now a day to watch football, be with family, and do just about anything else but church. I know that this varies from one city to another, but the reality is that most just don’t feel the need to be at church every week.

Have you imagined all that happens before someone even arrives at your church for the first time?

  • They have to convince family members to attend. Maybe it’s a cranky teenager, or a detached spouse. Most in a family will not visit a church for the first time by themselves. They’re going to try and get someone to go with them.
  • They have to wake up early, when maybe they don’t usually do so. So you have a Saturday or Sunday night service … that’s not normal for the weekend warrior either. No matter the time or day you meet, you’re still asking someone to do something they wouldn’t normally do at a time that they wouldn’t normally do anything.
  • They have the challenge of getting kids ready before arriving. This isn’t even easy for those of us who attend every weekend.
  • Walked into a place where only a few know their name, and the smaller church, the more of a challenge this is for visitors.

But, you know what? That’s alright. It is what it is. The question to ask yourself is a personal, and more self-directed one.

“Do you create a compelling place that people want to return to the next week?

All of those ‘reasons it’s hard to get to church’ above are legitimate, but there is also something bigger at play. The people that visit your church for the first time and press through those reasons have something compelling them to be there. Maybe something has been sparked in their lives that compels them to do what they never thought they’d do.

Don’t lose fact of the truth that many of the people who visit are coming because they need something and do not yet know what that is.

Jonathan Cliff is the Director of Family Ministries at Athens Church in Athens, Ga. He is a huge advocate for the family and believes that the family is God’s primary way of reaching the world. Cliff has been named one of the Top 20 kids’ ministry leaders to watch by Children’s Ministry Magazine and serves on the Board of Director for the International Children’s Ministry Network.

For the original article, visit jonathancliff.com.

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