For years, the key to growth for many churches and other organizations (think media, conferences, etc.) has been to create great content.

In the case of a church, great preaching often (not always, but often) has been synonymous with growth.

In the case of conferences, media and other organizations focused on messaging, the same thing has been true: Generate great content and you grow.

Church leaders, media and live event organizations (we’ll focus on those three for now) have all noticed something over the last decade: It’s been harder and harder to get people in the room.

People are attending church less often. Conferences are finding it harder to fill venues and stadiums.

Great messages that used to guarantee growth don’t any more. What used to attract people now gets a shrug of indifference instead.

Don’t get me wrong: Bad content (bad sermons, articles, talks or events) can still kill a mission. But great content (including great, faithful preaching), in and of itself, doesn’t naturally generate the kind of momentum it used to.

The question, of course, is why? And, what can you do about it?

I realize this is a bit of a strange framework through which to view the work of the church. But, as you run through this post, my guess is you’ll see the trends described playing out all around you.

And if you’re trying to reach and equip people in the church or any other organization focused on gathering people around content, you’ll see the patterns.

So…hopefully this post can give you a new framework for moving forward.

1. Scarcity Drives Value

Scarcity drives value. The more scarce something is, the more value it has.

When something is scarce, it’s worth something. Conversely, mass availability drives down prices and perceived value.

Take a look at how scarcity has changed the way we communicate using phones in the last few decades.

In the era of landlines, local calling was included at a flat rate. Local was inexpensive and unlimited. Long distance was scarce and very expensive. Your parents and grandparents spent a lot of time agonizing over long distance bills and whether they could afford to make that call to a friend in another state or country, let alone another continent.

Then, cell phones came along and suddenly, sensing new competition, phone companies made long distances calls on landlines free or almost free, trying to prevent people from ditching their home phones.

Cell phone service service providers underwent a similar evolution, creating scarcity for things as long as they could.

At first, cell phone service providers made their money by charging more for weekday minutes than evening minutes or weekend minutes. 15 years ago, it was still common for people to say, “Can I call you after 6? I used up all my day time minutes.”

Then, texting came along and phone companies started to include evening and weekend minutes as part of basic plans and, instead, focused on limiting the number of texts you could send.

Early text messaging packages ‘included’  things like 400 free text messages or 1,000 text messages. Most of us couldn’t imagine sending even close to that number of texts. Until, of course, we did.

Now, text messaging and voice calls are almost all unlimited.

Which moves us to a more recent frontier: Data. And, after years of people worried about going over their monthly data allowances, you and I are now watching, before our eyes, as almost all providers are now pivoting to unlimited data.

The point?

Things that used to be scarce and valuable, even a few years ago, aren’t any more. And, it changes so quickly.

You don’t need to think much past toilet paper in a pandemic, Bitcoin or Tesla shares to understand how quickly value fluctuates.

Value, fundamentally, is about perception. If people perceive value, they are happy to pay for it or line up for it. If they don’t, they won’t.

2. The World is Now Drowning in Content

While no one was really paying attention, the exact same thing happened to content.

Fifteen years ago, you paid registration fees, flights and hotels to hear a keynote speaker deliver a message because you had never heard her before, and that’s where she shared her ideas. 

Then, the internet exploded, and suddenly you’ve probably heard every message from your favorite thought leader/writer/preacher via YouTube, social media or a multitude of other sites.

So, what’s a conference’s competitive advantage now when TED Talks you can watch for free garner tens of millions views, and two million podcasts on Spotify and Apple Podcasts that serve most listeners for free?

A very similar thing happened for church leaders in the last decade.

Go back a generation, and the only way to hear a preacher was to attend that local church. Maybe if you had a relative in a church who told you how awesome a preacher was, you might subscribe to the cassette ministry and get tapes sent to you.

But, that was about it. You essentially listened to the preachers nearest you, and that was it. Radio and television offered you a slightly wider menu, but even then, none of that was available on-demand unless you subscribed to that particular cassette ministry.

Messages, in and of themselves, were scarce, time limited events (you had to assemble at 9 or 11 to hear one).

Fast forward to today, and sermons from incredible communicators are anywhere and everywhere. They’re also free and available on-demand.

The Disruption of 2020 accelerated that trend even more. Almost every church moved online, and more people than ever realize they have access to the top communicators in the world anytime, anywhere, for free.

The challenge is that many churches are still primarily communicating a message designed for another era:

Join us for our new series Sunday at 9 and 11.

Don’t miss last Sunday’s message. Available online, on-demand.

I can’t wait to share a brand new message with you.

Preachers will often tell themselves and their church that this is different because they’re preaching the Word of God.

And, that’s true.

But, so are a thousand other pastors. And, their messages are available just like yours. Some of them sound just like yours. And, some of them (let’s be honest) are more compelling than yours.

Please hear me. I am NOT insulting your preaching. I know how hard you work and how sincere you are.

I’m a preacher, too. I’m just realizing things have changed—in my lifetime and yours.

What moved people to hear local preachers in the past will not move them to hear you in the future.

That may not be right. But, it is real.

So, what do you do?

Well, the first thing is to realize that what you’re pretending is scarce isn’t. At least, not anymore.

When you behave like something is scarce or has tremendous value when it doesn’t, you not only confuse people, you lose people.

Then, you come up with a new strategy.

3. Meaning and Insight are Rare

Is it possible to grow a church or organization with great content?

You bet. It’s just harder.

With the explosion of digital options for content, there are more and more communicators and preachers who will draw followers and views in the millions.

But, they’ll be the outliers…the charismatic communicators who have exceptional gifts, talents and skills (and with it, hopefully character to match).

But, what about the rest of us?

While there’s no shortage of information in our culture, there is a shortage of meaning and insight.

It’s one thing to know something, it’s another to know what it means or why it’s significant.

The more you can help people cut through the noise and get to the heart of why things matter, how they matter and help them integrate the insights into their lives, the more people will value your content.

This is true both for preachers and any content creator.

This is particularly true of the next generation. They have more access to information than any generation who’s ever lived.

They just don’t know what to do with it.

Any and all help you can give them is both needed and valued.

Meaning and insight are so scarce these days that people almost immediately see the value when they find it.

4. Community and Connection are So Scarce 

So, does all this mean you should abandon content?

Nope. Not at all.

Great preaching is needed and required. So is meaningful content. But again, everyone you’ve reached or are trying to reach has access to more content than they can possible process.

Providing meaning and insight will help, but it’s rarely enough.

What is deeply scarce right now are community and connection.

A year into the pandemic, people are more isolated than ever. That’s playing out the crisis in mental health, rising addictions and new (and dangerous) tribes are forming (we are the most tribalized we’ve been as a culture in generations).

Authentic, loving and genuine community are more scarce than they have ever been in our lifetime.

The competitive advantage of the local church isn’t content, it’s community and connection.

Every church should be running to fill that hole.

If you think about the future of any live event…the power will not be just in the content, because almost everyone in the room will have heard the content or content like it before. It will be in community and connection—the ability to connect people to each other around a common cause.

Moving forward, make the goal of digital content connection and community, not consumption.

Sure, absolutely produce the best content you can, but make the end goal connecting people to each other.

What used to be scarce—content—isn’t. What’s truly scarce is community and connection. So build the future on that.

What Do You See?

I realize this is a completely different way of thinking about what’s happening, but I hope it can connect some dots for you. Not everyone will get it. But if you get it, it will move your mission forward like few other things.

What are you seeing about scarcity and value?

How is it shaping your plans for the future?

Scroll down and leave a comment.

Scarcity drives value. Content used to be scarce. It's not anymore. So what will drive growth for churches and live event organization in the future? This.

44 Comments

  1. Jeff Hook on January 26, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Great perspective, Carey! One of the ways people will start to identify with.a church is the investment they personally have in building relationships with others, also known as community – comfort in who knows them and who do they know?

  2. Ryan Thomas on January 21, 2021 at 5:54 am

    We are working to plant a church in Spain (during a pandemic!) and it’s been incredibly challenging. However, your article touches on exactly the mistakes we were making when we arrived here. We came with the classic “build it and they will come” attitude. We looked for a building, wanted to become attractional, put out great content that touches on their felt needs, etc. None of it has worked. Combine that with very strict meeting restrictions and we’ve felt like giving up! However, we have just moved to doing more collaborative, two-way meetings via Zoom, plus one-on-one meetings at homes, cafes (when allowed to open) and we are seeing SO much more fruit. People want to be heard, not just preached at. They crave connection, not just another gathering. So, we’re on this journey of adapting our strategy and trying to meet people where they are. Thanks so much for your insight! I also believe church planting in this environment is going to have to look a lot more like church planting among Muslims in restricted areas. We have applied many of the principles of friends who work in the Middle East and it’s really helping us.

  3. Kelly Henn on January 20, 2021 at 11:16 am

    Hey Carey! Always so thankful for your posts! We read this as a Family Ministry Team yesterday, and you know what else is scarce right now? Proximity! So many more details to think about, especially by way of communication, when you can’t be physically WITH people. We’ve certainly had to change our “typical” ways of planning and communicating to make sure our people– and projects!– are being cared for.

    Thank for your leadership!

  4. David M Johnson on January 19, 2021 at 10:29 am

    Carey, this is SO true!
    I believe that anyone who can figure out how to connect people in ‘community’ outside the building will have enormous opportunity for impact. I also think that providing ‘community and belonging’ opportunities will be one key to getting people to re-commit to attending (to a large extent).

  5. Oded Shoshani on January 19, 2021 at 5:11 am

    Hi Carey, you highlight the need for “community and connection” which is great.
    I’d like to know more what “community and connection” actually means and looks like in the daily to ady…
    Thanks

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 19, 2021 at 9:00 am

      Hi Oded.

      Answered this earlier in the thread but let just share it again.

      A few ideas.

      Follow Jeff Henderson who does a lot of great things with the FOR movement. We’re part of that at Connexus and next month will have many people walking and supporting the Coldest Night of the Year. We support local businesses, the food bank and charities and have done a lot to let our neighbours know we are for them.

      If you listen to some interviews I’ve done on my podcast with Nona Jones you’ll hear a lot of ideas around online groups. Also had numerous conversations on my podcast and Church Pulse Weekly about micro gatherings, the distributed church and even Watch Parties.

      Don’t let your imagination limit options either. The best ideas might be yet to be invented.

  6. Sal Barbera on January 18, 2021 at 11:27 pm

    Great content needed to grow Church!
    “Content”? Do you mean there is greater content that needs to be generated than God’s Word (bible has great if not best content). That is the trap we have convinced ourselves that we need to “make Jesus look good”.
    The further we move away from pure expository of God’s Word, the more we become reliant or dependent on Bible “plus” (whether it’s trendy, progressive and edgy marketing of messages; skits to entice and entertain the online parishioner; series based teaching vs. in depth study of God’s Word).
    Are we equipping those we call “members” to disciple others and be so excited to tell others about what God is doing in our churches?
    Not trying to be negative or combative as I believe your intent is intended for good – I have certainly enjoyed many of your writings. But my heart tugged at me as this is a main concern of mine as well as of others.
    Our people, our community at large is not ready for what is in front of us and for these end times -if ~ 33% of the Bible is prophecy based then statistics are against the “informed” Christian.

    • Jon Rush on January 19, 2021 at 6:23 am

      No, he is not saying we need better content than the Bible. He also didn’t allude that there was better content than the Bible.

      I stopped reading your comment after I hit the “make Jesus look good” line because that’s so not what this article was about.

      • Carey Nieuwhof on January 19, 2021 at 8:59 am

        Thanks Jon. Glad you saw what I was trying communicate.

      • Sal Barbera on January 19, 2021 at 2:45 pm

        It’s unfortunate you chose to stop reading (seems the norm nowadays when someone doesn’t align with your thinking). If you took the time to read on, I focus more on what is being taught inside not at events or conferences, wherein Carey’s content aligns but that was not my focus.
        I would have hoped for a hearty counter or dialogue rather than just dismiss it.

  7. Greg Carder on January 18, 2021 at 9:46 pm

    Carey,
    One of your best. I observe what you have put words to and ache for more of what you suggest.
    What suggestions do you have for leadership who will not budge from the attractional template to create room for deeper, more meaningful community and connection?

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 19, 2021 at 9:02 am

      Thanks Greg. It’s one my fave ideas too…I think it explains so much.

      It’s an interesting question. I don’t think attractional church and connection and community are mutually exclusive. You can totally do both. But the whole idea of ‘all we do is a big event’ probably has to go.

      I’d start by asking whether they’re seeing the results they’re hoping for. Most attractional churches have seen a slowing of the growth curve or are even in decline. People change when the pain associated with the status quo is greater than the pain associated with change.

      A lot of the principles from this post are in play now too: https://careynieuwhof.com/5-reasons-charismatic-churches-are-growing-and-attractional-churches-are-past-peak/

  8. mike on January 18, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    Carey I have a couple questions for your considerations.
    Our church has multiple sites and we have been streaming for years we are on all the platforms. FB,YT, Insta.
    Can you envision a time coming soon when the current social media companies label the gospel as hate speech?
    How will local churches that are dependent on facebook and youtube respond if this current climate of silencing dissent in the US continues and moves to a place where any mention of the cross or sin is labeled as violence?

    I am not making any political statement at all.

    I just have this unshakable sense that 2020 is only the beginning of the shaking.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 18, 2021 at 2:44 pm

      I’ve heard that a few times lately so let me just address it here. I live in Canada, where the laws are already more evolved (don’t know the right word…) in that area. Freedom of religion is very different than hate speech and doesn’t just impact Christianity, but all faiths. So I think the fear is a bit overblown. Could be wrong on that, but I’m not as panicked as many.

      The other thing to remember is that the church is almost always at its healthiest and strongest when underground or persecuted. So…we really have nothing to hear. Love, life, hope and Christ find a way regardless of the laws.

      The Western Church is addicted to privileges much of the rest of the world doesn’t know, and much of history doesn’t know. As Christendom dies, the church will change. We will become far more New Testament.

  9. Paul Millar on January 18, 2021 at 12:34 pm

    It’s very true that anyone can find great and better content than what most pastors can offer, including myself. What can’t be found is preaching that speaks to a particular congregation at a particular point in time. While some may not be concerned with that, others who are hungry for God to speak to them in the community they find themselves in can only, really, find that in their local church. That’s the value and of course it depends on the Pastor/preacher being in touch with their congregation and their needs and heartaches and longings.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 18, 2021 at 2:46 pm

      Paul you’re very right on this. Your church can get anyone on any subject, but they can’t get your voice speaking to them. You know their stories. You live in their town. And that too, is a reflection of connection and community.

      I see a lot of communicators trying to be someone they’re not, and that’s the danger. Be you. Be their leader and know them. That will build a deep connection.

      • Tom on January 18, 2021 at 3:07 pm

        This is so true! During Lockdown here in NZ we tried a number of online streaming platforms and we settled on Facebook Live. Why? Because our community actually told us – give us the real and live … MISTAKES AND ALL! They didn’t want the pre-recorded. And although they all knew we couldn’t gather physically … the knowledge that we were ‘in community on-line’ was the gathering aspect.
        And in reply to Paul … our folks also told us – don’t ‘send us’ to other Church Streams … we want ‘your voice’. No pressure! Hahaha. For every preacher 2020 was a near vertical climb to learn new skills and ways to communicate to their community … but all of that never depleted the desire authentic community.
        one of our greatest wins over lockdown was our weekly live-stream coffee chats. the Chat-Bar was alive with conversation and connection.
        Sorry – I rambled a bit there … but community and valuable application are gold!
        Blessings
        Tom

  10. Rui on January 18, 2021 at 11:48 am

    I am a pastor in Ontario and a quiet follower of yours, but this is amazing stuff you are presenting, and it answers some questions I have about taking a church into the digital realm.
    I do have a request, rather sooner than later, could you write something showing us some practical examples of how these concepts can be applied living under the present circumstances, taking the church into the community.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 18, 2021 at 2:49 pm

      Hi Rui!. Sure.

      Follow Jeff Henderson who does a lot of great things with the FOR movement. We’re part of that at Connexus and next month will have many people walking and supporting the Coldest Night of the Year. We support local businesses, the food bank and charities and have done a lot to let our neighbours know we are for them.

      If you listen to some interviews I’ve done on my podcast with Nona Jones you’ll hear a lot of ideas around online groups. Also had numerous conversations on my podcast and Church Pulse Weekly about micro gatherings, the distributed church and even Watch Parties.

      Don’t let your imagination limit options either. The best ideas might be yet to be invented.

  11. Gabriel Ojo on January 18, 2021 at 9:54 am

    Thank you for this insightful piece!
    As you may be aware, you have readers from all over the world. Some cultures don’t have scarcity of community and connection as much as some other parts of the world may lack them. For such people, maybe what they may need to invest in will be helping people gain meaning and insight! So I was wondering if there are some resources you can point people to to help gain such skills.
    Thank you.

  12. Natalie on January 18, 2021 at 9:44 am

    This is so good and true! There are churches out there who are getting this right (firstly by humbly submitting to God in prayer and direction). I am grateful to be part of such a community (shout out to Hamilton, Ontario!). Thanks for your work Carey. As a fellow Canadian and enneagram 8, your insights are direct and really helpful.

  13. Darrell Roland on January 18, 2021 at 9:41 am

    I agree and see the contextual need for coaching like never before

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 18, 2021 at 3:06 pm

      I agree. 🙂

  14. Alvin Weiss on January 18, 2021 at 9:35 am

    3. Meaning and Insight Are Rare

    “Any and all help you can give them is both needed and valued.

    Meaning and insight are so scarce these days that people almost immediately see the value when they find it.”

    [Carey, I disagree – due the the “confirmation bias matrix.”

    Often people see value in information that agrees with their thinking –

    which may or my not be valuable, but just feels good. Because it makes them / me feel smart.

    Even the “independent fact checkers” have extreme bias.

    You will understand better if and when you experience overt and sometimes subtle “shadow banning.”]

    By the way, I am a big fan of you and your content. But I do want to challenge your thinking on this one point.

    Respectfully, Alvin W Weiss

    • Kimberly D. Reisman on January 18, 2021 at 9:54 am

      Alvin (and Carey),
      You highlight a significant challenge regarding the issue of meaning and insight. Though I agree with Carey on the whole regarding this point, your comment is an important one and I hope it will spark a helpful dialogue. I would love to hear Carey’s response and feel there may be more that needs to be said to flesh out this point and the accompanying challenge more fully. Thanks for the thoughtful comment.
      Kimberly D. Reisman

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 18, 2021 at 3:13 pm

      Alvin

      Thanks for the point and for using your real name. Dialogue is so much better between real people.

      You raise a really good point and the current climate has made that much more difficult. People are angry and very divided, making confirmation bias even more entrenched.

      I think those willing to escape the algorithm, think independently, dig much deeper and study more intensely will play a very helpful role. Mark Sayers, Jon Tyson, Ann Voskamp, Rich Villodas, Ruth Haley Barton and John Mark Comer are just a few doing a great job in the Christian space. I find the work of Cal Newport, Tristan Harris and Cal Newport in the mainstream space is helpful in learning how not to play into confirmation bias and to do more real thinking. Hope that helps.

  15. Kari Riley on January 18, 2021 at 9:23 am

    Community is vital…connecting beyond the church walls is especially important. How will I connect our new Facebook followers (gained during pandemic)to church, not expecting them to “do” church as in the past, but engaging them to mission and each other?

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 18, 2021 at 3:07 pm

      I think it moves on invitation Kari…you invite them to meet in person, in the same way many online friendships become dinners out and meaningful in real life relationships.

  16. John Rogers on January 18, 2021 at 9:17 am

    Great insight. In this increasingly informed, opinioned and divided world the gospel and a church that truly demonstrates it by discipling its congregation and lovingly engaging through service in its community will stand out. Such a church will not only get noticed but the bible promises such obedience will clearly point people to Jesus . That said, shepherding and engaging in the community has been very hard in this season, when my little Church in southern Vermont gets it right we see fruit…

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 18, 2021 at 3:08 pm

      I think the church will emerge as a more and more clear alternative for sure, as long as we can stay away from the political and ideological diatribe and cling to the core message of Christianity.

  17. Tom on January 17, 2021 at 8:03 pm

    Carey, this is so very well put. Lets concentrate on community and connection because that way nobody can (to use your words) out-local the local church. Concentrating on content is (according to folks to Thom Rainer and Craig Groeschel) often more about the importance of the content creator than the community and it overlooks or perhaps subverts and the great advantage of the local pastor which is his care and concern for those in his local church.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 18, 2021 at 3:09 pm

      Building relationships is something we can all do.

  18. Michael McLendon on January 17, 2021 at 7:38 pm

    My sense is that content based on tossing out traditional services to be trendy with music so loud u need ear defenders, multi colored lights shinning on a stage, no choir and organ, etc translates into a service where there is no reverence for worship. My hope is that trendy is on the way out and we can get back to worship in a sanctuary environment. That will solve the problem…people are seeking relevant substance not trendy.

  19. Louis Karman on January 17, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    How can I establish community during a pandemic??

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 17, 2021 at 6:45 pm

      Love the question. Many ways. Online groups. Connecting people to each other. Interacting like this. Encouraging people to get together in small groups.

      • Tim on January 18, 2021 at 12:22 pm

        A phone call
        A written note
        Comment on your quiet time in a group text or email and see where the conversation goes
        Be available/Maintain margin because people still need what the church was intended for in their lives
        Look outside yourself and outside your windows – what is happening in your neighborhood that needs “Jesus with skin on.” In my neighborhood it’s the sex offender who collapsed in his driveway last winter, might have died if a passer-by hadn’t noticed him in the driveway, its the sex offender across the street who is on record saying he wants to put his life back together but feels like everyone hates him, it’s the woman, recently widowed who lived with a hoarder and he left behind a mess.
        Create safe spaces for people to openly comment about what is on their hearts and mind. I think there is a significant portion of the world “ready to go postal” because too many people – pastors are so guilty of this – want to tell people what to think instead of hearing what I have to say and allowing God to change my heart through gentle and loving correction.
        Stop hanging around with your own kind! I find that the world is much more forgiving than the church because they acknowledge their sin and accept other sinners openly. The problem with the world of course if that they haven’t experienced real forgiveness. Oh wait, that’s the church as well. When we uncover a secret sin we are so quick to sentence someone and pontificate about the pain of the situation for us. No one ever talks about the pain the outed sinner is going to have to deal with going forward because the church deems them useless. These unbiblically banished people have so much to teach us if we would only take the time to care and listen.
        Stop judging people and start loving people. I guarantee you that your church services include people that make everyone uncomfortable but these folks are desperate for the love of Jesus but since they don’t conform to our comfort zone they are just hell-bound.

  20. Tim on January 17, 2021 at 1:22 pm

    I haven’t heard from my church in months on a personal level. No one has called to see how I or my family are doing, coping, managing. They decided no in person services until 2021 yet started in person services shortly after that announcement. They have hired two well known pastors as part of the teaching team. Several staff members have left, new ones hired. Many of them are well known leaders. Trying to connect with people is difficult. As is well documented, Trump loving evangelicals don’t wear masks or think COVID is a hoax. If you are a Trump supporter, they are typically closed minded and easily offended, many times ending long time relationships because of opinions contrary to theirs. I’m really not sure why anyone would think he should be president since it is quite possible he is mentally ill. This political leaning has made the church a very scary place to be. But I digress. When the pandemic is over I’m going to find a small church to attend. I’m going to find a seat during the opening song and leave during the closing prayer. Since I am not missed now, why put any effort into church since they won’t notice me anyway. I won’t be serving, my giving will continue to support a parachurch organization because they have more impact on the kingdom and I will still give my time freely to the widow in my neighborhood who is lonely and overwhelmed. Community and Connection have been scarce in most churches over the past 15 years. God forbid that that church would actually shepherd anyone or put time into anyone with the gift of shepherding. There is no money in shepherding, but recruit a great singer or speaker and all the time available will be given to those people to succeed because it is thought that they will bring people in.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 17, 2021 at 6:46 pm

      That’s a sad story Tim. I’m so sorry. Sounds like even in your new plan, there’s no community. Hope you find it.

      • Tim on January 17, 2021 at 10:19 pm

        Yes, you are correct there is no community in my new plan, but after years of hurt and abuse from evangelicals I’ve had enough. No more casting my pearls before swine. I’m weary of the “its always got to be better and better” instead of letting God work. I’m weary of being judged for who I friend on FB, or what I might tweet. I read what you write when it comes into my inbox. It’s all so practical and real. I don’t mean for this to sting, but those doing any quality leading in churches are way fewer than those getting your emails. I don’t sing, preach or play politics. All I do is try to love people and hopefully love them into the kingdom of God.

        • Another Tim on January 22, 2021 at 8:52 pm

          Tim, I saw something on a church sign not too long ago that resonated with me – People who are frustrated with the church are likely putting their faith in other humans rather than Christ. Is it possible you are expecting too much from others and missing out on what Christ desires from you – a real relationship?

          • Tim on January 23, 2021 at 2:16 pm

            The evangelical Christian response would be to say how dare you judge me, refer to the log/speck story, quote judge not lest ye be judged and be indignant that you know so little about me that how dare you reflect your issues on me and it would all be done in the name of Jesus when in reality it would be gas lighting. But that’s how an evangelical Christian would respond. I am NOT an evangelical Christian. I am a child of God! So I take your words and pray about them. My quiet time is good. I am connected to a Bible believing church and I watch the service online each week and I am active in my community. All of which would identify me as Evangelical. The difference is that I’m not just loving God and people be damned. I am also loving people. ALL PEOPLE. The pagan woman (her description), the abuser trying to rebuild his life and the average family that live next door. None of them know Jesus but everyday I pray that they are Jesus in me and make every effort to share Jesus with them be it in word or in deed.

            Let’s be clear, the church won’t go near the abuser because of the concern about liability and the pagan woman once worked for a well known Christian publishing company and there was no one in her time there that reflected God’s love and never took the time to mentor her in her faith because she doesn’t conform the evangelical format. She would totally upset the apple cart at your Thanksgiving table and I’m not sure that she would be welcome at a summer bbq because she is different. Then there is my dear friend, a brother in Christ, that I walked through with while he healed from the death of his wife and another brother in the teaching profession who risks his life and health every day teaching high school students in this COVID world. They would be welcome at anyone’s table and and BBQ. Even Jesus had “normal” friends. And he wasn’t an evangelical either.



    • Ray Ulmer on January 17, 2021 at 7:52 pm

      Hey Tim: We’re in Parkersburg, WV & would love to have you if your close. We ourselves, are trying to figure out how we can REALLY do some discipling from a small congregation. And I will call you – as we have been all our members. 🤠

      • Tim on January 17, 2021 at 10:24 pm

        Ray, thanks for your response. I tried to research you on Google and I couldn’t find a Ray Ulmer in WV. I did find one that was deceased and one that was in NC. I’m in Illinois, near Chicago.

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