Top 3 things you never knew this Sabbath
Without keeping you in suspense, here are the top 3 things you never knew.
- Young people want to help you.
- People will be punctual for your programs.
- People love to study the Bible and quarterly.
Don't believe me? Some of these statements might seem impossible in your congregation but read on more to find out how you can make these true for you.
We have grown to accept the narrative that certain things cannot be changed. Teens and youths will always be rebellious and uninterested in spiritual matters. Church members have no interest in arriving at church early, and very few like to spend time reading God's word.
These stereotypes might even prove to be right from your experience in leadership. The reality is, even though this may be the response from the people we encounter on a daily basis, many times, these behaviours are responses to the status quo.
Many times, the "bad behaviour" we see is a response to the way things are managed, or how we have been taught to be as leaders. If the only time you speak to a young person is when you are asking her to be involved in your program, you encourage the stereotype of the unwilling, nonparticipating teen.
Young people want to help you. The method to encourage young people to participate may take a lot more effort than asking a child or an adult. It does not mean it is harder. It means that it requires thought and intentional seeking out of answers. It requires building relationships, and it requires empowering the youth. It may also require understanding the flow of influence among the cliques and working with the leaders to motivate the others.
Get the support from a core group of young people and you can slowly but sure get all.
People will be punctual for your programs. We know this because many of the notorious late comers are early for work during the week or are the first ones present for social activities at church. People are punctual for a couple of reasons:
If people have a vested interest in your program, either because they are directly participating, they stand to gain a lot of value from what you are presenting, or they have a fear of missing out on what will transpire.
Therefore we need to involve as many people in our programs as possible. Some may disappoint you by not showing up, arriving late, or cancelling at the last minute, but not all. Keep persisting even when things seem hopeless, constantly ask for feedback and try new methods. These same people can discern your authenticity and will become your biggest supporters. They will subsequently show up on time to make sure the program is a success.
Put effort into the planning and promotion of your program, then deliver on the value you promised. Become known as the person who creates amazing programs and create that culture across the entire leadership. People will value the content you put out and will show up early and often for it. We have numerous articles on our blog that can help you to accomplish this.
Create FOMO, the Fear Of Missing Out. Many people get to church late because they assume the most valuable part of the service is closer to the end. You can switch this up in many ways. For example, invite a popular singer or speaker to your program and let them participate early on in the service. In your promotions, ensure you let the congregation know the order of the service and that they will miss the special presentation if they arrive late.
Last but least people love to study the Bible and quarterly. We have been sold the narrative that because the minds of the people in the church are so worldly, they do not have a taste for spiritual things. We claim this as the only reason we cannot get participation and fall into the same lazy attitude. We present the word of God in a bland and tasteless manner, then become judgemental when there is little to no response. It then paints the incorrect image that if you start seriously reading and spending time in the word of God, you become bitter and judgemental.
Whenever Jesus would speak about the laws and the prophets, he would draw crowds in the thousands. He used methods and terminology that was relevant for the time. His primary emotion was compassion and facilitated even the presence of those who sought his life.
The fact that our members find the time to attend church means they see the need for knowing the true character of Christ. There may be obstacles preventing their true conversion, and this is where we as leaders come in. We have been placed in this position to make the word of God plain to those who can hear. We are to uncover the jewels found in scripture in creative and effective ways. When we reveal these treasures, we are to then lead our members to seek after spiritual riches of their own.
When the word is given the same value as we place on the treasures and pleasures of this world, more and more people will seek and find it. "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Do you need creative ways to present the lesson study each week? Check out our weekly sabbath school lesson resources.