As we have looked at the metrics that drive church health, we have seen the “nickels and noses” measures of local church life aren’t truly the best measures of church health. In fact, in the U.S. Assemblies of God today, a slightly higher percentage of large churches are plateaued or declining than are smaller churches. So if bigger isn’t always better, what is better?

Once again, we continue our look at the metrics that drive church health. As we have seen, the “nickels and noses” measures of local church life aren’t truly the best measures of church health. Just because something is bigger doesn’t mean it’s better. If bigger was always better, then doctors would stop bugging us about expanding waistlines.

But what is better? We’ve already looked at missional effectiveness and assimilation ratios. These have shown us how we’re really doing at doing the job Jesus gave us to do. How many of us does it take to reach someone with the Gospel each year? Are we maintaining contact with those converts long enough to get them into the waters of baptism?

Numbers are a somewhat controversial topic when it comes to the local church. Some chase them, believing the size of the crowd will speak volumes about their own effectiveness. Others simply insist that Jesus wants to reach everyone, so everyone is the goal. Still others focus their energies on smaller gatherings, searching for an intimacy the crowd can seldom achieve. Church isn’t a numbers game, and yet it really is.

Start with one verse wonders.

Romans 3:23 is often quoted when the decision is being made to come to Christ. While verse 23 is certainly true, Paul finishes his thought in verse 24. It’s truly good news.

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24, NKJV)

What could possibly go wrong?

I always laugh when I hear someone say those words because of course anything can go wrong. Or it can go right. But much of that depends on how well we are prepared. In both my personal and professional life, I believe in planning for contingencies. When my kids were little, I didn’t leave the house without extra clothes and diapers. I knew the likelihood of needing them was high. In the professional world, the failure to plan for contingencies can lead to catastrophic failure.

In Spring 2017, the SAGU History department hosted the seminar “Beginnings: Life, Culture and Politics in Early America.” Topics included the birth of the American Navy, Breaking the Glass Ceiling, The Electoral College, America’s Military Bands and many more. Gary McElhany, Ph.D. discusses the events that lead to the infamous Boston Massacre and how it shaped John Adams.

Entire books have been written on the subject of Guest Assimilation, so fully tackling such a huge issue in a short blog isn’t realistic. But most of us who lead local churches need to get the basics down so we can begin building our effort. Here’s four key rites of passage for the guest.

You see them everywhere. People with their heads down looking at their phone, sitting at coffee shops with their laptops, and scrolling through tablets to catch up on the latest news. So how do you become relevant in a noisy world? How do you speak to your community? How can you be heard amidst the many videos, memes, and personality quizzes? The key to promoting your church or ministry through social media is developing a strategy and consistently following the plan.

Venting. We all have done it. As a matter of fact, we probably have done it within the last 24 hours. Have you ever vented and was angry with yourself for doing so? Do I know those times all too well…? So why do we vent? Is it healthy to vent? What can we do when others want to vent? Let’s unpack these questions.