The past two years have been hard to say the least.
I’ve probably started off almost every blog post with a similar statement to the one above, which is probably terrible writing, but it’s true.
It’s been so difficult, that I just wasn’t sure what to write.
Everyone’s situation was different.
I could tell you what was working for us in the Bible Belt of Tennessee, but if you tried to do the things we did in say New York, then you’d probably be looking for a new job.
And so I kept quite.
Until today, and the only reason I’m writing this post today is because I feel like I have something valuable to share.
While a huge part of the world was talking, I chose to take a step back and observe.
Not because I am better or smarter or wiser, but just because I couldn’t handle the noise.
Instead of engaging, I disconnected.
And it’s been wonderful.
Because it gave me the opportunity to rediscover what’s really important, in my life, and I believe in the life of a church.
And what’s really important are relationships.
Now, I know that sounds cliche and it’s not groundbreaking stuff, but hear me out.
Your relationship with God is the most important relationship in your life.
Next, should be your relationship with your spouse and children if you have children.
Hopefully these past couple of years have given you more time to really invest in those relationships because they’re paramount to your success as a follower of Jesus and a pastor.
I believe that, and you probably believe that too.
But, what I’ve discovered by sitting back and observing over the past two years is just how important relationships are within a church.
People need friends.
You need friends.
And you need to help people find friends within the church. It’s really important.
I think it’s more important than how good you preach, how good the music is, how good the kids’ ministry is, and how good your 1st Impressions ministry is.
It’s that important.
People will put up with average preaching if they have great friendships at the church.
They’ll get over how bad the music is if they have friends there. They’ll just go to lunch after church and talk about how bad it was.
They’ll even deal with a poorly run kids’ ministry for a time if they have great friendships at the church. And when they decide to leave because of that kids’ ministry, their friends will probably leave with them.
Now some people will show up to your church because a friend in your church invited them.
But, some people will show up to your church not really knowing anyone. And can you guess what determines if they’ll stay?
It’s not how good you preach, or how amazing your kids’ ministry is, or even how many people greet them and shake their hand on their way into church.
The determining factor for most people on whether they get connected and stay connected to a church are the number of friends they have within the church.
So, what does that mean for you as a pastor or church leader?
It means the greatest investment you can make this year is in relationships.
First with God and your family, and then with those within your church.
I’m going to share with you a plan on how you can do that in my next post, so if you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe to this blog, and if you’ve already subscribed please pass this along to someone else who may be interested.