Showing Up

A recent article in the Church Times of London noted that many recent marketing schemes for the Church of England have failed. The author, Richard Nicholl suggested that instead of trying to attract new members with gimmicky campaigns, they should learn from companies like Facebook and Amazon–which never need to advertise.

First, like these companies, the church needs to show that “everyone else is in on it.” That means, says Nicholl, that those who are already members have to show up “every week, preferably without fail…It is existential. Just as ‘everyone else’ is on Facebook, ‘everyone else’ should be at church. We have an obligation to the Church and to one another…” The least we can do is show up.

Second, the Church “must, above all, be somewhere that people feel obliged to go, but do not resent attending.” As Nicholl sees it, this is not the same thing as being a place people want to go. Churches are so diverse that people will always find them a bit difficult. But if the liturgy is regular and familiar and there are other attractive programs, we will be able to participate regularly and faithfully–as Nicholl says, to “do what you know in your heart that you have to do.” —J. Douglas Ousley

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One Response to “Showing Up”

  1. Glenn says:

    A church member who attends regularly or “religiously” might also have to show or develop some discipline in order to attend regularly?

    Discipline is sometimes uncomfortable, and takes attention and hard work as well as the sacrifice of other activities and free time. Discipline is hopefully developed with gratitude for the blessings gained, and without resentment for loss of other activities.

    Discipline might take us on a journey, too, possibly similar to Christ’s disciples – where more difficult means more meaningful and memorable.

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