Someone shared with me his experience at a recent event. Many of our church members were in attendance. When one of the programs ended, the church members stood up and exited as a group, even though the event had not yet finished. He was concerned that such behavior might give an outsider a negative impression of our church.
Our church’s goal for ministry is to reach non-believers and make them disciples of Jesus. To achieve this goal, we must have a good reputation in our community, because non-believers are easily persuaded by reputation.
Let me make the following suggestions to ensure a good reputation for our church.
First, attend as many community meetings as you can. If we want to reach non-believers we have to go where they are. Community meetings are one such place.
Second, when attending community meetings, try not to sit with our church members in a single group. Our church has become the biggest Korean church in Houston. You will see many of our church members wherever you go. If we stay in insular packs and speak loudly among ourselves, other people may feel intimidated or annoyed.
Third, be careful not to come off as bragging about our church. You may be telling people good things about our church because you want them to have a good impression of it. Or you may just feel proud of our church. But we need to be careful to keep our positive statements from turning into bragging.
Fourth, try to attend public services sponsored by other churches or organizations. Our church members need improvement in this area. Very few of our church members attend the Easter morning joint service sponsored by the Korean Church Association of Houston. Our low attendance may be interpreted as disrespect for other, smaller churches.
Fifth, serve non-church members in the same way you serve our church members. Many of our church members already do this by visiting seniors’ homes or serving at hospices. I am sure that this pleases God, because His love for the world is as big as His love for the church.
I have to confess that these suggestions are personally very hard to do, and I often fail to follow my own suggestions. I hope that this motivates you to do better, because you can’t depend on your pastor to build a good reputation for our church.
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