First, I need to make a correction from yesterday, the Stick Church Blog Tour is actually being sponsored by SMALL GROUPS.COM, not Catalyst. The truth is that the Catalyst blog is one of the stops on the tour.
With that, we move on to chapter two: today . . .
Chapter 2: Who Are These Guys?
Posted by Tim Avery on Off the Agenda. Written by Brandon O'Brien
One key commitment of the church growth movement has been to create an appealing worship service to attract seekers and church shoppers. In his new book, Sticky Church, Larry Osborne points out a shortcoming in this approach. While churches have gone to great lengths to bring new people in the front door, they have done less to keep people from escaping out the back door. They've made their churches attractive, but, in Osborne's words, they haven't made them "sticky."
Osborne explains the problem with this illustration. Imagine two churches that both grow from 250 to 500 members in 10 years. The first church loses 7 of every 10 members it adds. The second loses only 3 of every 10 new members. That means Church 1 has to reach 834 new people to meet their goal, while Church 2 only has to reach 357.
Sticky Church is about focusing less on marketing and more on getting new people engaged and keeping them in the church. It's a simple premise. And the solution, Osborne suggests, is simple, too. Osborne has made his church sticky with sermon-based small groups. During the week, the church's small groups discuss the Sunday sermon. And as he explains in Chapter Two, his church tries to keep at least 80 percent of weekend attenders in these groups.
It's not a brand new idea. The first church I pastored tried this strategy—mostly out of necessity. We couldn't afford curriculum and didn't have time to write one. But Osborne's explanation is clear and vivid. And his emphasis on ministering to the people you have, rather than spending all your energy attracting new members, is a welcomed change.
You can read the other stops/posts on the blog tour here, can pick up a copy of Sticky Church here. I will be posting the rest of the tour reviews (done by chapters) on this site over the next week or so.
3 John 8