24toDouble Members Live Q&A – January 2019
24toDouble Members asked how to start the New Year off right and More:
- What is Daystar doing at the beginning of the year?
- What happens to how I’m doing Church Growth with 24toDouble after 24 months?
- Does 24toDouble use any kind of measuring metrics to track the success of 24toDouble Alumni?
- Is now a good time to work towards Easter even though we are just starting 24toDouble?
- If you have about two months until Easter, what are the main things you should focus on?
- We are in a new area, how do we go about targeting our community for church growth?
- Where are good places to go and serve the community?
Hey pastors, this is Richard Chancy with 24toDouble and I've got Pastor Jerry Lawson with me today. Welcome to 24toDouble in the year 2019. We're so excited to be starting this year with you. Jerry, thanks so much for being on with us today.
Super glad to be here, and really excited for all you pastors and church leaders, pastor's wives and spouses that are on board with us. We're going to add value to you today. It's going to be worth your time, so thanks for calling in.
And as always, if you haven't been with us before, all you have to do is hit *6 on your phone to get into the queue. It works just like a radio call in show. You're going to get in the queue. When we're ready for your question, we'll make you live and you'll ask your question and we'll hopefully give you some great answers to your questions. Being the first call of the year, we don't have a ton of people on today, so if you've got a burning question then today is a great day to ask that. Hey Jerry, before we dive in and start answering questions in the queue, talk about how you attack this time of year.
You always want to be in the flow of where people are. There's always a gap between Christian leaders and the rest of the world. Pastors, there's a gap between how you live your life ... So you want to get your mind where the people are, and here's what they're doing. They're going to the gym. They're making New Year's resolutions. They're getting back in church. They're settling things down.
This is a good time to be teaching about those kinds of things, how you make the best out of your year. How do you grow, how do you organize your life? Because you want to, if you can key into to where their brain is already flowing, you're going to be so much more effective.
This is also a time to kick off big things that you want people to sign up in, whether it's a giving campaign or for us, it's small groups. This is a huge time for us. We believe big things happen in small groups and we believe discipleship happens there. So that's a big thing for us. I'll say one other thing, behind the scenes.
We had our first Easter meeting last week, Easter. We have a big summer series called "At the Movies." We had meetings for both of those last week. So we want to get way out in front, give our creative people time to be creative and our people who want to help us get the word out, the teams that want to do that.
This doesn't matter if you have a big staff or not. You've got creative people. You've got excited believers in your congregation. If you can get those people on board with you early on, get them to take ownership of the campaign, whatever it is, you're going to be much more successful when they're doing their thing as opposed to when they're doing your thing. So buy in's huge.
Jerry do you take time at the end of the year to kind of look back and get ready for the next year?
I do that in November. I usually try to just set aside, I start working on my calendar and see what it's going to do. I usually set some goals. I almost always set goals in November but this year I put together a loose framework of goals, and I just really felt like I would start the year with prayer and fasting, and just kind of lean into those goals. So I'm doing that a little bit differently this year. I'm about halfway through my 21 day prayer and fasting and it's been crazy. It's been wonderful.
I started fasting from the 2nd to the 7th this year. Just felt like I needed to really do two things. Like get dialed back in on spending time with the Lord in the morning and taking the time not to just kind of microwave that time. The other thing was to do a sugar detox because the Christmas season was really hard on me physically this year, but the big thing that came out of that for me this year was 24toDouble and how we're moving forward. This thing's gone about as far as I can take it by myself.
We've known that for a couple years and that's why we started adding people to the team. I really had to sit down and say going forward when a new idea and a new initiative or some new project that we've got to tackle comes into my mind, I can no longer say how. I've got to say who. I've got to add people to the team that can answer that question of how. The who’s answer the how question.
I think that's a good thing for the pastors that are on today. Start thinking through, there's only so far that you can go by yourself. I was telling a pastor that the other day about you. Wherever you are, Jerry probably has been there and probably got stuck and figured it out.
Just as I'm trying to wrap my brain around where you pastors are right now, I know there's somebody on board right now with a church of 300. There's someone with a church of 30, and I can think back to, and I've been in both those places by the way, and I can think back to both of those places, and I can think of a guy when I was in a church with 30 people named John, John Hunt. How I could have invested more in him. How I could have trained him better. I thank God for the revelation he's given me and the growth I've made but I now am at a place where every day I'm about building people.
I came to the realization that I have a megachurch with thousands of people but I don't have thousands of disciples, and I'm okay with that because Jesus only had 12, all right. So you know I've got a lot of people in my crowd. Jesus had a big crowd and as long as he was giving fish sandwiches, the crowd was huge. When he told people to eat his flesh and drink his blood, the crowd got really small. So my crowd's going to ebb and flow too, but there's a core of people that are really disciples, and I am really focusing on making them disciples and man, that motivates me now more than ever.
And here's the cool thing, man. You start making disciples, your disciples make crowds and then out of those crowds comes your next disciples. You really don't have to just focus on the crowds. You just dig into people, developing people. God will send the big crowds.
I'm going to ask you, I'm going to dig into that question a little bit. For now, I think we offered the Q&A before most of the people that are now on got on. So if you want to get into the Q&A and ask questions about 24toDouble, hit *6. Ask questions about 24toDouble. Ask questions about leadership. Jump on and give us your experience so far. Tell us something good that's happening in your church. Tell us something that's challenging. A big part of this tribe that we have created over the last few years with 24toDouble, a big part of it is can we come together for an hour once a month, like this, and get on here and talk about the things that we're struggling with, but also give some feedback and some encouragement.
I guarantee you if you've been with us more than a couple of weeks, and you've started to dive into this, you know something that somebody on the call today would love to know. So *6 to get into the queue and I will dive into that question in a second. We've got somebody in the queue now, so Jerry are you ready to start taking some questions?
Let's do it.
What Do I Do After 24 Months in 24toDouble?
I think this is Tracy.
Hi, yeah. Mike Tracy here. I'm asking about 24toDouble, post the 24. Let's just say, and again it's a big if, but let's just say I have done the things that you have proposed to do, where do I go with my group meetings after the 24 months?
That's a great question. You know you, when you log into or when you buy into 24toDouble, you own lifetime membership. As long as we exist, you've got access. So you can always take your team back through some weak areas, some areas that you need to continue to grow. I think that's a great way to do it, but I think you also, you as a leader are maturing. You're growing.
Don't underestimate the education you're getting as you're broadening your horizons and so, you come out of that and you're able to ... The reason 24toDouble exists, is because I went through some intensive training from a church consultant named Dr. Owen Weston. Out of that, I said, hey let me share this with other people.
As I grew as a leader, I become a leader who could lead other people. I think you've got the platform as you do 24toDouble, you grow, you see the changes. You become a better leader. You have a platform to invest in other leaders, and I think that's fantastic.
Now on another note, Richard and I are working on some ideas for 24toDouble graduates that we think maybe we could draw you close and we could continue to network and we could get a little bit more specific on where you are, and what post 24toDouble looks like for you. But that's still a little bit to be determined but that's certainly on the horizon.
How Do You Measure Church Growth in 24toDouble?
Just real quick. Do you have any metrics, and they said to bring this to this question, any metrics of the 24 to double after the 24? The reason why I ask that is I've been in a growth program before that saw our church double and almost double again, and then the old methods came back in and that's my concern. I don't want to lead this church again and 10 years later be back where we were before we started. That's my rationale or reason behind the question.
That's a great mindset and great thought process. That is why we say it's not a church growth program. It's a whole church discipleship model. It really is about changing the way you see people. You don't see people as assets. You see people as disciples, you know fulfilling their personal dreams. Well personal might be a selfish word, but fulfilling their calling and their role within the church.
If you put those in place, I mean I guess you could lose all that if you just gave up on it, if you just quit. You know what I'm hoping is, we didn't buy a program, but you know the pastor is sharing this. He's sharing the heart and the vision behind this. There's a whole, even a new theology somewhat, just a new way we share Jesus. That whole, the seven teams and Jesus.
We couldn't go back to doing first impressions like we did before 24toDouble, not at Daystar because we've, it's a part of our DNA, to tell people about the prodigal son. When you stand at the front door of Daystar on Sunday, you're the father. You're waiting for the prodigal. It's just become a part of who we are.
As a leader, it's incumbent on you to keep pushing. A lot of great leaders, I used to give Andy Stanley credit for this, by the way, but I found out he wasn't the first one who said it. But that phrase vision leaks is so true. You can fill a person up with vision, an organization up with vision and it leaks out. Rick Warren says you have to re-preach the vision to your church every 30 days. I think that's it.
Since this is not a program or just a set of practices. It really is a way of doing church and it's wrapped around theology and a belief system. We have to keep preaching the why so that people don't give up the what. If it's just about the what, they will give it up, but if it's about the why, it gets in their heart and they'll stay. But hey, it's not automatic. You have to keep your foot on the pedal or you'll lose your gains for sure.
Obviously, I'm well aware of that. So I'm going, okay, I don't get too many resets without being voted out, so I appreciate it thank you so much.
The only thing I would add to that is the guy that kind of runs the machine behind the scenes, is systems. The thing that Jerry has done a brilliant job of doing is teaching systems. If you've got an outreach program in your church, this is what happens in most churches and I have been in hundreds of churches over the years with my consulting and church construction practice.
The problem for most churches is they take one thing. They say we've got to do a better job at outreach for inviting our friends, and they invite people into a system where everything behind that system is broken, meaning somebody might spend a year and a half investing in somebody and then they finally feel like they can invite them to church and there's nothing that happens at church or after they leave to support that system.
If you don't have a way to follow up with people simply but also get them into volunteer groups and small groups. It doesn't matter how many people you have at the top because they're all going to come out the bottom. It looks good in the beginning because you've got all this energy going with getting people there, but there's nothing happening to keep them. So if you don't keep hustling on the front end, everybody goes out the back end.
Thank you so much. Hey would you shoot, and I'm just now starting. Would you already shoot towards the big day for this coming Easter? Would that be, because of what you just said, not having the systems underneath that in module three and module four yet in place, would that be a bad idea?
That’s a leadership call of course. However, I would go for it. I mean you're far enough out. We're going to teach on that big events component. We're going to teach on pastor's breakfast early on. I think that's about module three or something. That's your on ramp, so yeah. I would plan on doing a 24toDouble style Easter.
Man, because anytime you change anything, everyone wants change until the change happens. I mean that's ... The change we want, here's the change I want. I want lean muscle and no fat in my body. That's the change I want. Getting up at 5 am five days a week is not the change I want to go to the gym.
That's true in church, so when you start pushing that change and it starts to happen, people are going to push back. They're going to argue. They're going to have reasons they don't like, and the best answer to arguments is results. That's just the best answer. Well, I don't know why they moved the Sunday School class out of here and put some kind of a coffee and donut shop. It's a pastor's breakfast. And here's what your answer is. Did you notice that we were up 100 people from last Easter? That's just hard to argue.
What we've done, you're going to find, you said you're just getting started. What you're going to find is we've front loaded the low hanging fruit. So things like first impressions, pastor's breakfast and big events, there toward the front. So you start to see a big boom right toward the front. So a lot of our churches are, they're 12toDouble. They double, I have a guy. He said we watched the vision video and everyone got so excited, they start inviting people. We doubled off of the vision video right? Just got excited.
But, the backend, the second half is where systems get in place, structure gets in place and that's what makes it keep going. We do have a few people. Normally by the time people see results they stick with us, but we do have a few people see some quick results and they unplug. That is like blowing up a balloon and letting it go. It just fizzles right out. Yeah, but all that to say, you ought to be ready to have a big Easter with the 24toDouble system in place.
Thank you. Thanks so much.
Thanks for the question. Hey, Jerry, related to that, if you're, I think it was Mike, if you're in Mike's shoes right now …
What Should We Be Focusing on if We Only Have a Couple Months Until Easter?
We've got let's call it two and a half months before Easter. What are the two or three big things that you would try to bite off, knowing that that's not a lot of time, especially if you're building a brand new system and this whole idea is new to people. What are the two or three or four or five things that you would do to get to make that happen well? How would you answer that question, Jerry?
First of all, you're going to have an uptick in attendance on Easter because it's Easter. Knowing that, I would say the first, most important thing to do is get some follow up in place. So a good connect card, a prayer card that makes sense. Listen to our teaching about that follow up. Listen to that follow up teaching, so that when you get all those new families, you're ready to do follow up well, intensive follow up.
That's one of our teachings there. Essentially it's this. Interesting, I'm holding a connect card right here right now, and it just kind of shows the questions we want to ask them and we want to get them to follow up. Most of all, at the bottom it's a prayer card. Nobody wants to give you their information. Nobody wants to be a visitor that registered. Nobody wants any of that. We don't talk about visitors. We don't talk about information. We don't talk about registering. We talk about prayer.
We say God sent you here for a reason, and we're excited about that. Here's what we want to do. We just want to pray for you. We want to pray that whatever God is doing in your life, that you have wisdom and you have peace about it and you have clarity. We're going to do that but if you'll take a second and let us know some things we could pray about for you, we'll pray specifically. And if you don't want to share specifics, just put your name on the card. We'll be praying for you by name.
Then you just cover it in prayer. Here's what they're going to do. Even though you say put your name on it, well it goes ahead and ask them for their email and their cell phone. They're going to go ahead and put that in there. You don't have to talk about that. Then you can follow up with whatever, we're doing text message follow up. We're doing some text registration. There's a lot of different ways you can do that, but you know, the truth of the matter is, if I'm talking to someone who doesn't have a good system in place yet, Richard, I'm just saying, just be intentional about it.
Watch the module and it will walk you through it, but short of that, if you're not to that point yet, just be intentional about follow up. Knowing we're going to have a lot of people here. Let's make sure we collect their information. Let's make sure we have a system in place just to let them know we're glad you came. We want you to come back, and you know your family matters to us. So that would be the short end of it. Then there's a lot of promotional things that you can do, and we talk a lot about that in the big event module.
Pastor, there's a lot of high tech stuff you can do. You can build these follow up systems that are automated. I think that's something worth looking at but between now and Easter, get out a napkin and write down on the back of the napkin, like here's our follow up plan.
The first thing we're going to do is this. You might want to write a thank you, a handwritten thank you note. You're going to need some people to do that, that take the connect card. Just think of the low tech stuff that doesn't require spending money to put a system in place because you don't have time to do that and that will take so much energy.
But just come up with a low ... Like you're going to miss 100% of the shots you don't take, pastor. That's the poet, Wayne Gretzky said that. It's better to do something, a bad plan well executed will get more results than no plan at all, or the perfect plan that you haven't launched.
I would just write down, even if it's just hey we're going to send you two notes. We're going to send you the one Monday morning and then Thursday morning we're going to send you another one so you get it on Saturday and remind you to be there on Sunday, and Sunday I'm going to talk about something that's happening next week and also what's coming up in our children's ministry.
So people, because you got to answer the questions that you know they're going to sit there and ask. Like how long is this service going to last? What does it look like to be involved? Those basic questions that people have when they come to church for the first time.
Absolutely. You know I was just thinking, you mentioned the hand written note. Just this past Tuesday, we were talking about our followup system and making a few tweaks about it. One of my staff members, one of my newer staff members, a girl named Stephanie, she said, "You know I still remember five years ago, after my first Sunday at Daystar, getting a card in the mail, handwritten, from the pastor." If you can remember that five years later, when you've been on staff for three, then that was pretty impactful.
It was not super technological and it wasn't innovative. It was just a card in the mail. We went away from the letter type thing, which seemed so corporate and so impersonal, years ago and went to that handwritten note. Anybody can do that.
How Do I Reach This New Community I Am In?
For sure. Okay let's jump back over and get our next question here. I think this is Rajesh.
Hi Jerry and Richard. This is Rajesh. I just wanted to ask. We have just launched our church in Houston, Texas. We got the fliers. We got everything printed out and ready to go, but what type of community would you say that, what type of community event could be targeting at, you know? That's my question, because we are new out here. This is our first time in Texas. We came in from the Middle East.
We just wanted to know how do we go about targeting the community, because most of the people we have talked to are evangelized, already are church members. The last thing we want to do is uproot them from any other church. But how do we make sure that we would go about doing this in an orderly fashion?
We're launching a church in Texas right now too. In fact, the first day is in two weeks. The way we started is just community groups. We got out and got involved in the community, kids involved in sports, moms involved in women groups and at the gym and things like that. Just meeting people and having conversations and having, we have a thing called Taco Tuesday. Every Tuesday we have Tacos at the house and whoever you met at the gym this week, you invited them to Taco Tuesday.
Just kind of get started like that, and have conversations and those conversations lead to ideas and it leads to other people being brought in. So really, groups is where it's at, man. You build your own group around your own life. I think that's the best way to connect with your community. I mean you can do a lot of other things, put fliers out. You can do bulk mailers. You can do some more high tech things, but when you're at the very basic, and actually if you feel like maybe you're going to be more successful with a particular ethnic group or something like that, it's going to be much better if it's relational and personal like that.
What I try to do, Rajesh, is I try to live that all the time. Not just during a launch phase, I just try to always live that life and always be inviting people to my group and just connecting. We had 6:00 am prayer this morning. We do that for 21 days in January.
There's this guy that I've been eating breakfast with at Denny's with some other guys. I just texted him last night at 9:00 at night and said, "Hey I'm going to be having a devotion and prayer at 6:00 in the morning if you want to show up." Bam, the guy just came. Blows my mind, but he was there. So you know I just try to live that all the time and model it for my people. It's kind of relational evangelism.
Now one of the things that we have is, we just have about five members right now, and they're all diversified, and that's the same type of crowd we had back in the Middle East you see. Out here, I wanted to know, how do we, I mean we are not limited to any ethnic group as such. This is the house of God and we just want to make sure that, you know, we want everybody from every stream and every tribe just to be in there and receive the Spirit of God.
Should I “Take” A Member From Another Church?
Coming into a new community and a new setup, and people who are already established in other churches, you see. I mean, what's ... My priority is never to uproot a sheep that is already settled down in another church or established in another church. That's the last thing I want to do, you see. That's what my concern is, you know. In order for us to really see the growth what would you say?
We are out on social media right now and the response has been very good, but the problem we are facing is actually to bring them into the church, you see, in this local community. On the social media we are being able to reach out. Not just America but all the way out to South America, to Europe and other places, but we are trying to look at how do we build up the church within?
Let me say two things. Let me talk about serve projects in just a minute, but first about the good and godly desire to not uproot people from another church. I appreciate that and when I started Daystar Church, that was such a goal of mine. I remember, actually discouraging people from coming from other churches who wanted to come.
In my prayer time I told the Holy Spirit tell me that this is not your church, Jerry. You don't have the right to determine who's going to come and who's not going to come. He said, God spoke very clearly to me that he has a revival planned for this community and Jerry, you're a part of it, but you're not bringing it. Some of the people in this community that are in other churches have been praying for this revival and it's more their revival than it is yours. So, he just said, I'm going to bring some people in from other churches and you're going to have to be okay with that.
It really chastised me and encouraged me all at the same time. So, while I still to this day, I want to invite you to my church, if you go to another church I'm just not going to do that. But I do have a different view about what other people might can contribute if this is their ministry opportunity.
You know what? I've had to be okay with them leaving too, years later, or when there's a new church planting or a new opportunity of ministry. Our church we have, I could safely say dozens of people in leadership that were at our church but they stepped up to another leadership role at another local church. Maybe they were a volunteer children's leader and now they're the children's pastor at another church.
I've kind of become okay with that come and go. So I would say that, but now, to your question about getting people in the building, you need more exposure. You need more exposure in the community. The best way to do that is to serve the community. Just get out there and serve.
Our church that we're launching in Texas, we built a huge grill. It's a pull behind grill and we pull it up to Dollar General and we just start grilling hamburgers and hot dogs. It just says free hamburgers and hot dogs. We sit there at Dollar General for three hours, 10:00 to 1:00 or 2:00, you know, three or four hours. We just give them away and we have conversations.
Some people are amazed. A single mom might come by there and get four hot dogs for her kids and weep and then just a CEO of a company might come by and just want to talk about why you're giving away hamburgers and hotdogs. Neither or both may show up at your church, but it makes a couple statements. First of all, it says we're here. We're here. But secondly it says, this is who the church really is. We're not here to take. We're here to give. Man, everybody loves to do that.
I remember when I was a kid, my preacher talked us into going, like knocking on doors and asking people the four spiritual laws. Man I hated, hated doing that. People hated receiving that, you know. If you met God today and he asked you why should I let you into his heaven, what would he say? I was certain somebody was going to say listen, it's 9:00 am on a Saturday. You're about to meet God. I hope you can ask that question.
We don't do that kind of stuff anymore. We just do relational evangelism, and it's so much fun for the people. Who doesn't want to go out and just grill out and give away hamburgers. That's kind of the way we've done it and it's been very successful for us.
You see I have to tell you, one of my shortcomings was because having been in the Middle East, we were not really allowed to evangelize out there in terms of having, giving out tracts because it's a Muslim country. So we're pretty new to this, you know. I just wanted to know because when we do conduct these events, is there a strategy going you would say that you would look at, like a busy shopping center like Wal-Mart or Target or something like that?
What is the Strategy to Get People Into Church?
There is a strategy and you need to think about it in terms of step by step. So what is the next step we want? Now we begin with the end in mind. At the end, the end of this process we want them in the church, serving, saved, Spirit-filled, becoming a disciple. Then we work backwards from there.
The first step is just grilling burgers at a store, a convenience store or something small. Wal-Mart might give you trouble, their corporate or whatever, but you find somewhere. Or maybe serving at a school. We've done lots of that. Just go in there, you find a school that didn't have enough budget to update the landscaping. We just go in there and clean it up and maybe plant some bushes, excuse me, or flowers.
Step by step, what I want to do is I want to make a connection with someone and I want to invite them to the next thing we're doing, Taco Tuesday. Hey, you know you guys are awesome. This has been a fun group. Hey you know what? Tomorrow night is Taco Tuesday. We'd love for you and your wife to just join us man. You don't have to bring anything. Just sit down. We take about an hour. We eat tacos together and we just have a little devotion. They go from there.
They might be in a small group for six months before they ever come to church, but you put together a strategy of the steps you want them to take and you just let the relationship move them at their pace. Some people will just come in there. They'll just jump right in. It's like a vacuum that sucks them in because they need this in their life. Others will go very slow but you have a strategy in place of what you want to do.
Now here's something that we do and you know, but you know, we've been just wondering because out there in Kuwait when we did it, we opened a prayer line and everybody calls in and they just basically, we asked for prayers and we prayed for them, personally and stuff like that. Sooner or later they would come into church.
But out here, we found it a little different. We have a prayer line but it hardly ever buzzes and rings, and those we talk to and we pray over, I mean, you know the Holy Spirit talks to them. They are convicted. They receive Jesus Christ and all that, but they just don't seem to have time to come into church, you know. Either they're working on the weekends or stuff like that. This is a challenge we have been facing for the last two months, you know. I was just wondering whether there was something wrong with the strategy or whether the strategy that worked there is not working out here. But it beats me because ...
The strategies that are working in different places are likely not to work in Houston. You've got to understand the context that you're in. That's why it's really great to be in 24toDouble, because it's going to fit your context a whole lot better. You're going to hear me talking about a lot of different things that we do that have been, that have been successful. You just want to be a student.
If I were to move to Kuwait, I would look up your phone number and ask you how to do it, you know. Because things are very different there, but where you are now, it's just a different culture and what did work there may not work here. So that's why you made a good choice to jump on board with 24toDouble because we can show you some proven strategies that have worked all over the country.
Let me just respond to a couple of things. First of all, Rajesh, so theoretically now you're in the South of the United States. You may not know what that means, but practically what that means with church is that the people that are not in church in your city now, they're not unchurched people. For the most part, they're dechurched. What that means is they don't come to church on Sunday morning because they've been. They don't worship Jesus because they think they know what Jesus is about, and that's a lot different from somebody that's in the Middle East that hasn't really heard about Jesus and you can introduce them to.
How Do I know If Someone Is Called to My Church?
A couple other things. I just want to speak into this. If you can get somebody out of another church, God is calling them out of that church. 80% of the people in church every Sunday don't do anything. They don't give. They don't serve. They don't invite their friends. If you can get somebody to come and do any one of those things in your new start up church, let me just tell you this. Not only should you do that. It's sin if you're aren't trying to do that. I firmly believe that.
Some of the people that are farthest from God call themselves Christians and they sit in a pew every week and nothing gets through to them. So if you can get through to them, get through to them. The other thing, here's another distinction. We've talked about this before on this call. There's a difference between who you're trying to reach and who you'll serve, right? I agree 100%. The church is here, it's for everybody, but if you don't narrow the scope of who it is that you're trying to reach, we've done it with 24toDouble. We have a very, very specific type of church that we're trying to reach with 24toDouble.
When we go out into the marketplace, we have a message that we feel like resonates with the pastor that's going to be perfect for 24toDouble. Now we've got churches from your size, five. There's a church in here that has 1800 people in average weekly attendance. There's a wide spectrum of churches in here, but when you go out there and you take a message to the world, it needs to be super clear. You can't speak to a 75 year old guy that's worth $10 million and use the same analogies you would with a 22 year old that just graduated from college that has a different worldview. It's very, very difficult, so that messaging's got to be clear.
I think an unbelievable opportunity for you, I mean your story's crazy and we've only heard a couple lines of it. You moved from there to here. You know there's a, I guarantee you there's a Muslim population in your city that's just as confused about their faith as a lot of Christians are about Christianity. And if that's not at least one of the subcategories that you're trying to reach, here's what I would ask you to do. Pray about that. Make sure that you are clear about that.
The last thing is, and here I'm the marketing guy for 24toDouble. I'm not the pastor, so all this stuff I'm telling you is marketing 101. The last thing is clear calls to action. Whatever you want people to do next, you have to tell them. And don't tell them two things. Tell them one thing. If somebody comes up to the barbecue and they're having some barbecue, don't try to convert them to Christianity. That's too big a gap to try to jump to. Just get them to take the next step. Listen to them, and if you listen to people for just a few minutes, you'll start to hear the pain. And here's the thing. We have the answer.
The next step is, hey we'd love to have you on Sunday morning. By the way, our students are doing this this weekend. They're doing hands on Christianity. They're going to go to a school and do some landscaping. Know what the next step is, and if you have a longer conversation, maybe you can have a conversation about Jesus. I think we're trying to close too many deals too early in the process, to use sales language. That's kind of how I would respond to that.
The last thing, I think Jerry would echo this too man. Welcome. We're so glad that you're here. You're bringing something to Houston that I promise is not in Houston. You're bringing a flavor of Jesus that doesn't exist there. You can reach people that wouldn't even take the time to listen to me and Jerry. So welcome and we're pulling for you. We're for you, my friend.
An Amazing Testimony of Faith
Thank you you Jerry. That's really great because you know, a lot of times, I mean, when we actually moved and we had our secular jobs. My wife and I had our secular jobs back in Kuwait, and when the Lord called us here, we gave up everything. People actually told us, even our kids, people were saying you guys are crazy. When you're coming here, you're not even doing your secular jobs and you're just going to serve the Lord. How are you going to, you know? We don't have an income. We don't have anything but we said, we are out here to serve the Lord.
We needed a lot of encouragement. We needed a lot of direction because this is something totally new. New community, new set up. The teething problems when you settle down, even in the regular world, you see. But having said that, what's been encouraging to us is we have been witnessing to people like whether we were going into the store to buy our mattresses or we're going in. Every one of them were touched by the Spirit of God and you know the only problem we have been facing is that they say Texas is so big and we are just, far out from you guys.
They call in for prayers. They call in for counseling. They call in for everything. It's only trying to get them into the building that's been the real challenge, you see. That's where I've got to be honest with you and tell you, a lot of times disappointment settles in. You see we have reached a lot of people and everyone's touched. Most of the people, when the Spirit of God has touched them, they've been in tears. They've come around. We have even called them to our home. We have done all that, but you know it's just that ... This one area is, we are really asking the Lord.
The people, the community that we haven't gone after any particular ethnic group. The ones that came in were from you name it, you see. They were from every different stream and we were touched by all that was happening, but our real challenge is to get them in, you know.
If you're converting people to Christianity, the real, the goal isn't to get them to church. The goal is to get them into a relationship with Jesus. I promise you, if you keep doing that, God will reward that, for sure.
There are churches, there are big churches that have a great reach and they're very successful and faithful that have started, every kind of way. There are churches that got birthed out of megachurches and one day one they had 500 or 1000, but then there are churches that have a story where they struggled for a long, long time before they ever got any critical mass and then God did something great in them.
That's the beautiful thing about God and his people and his churches. They're like snowflakes. There's no two alike and what God's doing at your church is significant and special and doesn't have to look like what it's looked like for anybody else. Just hang in there, do what you're doing. I know you have an incredible heart for God and he's going to use that. He's going to impact people with it.
Amen. And there's a bunch of pastors that will watch this and listen to this, Rajesh, that are going to be praying for you, and I'll ask everybody that's listening to this or watching it, make sure you're praying for these other pastors. We all know this is not easy.
Thanks for your questions Rajesh. Okay let's jump to the next question. We've got two more and we'll probably cut it off after that. And if you'll give us your first name and your church?
How Do I Get People Into My Church to See Church Growth?
Can you hear me okay? It's Campbell. Here's the problem that I'm running into. First of all, I think it's a great program. I started it a couple of years ago and dropped the ball, so now we're relaunching. But I really need some direction on, we're about 30 members strong, and 80% of them are retired, so we're trying to get to a point that we can see some growth. We do a lot of outreach. Just listening to what you guys were saying today, it gave me some ideas. But I'm having a problem getting people in.
Like Richard was saying earlier, Timothy, you've got to have a target and I think if you have an aging congregation, the target has got to be younger people. You have to empower those young people. Whatever younger people you've got right now, those have got to be the people that you invest in. You build into better leaders and you let them know they matter to you. You go where they want to go, where they're passionate about.
Whatever outreach opportunities there are, whatever small groups, that they want to be a part of, you have to build from right there. It's much like we were talking about with Rajesh. It's much like just keep pounding away and keep being relational. Serve and be relational and get people in circles.
You can do church better. That's what we want to do. We do a lot of teaching in that in 24toDouble. You can invite better and motivate your people to do that. Those are really good things, but it really does come down to connections and relationships. So you want your people to always be thinking externally.
The problem with a lot of us that we've been Christians for a long time is that all of our friends are Christians, all our connections are Christians and so there's just not much of an opportunity there to reach new people.
So you have to train, you have to preach about it. You have to model it as a pastor. You have to model it and make an example of your own life by connecting with people whether it's at a gym or the school or some other city project, community project and it's a culture that has to change. It's not just a program that you do steps one through five, but it really is a culture change where you have to live it as a leader for yourself and empower, build leaders and empower those other leaders to live it as well.
I appreciate that. By the way, I also would like to ask for prayer. I have a friend of mine that just shut his church down because it was starting to dwindle and he just felt so overwhelmed. I've been trying to reassure him that God hadn't forsaken him but man I tell you there's a lot of preachers that's just given up.
I don't want to become one of those, and it's like I won't become one, but you know I'm piggy-backing off of what I asked before. With so many, with so few number of young people, and I hear us talking about small groups and that, I guess, I need to figure out the passion of how to get them involved, because they're extremely shy and you know I guess I need direction with that.
Younger people, I'll say this Pastor Timothy, you're intimidating to them. You may not know this, but they're shy because you're intimidating. You're the man of God. They're afraid they're going to say the wrong thing. They're going to look the wrong way, so they're just going to want to clam up around you. That's tough. I have to face that same thing myself. But that's why I want to be as down to earth around them as I can, get them in other settings outside of the church that don't seem so formal or intimidating like my living room or Starbucks or whatever and just dress down and be chill and connect with them.
Find a General
Then I want to find a general. I want to find one person out of that young group that I can sit down and tell them the situation. Tell them what we're trying to do, get them on my team and let them share the burden. Right now it's your burden. You're the one that wants to make it happen. You need to share that burden if there's just one young leader, young man, young woman, in that group that you feel like is sort of a, sort of a leader in that group and kind of has more influence. If you can get them to be your general, they're not going to be as intimidated by that person as by you.
That's the other thing too, like people won't do what is your vision. They'll do what is our vision and if you can bring them along in the conversations and you can have dialogue with them about what's in their heart. What's God done for you and who do you know that needs that same thing done? How do we reach those people?
Those kind of conversations really ... You know the thing about young people today. They're more intelligent than any generation before. They've been exposed to so many different things and so they want to be a part. They want to be heard. They know that they have something to bring. They know that they know more than you and I do about certain things, so they want to be heard. So there's got to be a lot of conversations and a lot of buy in.
That helps. I appreciate it and but again I do ask that everyone would pray for this pastor.
We're going to do that. I'd like to wrap up with prayer today, when we get to the end, Richard. Let's do that.
For sure, Jerry. Yeah, thanks so much Timothy. I think we've got Mike back on here for our last question, Jerry.
I apologize. This is Mike from Harper Heights, Texas. Just real quick, I had the buy in meeting, had people excited and showed them the finance piece. I said the church can do $100 or the $99 a month, whatever. They said, no, no, no we wall want to buy in. We all want skin in the game. Well one of the people there in the meeting paid the full amount. So how do I both ethically and honestly say it's paid for, as well as say guys I still need your buy in?
That's a good question. Praise God for that. It sounds like you got some motivated people but listen. Here's what's going to happen, Mike. As you get into the teaching, you're going to notice all kinds of other things you need. We're going to be talking about connect cards and you're going to have to print those and you need a printer.
We're going to talk about updating a website. So I think you can put that group together and say hey, let's all just agree that we're going to all give to this cause and we don't know exactly yet what the cost will be, what the needs are going to be, but we know if we're going to do something new, there are going to be some expenses along the way.
We'll talk a lot about that through the program. Through the teaching. We'll say, you know you could do this but you don't have to. You could do that, and so it's going to give you some flexibility to say, hey guys, you heard Jerry. Here's what we could do, what do you think?
You'll probably find yourself right back at the same place where one guy steps up and says, well I'd like to do that. So I think you just keep them on the hook. Man, any time people want to buy in, I keep them involved. I keep them informed about what the process is and I try to inspire them so they will give when the need arises.
Thanks Mike. Hey Jerry, why don't you take us out of here with prayer for these guys and the pastors who were mentioned today. Uh oh. Hang on a second. I'm not sure what I just did there. I heard a bunch of voices.
I think I made everybody live somehow, but I'm not sure exactly how to turn that off, so why don't we go ahead and pray for them. I think they're all on hold for them now. Why don't you go ahead and pray and at least the people that are watching the recording could see it. And the good Lord can hear it too. That's the most important one we want to hear it anyway.
It matters. Way to go. Way to bail me out there.
So God, we just, right now we lift up Mike to you and we just thank you Lord for his eagerness. He's at the beginning of this journey. We just lift him up. We pray that he has wisdom. You give him direction over what he's supposed to do next, God. I just thank you for his eager team. They want to see some change. They're ready to buy in and I just know God, you're going to give them that opportunity to walk on water, so I just pray your blessing over them.
We pray God for pastor Rajesh in Houston, and we thank you God for calling him to America and we just know that there are people who need him and there's a task that only this pastor and only this church can do in a gigantic city, in Houston. I think it's the second largest in this country, but it won't be fulfilled until Pastor Rajesh and his congregation do their part. So God bless their efforts, God. Bless the pastor and his wife and give them courage and confidence and open doors for them. Give them favor as well as creativity to know what to say and what to do.
I bless Pastor Timothy. I thank you God for what is happening in his church. We pray for young leaders to emerge in that church. We pray for people to rise up and capture a vision and be motivated to do more than they've ever done for your kingdom. We pray for every other pastor who has listened in and has needs that are far and wide and they're very important. We pray your blessing over those needs, financial blessings. God we pray for energy. Pastors are doing one of the hardest jobs in America today. God I pray you just bless them, you encourage them. Send people along God.
I think about the times somebody shook my hand and left $100 bill in there when I just had to have $100. I just pray for those kinds of blessings to come to these pastors, both financial and otherwise. There are other times people send me that encouraging email when I just had to have it. I just pray God that you send these pastors what they need and you bless their churches, and we pray as we ramp into Easter season, that you do something magnificent through our 24toDouble churches this Easter. God we trust you and we praise you for it. We receive it and we believe it all in the name above every name, in Jesus' name. Amen.
Amen. Great job Jerry. Thanks pastors for being with us. There's still a few of you on. We will catch you on the next call. In the meantime, if we can do anything for you, please let us know how we can serve you. If you're watching this and you're not a member of 24toDouble, everything you need to know you can find out at 24trial.com. That's the number 24, T-R-I-A-L.com. Thanks so much for being with us. That is it.