Apr 3, 2007

Tuesday in Holy Week: How Not to Follow Jesus.

I had lunch with a friend today. In our far-ranging discussions about urban and sub-urban planning issues, she discussed her attempts (along with her husband) to get a Homeowners' Association started for their suburban neighborhood.

They had a block party, organized interest, and created a temporary name: Briarcreek Homeowners' Association. Enthusiasm ran high.

For their next meeting/event, they sent out announcements, only now one of the organizers had changed the name to something that sounded friendlier to him: The Briarcreek Neighborhood Fellowship.

Almost nobody came.

The overwhelming response through follow-up phone calls was, "I saw the name 'Fellowship', and thought it was a church." In a mostly Anglo middle-class community, where perhaps 70% of the people do not attend a church, anything that even sounded like a church was the kiss of death.

Lesson: If you want to reach the un-churched/under-churched with the Good News of Jesus Christ, don't invite them to church. "Church" is itself the kiss of death.

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