In his book, The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated, author James Emery White has one chapter devoted to key components of a church’s ministry that will keep the front door open and help attract the unchurched. Here’s a summary of his principles.
- Friendliness—You must be intentional about the guest’s experience and cultivate an atmosphere of acceptance. “Acceptance is not affirmation, but it is an embrace.”
- Children’s Ministry—Children are the heart of your growth engine. And if nones ever come to your church uninvited, it will probably be for the sake of their kids.
- Music—Music matters, and the key is cultural translation. And remember, there’s no such thing as traditional music.(See yesterday’s blog.)
- Building—From the moment when nones first view the church and its grounds, the initial impression is made; physical surroundings convey strong messages.
- Importance of the Visual—Over the last twenty years we have decisively moved to a visually based world and the church needs to move with it.
Does all this matter? It depends on whether or not you are expecting company.