You May Have To Break Some Rules
A few years ago I was assigned a book to read by my manager. It was called First, Break All The Rules. It was subtitled What The World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently. One of the chapters described twelve factors that attract, focus and keep talented employees. All twelve were excellent, but one in particular stood out.
One of the twelve factors was that an employee have a best friend at work. Having another person who they could relate to and share struggles with helped them feel attached to the company. Otherwise, the employee felt detached and the chance of retaining them was less.
I thought about this recently and wondered if it was the same in our churches. I think it is. Sometimes, I think, we forget this.
Church is a place where gather together to worship the Lord and it is also a community that gathers together. We fellowship. We are on mission. We disciple and so many other things. We have the common bond of faith that joins us together. However, it’s not all that we need.
We need to have someone or a few someones that we look forward to seeing when we meet together. I read recently that organizations begin to lose their efficiency when they grow much larger than 150. I believe this is especially true in many churches. Why? Because when churches get much larger, people begin to lose their connection to each other. It is difficult to know everyone. People don’t believe they will be missed or that they are as important to the church when it gets too big. Obviously there are some exceptions, but for the most part this holds true. Statistics will show that most churches in this country have 150 or fewer people.
The larger the church, the harder, I think, it is to have a “best friend” in church. Without that tie, it becomes easier and easier to miss church services.
So where does that leave us? We, who are church people, are in the relationship business. Our beliefs and doctrines will not be the primary factors that draw and keep people in our churches. Instead, it’s going to be the relationships we form and the communities that we build.
The burden is on us to pursue relationships with those outside of our community in hopes to draw them into community with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. It is our responsibility to fight to keep our relationships strong within our church community, just like we would with our families and friends.
To do that, we may find we have to break some of the rules we have learned along the way.
What do you do to build relationships and have “best friends” at church?