Over the last two weeks, I’ve been posting the results of a significant survey of over 8,000 new members joining Saddleback Church. The results have been interesting – for the first time there’s real evidence of why people attend church and what is most important to people who are considering joining your organization. Here are links to the results of the survey, each with a little commentary:
#10 – Special Events and Activities
#9 – Location Near Our Home
#8 – Missions
#7 – Different Styles of Worship
#6 – Small Groups and Discipleship Classes
#5 – Pastoral Care
#4 – Children’s and Youth Ministry
#3 – Service Opportunities
#2 – Worship
#1 – Preaching and Teaching
So based on that research … I’ve created THE PERFECT CHURCH!
You walk in for the first time. Thankfully, the church was near your home so you slid into your seat just in time. You flip through the program and see a few upcoming events and are glad to see that the church is one small part of something that God is doing all around the world. Your husband sneaks in next to you, having dropped off the kids and sending your teenager on his way to youth group. “I’m impressed,” he says, “this place looks really great.” You fumble through a brochure that has the right buzzwords written on it but most importantly it is backed up by everything you’ve seen. “It IS great,” you think. Might be time to join a small group after you get settled in.
The service starts with an authentic and passionate music set, perfect to your taste. You smile thinking how this service seemed to be created just for you. The creativity and preparation for the services keeps you unsure of what’s next, but safe. One of the pastors speaks on a topic that is exactly what you were wrestling with that week. You laugh half the time, you knowingly nod a few times, you even tear up a little at the end.
You walk out to get the kids and say at the same time, “This place is perfect.”
So you join it. And it wouldn’t be perfect anymore.