Welcome back to our case study of FCC. Today we get to know a little more about the congregation…
Out of the 60 members of FCC, roughly 35% are young adults ranging from 18 to 35 years of age, roughly 20% are 60 or over with the remainder being children or 36-59; interesting. I would have expected a higher percentage that are over 60.
Of the core group of leaders and next generation leaders, there is a strong level of community. After church on Sunday, the one and only diner in town is full of FCC people sitting in large groups enjoying each other’s company.
There are differing views within the congregation on things like style of worship and music, but they generally have the belief that being involved within the local community is important. This isn’t of any great surprise considering that Franklin is a very small town; people want their church to be respected by the townsfolk. Many members of the core group are well-known and involved in civic activities and between them all, they pretty much know everyone in town…
Finally, to the extent that we can ascertain, of the members who are most likely to oppose anything new, there is a higher concern that FCC be active in the community, and respected as a contributor to the town in general… the young pastor gets high marks for his involvement in community activities. He is a member of the Volunteer Fire Department, a basketball coach at the high school, an after school tutor and volunteer in most events within the community. He is also active in working with three out of the four other congregations in town for community projects (the fourth doesn’t participate) and the church has recently started a community food pantry which has generated involvement, participation and many compliments from community leaders…
Do you see what I see?
If you aren’t sure, here’s a hint: What did we say about leadership and gaining permission to lead beyond a positional status?
Ah, now you’ve got it! Yes, there is tremendous common ground in this church beyond the obvious fact that they are brothers and sisters in Christ: Community involvement. Can you think of a more effective way to gain respect and favor in a community than by actively demonstrating that you care about the town and it’s people? This is very difficult in the big city because even a congregation of thousands can get lost in the crowd, but in Franklin, Illinois, all you would need to do is get 20 people involved in making a difference in town to really stand out. FCC can probably do better than that, and add to the equation that these can show the love of Jesus Christ to the whole town… in action… and they can gain a hearing with every unbeliever in the area in time.
Couple that with the leadership principle, and you gain permission from your congregation to make necessary adjustments to really take off in both spiritual growth, and its result, numerical growth.
Now, all we need is a strategy to ensure that this effort is about following the teachings of Jesus Christ to make disciples, rather than simply gaining the praise of men, and FCC could start a whole movement for Christ. Lord willing, this could become a beacon of hope to a thousand small churches in a thousand other small towns all across America… and I’m not entirely sure where else besides.
But understand this: The whole key to success is to do this by following the imperatives of Christ, and for this to happen, we will also need to bring His purpose into the strategy as its very core and foundation. We’ll get busy with this task at our get-together on Monday.