Wake up Aptos, CA churches! Go out to the people.
One place to go is the Aptos Farmers’ Market. Ashes to go? How about Wafers and Prayers & Jam Tarts to go at the Aptos Farmer’s Market?
How about home made cookies from St. John’s Episcopal, Resurrection Catholic , Christ Lutheran and First Baptist — made with love & sealed with a church sticker?
Why sell baked goods only at Christmas time? People want cookies all year long! People love home made pasta sauces. How about Tomato Preserves? And Church cook books? Many Aptos churches have Women’s Guilds and those organizations can talk to each other and work together.
And, how about a Prayer Station — next to the jam jars — where people can ask for prayers for someone they love and miss now serving in the military?
Why not? Don’t wait for people to come to you. Go to them. People need healing.
Looking at all those gray heads sitting in the pews it’s clear that congregations are aging. And shrinking.
It’s time to go out to the people rather than hope that they — somehow — will come to your “campus’ aka “community”.
Research shows: churches that say they have a strong sense of identity and mission have a higher level of vitality.
So what’s the mission of your church? What’s the sense of identify that makes your church distinctive?
It’s time to ‘invest” connecting with people outside the church premises. Go where people actually congregate. Engage people on their turf. Where are they? At Farmers’ Markets. At the Garlic Festival and the Santa Cruz Fair.
Did you know that hospitals are doing exactly that? Because hospital In-Patient services have become so expensive, hospitals are offering all sorts of services on an Out-Patient basis.
Hospitals are investing outside their walls. They are following the patient.
See article in The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, September 26, 2017: Hospitals Invest in Outside Clinics. Per that article, Peggy Seasborn, vice president of strategic growth for Dignity Health [owner of Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, CA] said joint replacement seemed impossible a decade ago. Now Dignity Health is able to replace hips and knees outside the hospital in a limited number of cases. People are bypassing the Hospital. Since 1994 the has been an 80 percent increase in outpatient admissions whereas Inpatient admissions to Hospitals has remained flat or decreasing.
It’s time that local Aptos CA churches ‘invested’ outside their walls. Go out with a sense of Mission and Sense of Identity and engage with people. On their turf.
One near to Aptos,CA church that does ‘go out and find the patient’ is Santa Cruz Hope Church located in Soquel, CA and Scotts Valley.
If Hospitals can think ‘outside the box’ — so can Aptos churches with a strong sense of Mission and Identity.
How do people experience healing? Numerous ways: prayer, music, singing, laughter, listening, and sharing are some ways. In what new ways can your church share the Healing Love of Christ? And reach out ….
It’s time to leave those church buildings ….
written by licensed Psychologist PSY 14762 Cameron Jackson DrCameronJackson@gmail.com