4 Things that Kill Church Buy-In
Buy-In. It is the ever-important term. With this said, how can certain things kill church buy-in?
As pastors, we are continually trying to find ways to increase volunteer engagement or get our church more involved. People buy into what they believe in. Think about it. With this in mind, it is important to be intentional not to kill church buy-in.
In this blog, we will look at 4 things that kill church buy-in:
People buy into…
- Stocks of companies they think will be successful.
- Community programs through volunteering or donations that they think will make a difference.
- Things they think will make an impact.
Everybody wants to be a part of something that is achieving something or changing the world. A lot of people say they want to change the world, yet we all know it is tough. This is why we invest, with our time and money, in organizations that are bigger than us. It can help us feel like we are changing the world.
It is the same with the local church. People want to be a part of a church that is making a difference. They want to contribute to a place that is shifting and moving. So, pastors often ask, “How do I get my church more involved?”
Look at this, Nonprofitsource.com reported that 37% of regular church attendees don’t give money to the church, tithers only make up 10-25% of the congregation, and out of those tithers, 80% only give 2% of their income.
There is an apparent disparity between people giving and attending. However, what is most fascinating is that 3 out of every 4 people who don’t go to church make donations to nonprofit organizations. The ratio of people who don’t go to church, but give to nonprofit organizations, is higher than those who attend church and give to their church.
Let’s make this clear:
People want to give and buy into an organization’s mission. People do not kill church buy-in, but the church can.
The reason people aren’t buying into the mission and vision of your church is not that they are apathetic; they don’t believe in the mission and vision strongly enough.
To better increase the buy-in of your congregation, we first need to look at the things that kill church buy-in.
Lack of Clarity
A lack of clarity can kill church buy-in. People crave clarity. They yearn to know what is coming. It is one of the reasons people binge watch Netflix: they don’t like to be left on a cliffhanger. People will not buy-in to an organization that leaves them on a cliffhanger. Our congregations need to know what is going on, how we are completing our mission, and what we are changing to move forward more effectively.
Remember, people are investing their time and money in your church. You have a responsibility to steward that investment. It does not mean you are held hostage by your congregation. However, it means you do have to help lead them.
When you have clarity, it helps people increase their buy-in. As a result, offerings and volunteer engagement in your church increases.
Lack of Credibility
The Pew Research Center found that over half of United States adults have concerns regarding how churches function and especially in their handling of money. If people do not trust you with their money, they have not bought in. Literally.
Currency is one of the essential commodities in our society. In fact, currency makes the world run. When a family chooses your church to be the place they give their money to, it is a tremendous honor. It means they have decided to go against the grain and trust you and your organization with their money.
Remember, your credibility is on a continually moving scale. When you do what you say you are going to do, credibility goes up. Credibility goes down when you don’t. Providing clarity (like mentioned above), allows for credibility to increase. When the present and future is hazy, credibility goes down.
When you are cognizant of the requirement to increase your congregation’s belief in your credibility, it allows you to operate correctly. As a result, their buy-in increases, and your church is now poised to grow. Want to know why your church isn’t growing? It might be a lack of credibility. Credibility is a fundamental key that allows you to not kill church buy-in.
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Lack of Excitement
Can you relate to this? We can barely get out of bed when we don’t get the amount of sleep we want. But, remember when you were a kid? It didn’t matter what time you went to bed on Christmas Eve or how little sleep you got, the next morning you were wide awake. Why? Excitement. That first day at the new job or your wedding day were exciting days, and it did not matter if you got four hours of sleep or nine, you were wide awake!
Lack of excitement definitely kills church buy-in. Our congregations remain “sleepy” because there is a lack of excitement. People want to buy-in to a church that is moving and shaking. They want to be a part of something successful. People do not want to invite their friends and family to a church that is sad, lonely, and declining. That is just an embarrassment; soon, they also leave to find somewhere else to attend.
If you want to create excitement, you need to focus on the positives while quickly addressing and changing the negatives, embrace innovation, empower relentlessly, and always inspire. You will soon find that people are drawn to what you are doing. After all, people are drawn to excitement.
Because people are drawn to excitement, your volunteer engagement goes up, and your congregation gets more involved.
Lack of Professionalism
It does not matter if your church is 50 people or 5,000. Neither does the size of your facility.
People are looking at how you steward and manage what you have.
Are there weeds in the parking lot?
Are the trash cans empty on Sunday mornings before service?
Is the parking experience hectic or smooth?
Are there smiling faces meeting people at the door or frustrated, tired faces with morning breath?
Is service planned, and everyone knows their part, or are they all over the place?
Is the stage organized, or is it full of tangles of wires and coffee cups?
Are there stains on the chairs?
Do the children’s areas smell like dirty diapers or fresh and clean?
Are the offices organized?
Is your office clean, or does it look like a tornado ripped through it?
These are just some of the questions to ask that determine your level of professionalism.
Remember Luke 16:10 (NIV), “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.” Every little choice you make to operate with excellence is a step forward. Just because you ignore things does not mean they will not grow. Much like weeds, the little things we ignore will end up growing and choke the life out of our organizations.
Let’s make one thing clear: you can be professional and warm/inviting at the same time. Professional does not need to mean cold and sterile. It means professional. It means we take the time and effort appropriate to provide the best experience for our guests.
Why isn’t my church growing, you ask? It might be a lack of professionalism.
Take an honest and prayerful look at your leadership and organization. Ask yourself the hard questions and see if these four “buy-in” killers are lurking in your midst.
So, we hope this resource has helped you.
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